Written on February 8, 2008 by DeansTalk in Philosophy

www.SantiagoIniguez.com, Dean of IE Business School

(As I am in Mexico today attending an IE Alumni conference – http://www.globalforum.ie.edu/– at the Four Seasons in Mexico D.F (and being a bit caught for time) I will post the following that I wrote when in Shanghai, attending the Third China-Spain Conference where I spoke about "Educational Tourism".)


>>"This city is a very vivid sample of the pulse
of today’s Chinese society and economy: a vibrant cosmopolitan city
where growth is reflected in the number and size of skyscrapers under
construction. Early today I went to the Bund, the famous boulevard on
the western shore of river Huangpu, and watched through the morning
mist hundreds of people practicing Tai-chi to the rhythm of the same
music, indeed an impressive and somewhat magical spectacle. The
contrast between old traditions and new constructions was self-eloquent.

Western schools, and particularly management training institutions,
can learn a lot from Chinese educational culture. In particular, Confucius
(551-479 BC) stands as an inseparable part of China’s great
civilisation and one of the most influential philosophers and educators
in the world’s history. Confucius teaching methodology was grounded on
searching inwardly, not in setting out a system to imitate, and he
encouraged his students to think, perceive and learn for themselves.
Amazingly, there are many parallelisms between two of the grandest
educators of all times, Confucius and Socrates: they were
contemporaries (around 500 BC), they lived almost the same years -72
and 70, respectively- and they proposed similar learning methodologies,
based on introspection and self-reflection. Confucius used a metaphor
in order to describe those achievers of the desired inwardness: we all
know how to eat and drink, but how many people can truly taste
flavours? Discovering flavours, as other valuable intellectual
enterprises, requires sensitivity, concentration and careful thought."


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