Netizens Praise Old-fashioned Teaching Way
   2011-11-13 21:03:41      Web Editor: yangyang66

Yu Xiangshun, a professor of Chinese literature at Nanjing Normal University, uses handwritten notes on a blackboard to explain a poem by Dufu. [Photo: Yangzi Evening News]

A university professor in Nanjing has won the praise of netizens across China by emphasizing handwriting in his classes instead of PowerPoint presentations, the "Yangtze Evening News" reports.

Yu Xiangshun, who teaches ancient Chinese literature at Nanjing Normal University, writes poems and prose in large characters with chalk on a blackboard during his classes. He writes characters as large as a human hand across two blackboards while teaching.

Netizens on Sina Weibo and Renren, China's social networking sites, have praised Yu's exquisite, willowy style of writing and posted pictures of it online.

Yu said he has chosen handwriting over modern presentations using PowerPoint to show the aesthetic sense and core of ancient Chinese literature.

"After 16 years of teaching, my handwriting with chalk has improved a little," Yu said when explaining why his script has become popular online.

One of Yu's former students surnamed Wang praised her teacher's handwriting as a form of art.

"Every one of his students remembers his elegant handwritten script," Wang said. "We adored his attitude and manner of teaching."

Yu's teaching method is an anomaly as most of his peers prefer using computer-generated presentations to save time and energy in accordance with the modernization of education.

According to a survey conducted at five universities, including Nanjing University, Nanjing Normal University and Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, about 80 percent of university teachers said they used PowerPoint presentations in their classes, while only 20 percent still used chalk and blackboards.

One young teacher in Nanjing said he wanted to use traditional teaching methods when he began his career, but with the rapidly developing pace of electronic readers and computer-generated reports he sometimes forgot how to write certain Chinese characters during class and was mocked by his students. As a result, he started using PowerPoint presentations in his classes.

Many college students have also shunned taking notes by hand in classes and now rely on cameras and memory sticks to record material.

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