CHIN 5013 - Reconciling Chinese and Western Thinking

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

The clash between Chinese and Western cultures often stems from deep-seated ways of thinking as a result of long standing traditions, cultural philosophies and patterns of reasoning. This course introduces students to some fundamental concepts deeply rooted in Chinese and Western thought that are relevant to understanding ourselves and the multi-cultural and multi-lingual world we live in. It will dramatically enhance students' ability to identify and articulate the reasons for cultural misunderstandings. This course encourages students to think critically about how everyday life in different cultures reflects different underpinning approaches and ways of thinking that have developed over time. Examples of concepts and ideas explored in the course include concept of man, cultural foundations of learning, deductive versus inductive reasoning, individualism, collectivism, religion, tolerance, trust, harmony, happiness, shame, civility, and morals. Through examining similarities and differences in approaches to these concerns in China and the West and tracing their roots within the writing of major thinkers, this course builds a theoretical and methodological foundation to help students articulate, analyse and bridge transcultural borders. The reading material includes texts in both Chinese and English. It provides students fluent in both languages with skills in thinking, writing and analysing Chinese and Western thought in both Chinese and English.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHIN 5013
    Course Reconciling Chinese and Western Thinking
    Coordinating Unit Asian Studies
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge Fluent in both Chinese and English and basic understanding of Chinese and Western cultures
    Restrictions Students who are enrolled in a postgraduate program
    Assessment Reflection paper (1000 words) 10%, Critical Review (1000 words) 20%, Presentation (1000 words) 20%, Take-home paper (3000 words) 50%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Delia Lin

    Office: kenneth Wills Building, 639a
    Consultation times: Tuesdays 4:10-5:00pm; Wednesdays 2:00-2:50pm, or other times by appointment

    Lectures and tutorials:
    Friday 3-6pm, Lower Napier, LG07, Dr Delia Lin

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1. understand the key theoretical issues in Chinese and Western thought and apply them to a real world context.
    2. situate the thought in the historical contexts of its origins and analyse its influences on today’s societies, both Chinese and Western.
    3 develop sensitivity to and appreciation of social and cultural diversity, and the ability to make sense of different ways of thinking and social practice
    4 articulate a critical understanding of reading material and engage with unfamiliar texts, both in Chinese and English
    5 enhance reflexive self-awareness and to demonstrate a comparative and tolerant outlook, which recognises different values and belief systems that guide cultural and social practices
    6 demonstrate abilities to explain and analyse cultural differences as a specialist and to facilitate communication in diverse and complex linguistic, socio-cultural settings
    7 understand the processes involved in the design, development and implementation of a research topic
    8 locate and critically evaluate debates and literature on the chosen research topic
    9 develop arguments logically and coherently, both in written form and orally
    10 work effectively and productively in a group situation
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 6, 7
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    9, 10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 6, 8
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3, 6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A Course Reader contains the set readings for each week.

    Recommended Resources
    Chen, Lai. (2010). History of Thought in Late Imperial China (in Chinese). Beijing, San Lian Shudian.

    Fung, Yu-Lan. (1948). A Short History of Chinese Philosophy. New York, The Macmillan Company. (JJ107261 1P F3328s)
    Jia, Wenshan and Vernon E. Cronen (2001). The Remaking of the Chinese Character and Identity in the 21st Century:
    The Chinese Face Practices. Westport, Ablex Publishing. (Ebrary Academic Complete Non-US)

    Jin, Guantao and Liu, Qingfeng (2009). History of Ideas: The Formation of Modern Chinese Political Terminilogy (in Chinese). Beijing, Law Press.

    Kirkpatrick, Andy, & Xu, Zhichang. (2012). Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers. Fort Collins, Colorado, The WAC Clearninghouse and Anderson, South Carolina, Parlor Press. (on order)

    Li, Zehou. (1999). History of Chinese Thought (in Chinese). He Fei: Anhui Wenyi Chubanshe.

    Li, Jun. (2012). Cultural Foundations of Learning: East and West. New York, Cambridge University Press. (Cambridge University Press Online Books)
    Liu, H. Lydia. (1995) Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity, China, 1900-1937. Stanford, Stanford University Press. (895.1090051 L783t)

    Munro, Donald J. (1969). The Concept of Man in Early China, Stanford, California, Stanford University Press. (100 M968co)

    Munro, Donald J. (1977). The Concept of Man in Contemporary China, Michigan, The University of Michigan Press.  (100 M968c)

    Russell, Betrand. (1946). History of Western Philosophy. London and New York, Routledge. (109 R96.2.R)

    Wolff, Johnathan. (2006). An Introduction to Political Philosophy (revised edition). New York, Oxford University Press. (320.01 W855i 2006)
    Online Learning
    The MyUni site will be used to announce upcoming curricular and extra curricular events and host supplementarymaterial.
    The site will help students and lecturers to communicate outside of class and help students prepare for lectures. Feedback will be given on MyUni Grade Centre.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 X 2-hour lecture (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorial (or equivalent) per week 12 hours per semester
    4 hours reading per week 48 hours per semester
    4 hours assignment/quiz preparation per week 48 hours per semester
    2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester
    TOTAL = 156 hours per semester

    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Introduction
    2 On education and learning: China and West
    3 Individualism, Collectivism and Conceptions of Self: China and West
    4 Liberty and Freedom: China and West
    5 On Human Nature: China and West
    6 Making an Argument: Inductive and Deductive Reasoning and Writing
    7 Relationship, Values and Justice: China and West
    8 Shame and Guilt: China and West
    9 Harmony and Conflict Resolution: China and West
    10 Civilising Processes: China and West
    11 Ancient Thought and Modern Times
    12 Preparing for Take-home Paper
    Specific Course Requirements
    Participation in all classes is compulsory.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small group discovery is an integral part of the learning process. Techniques such as Think-Pair-Share will be used regularly in tutorials. Accumulative snow-balling techniques will be used to learn complex concepts and texts. Peer marking will be used for oral presentations.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    1000 word reflection paper Formative 10% End of Week 4 5, 6
    1000 word annotated bibliography Formative 20% End of Week 11 4, 8, 9
    Oral presentation Formative 20% Week 12 1-3, 5, 7-10
    3000 word take-home paper Summative 50% 30 June 2016 1-10
    Assessment Detail
    1000 word reflection paper: students submit a reflection paper designed to enhance student’s reflexive self-awareness and develop students’ skills to use the concepts learned to explain and analyse cultural differences in writing  - 10% weighting.

    1000 word annotated bibliography: Built on the reflection paper, this assessment encourages students to make the transformation from writing personal reflections to writing analytical papers - 20% weighting.

    Oral resentation: Students give a PPT presentation of their research proposal for their take-home paper, to receive feedback from the lecturer and their fellow students that can be incorporated into their research and writing. - 20% weighting.

    3000 word take-home paper: students will choose a topic, research it thoroughly and present an argument logically and coherently - 50% weighting.

    All the Assignment files (A 4 size PDF or Word files) must be submitted to TURNITIN on MyUni, under the folder “Assessment”. Submission by other means will not be marked.

    Late submission may be allowed in some circumstances at the discretion of the course co-ordinator. However, a penalty of 1 out of 100 points per day will apply unless otherwise exempted due to medical reasons supported by a doctor’s certificate or in compassionate circumstances approved by the co-ordinator.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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