Talk Politics With Illustrations Teacher of CCU Starts the Lecture

Published on Nov 05 2014

Do you know that picture books can also be used to talk about politics? Associate Professor Liu Cong Wei of Chung Cheng University allow students easy access to political issues using picture books that are closely related to life. Not only is the curriculum is lively and fully demonstrates the multicultural spirit during the discussion, the students were also satisfied with the lectures and the atmosphere of the classroom, so the enrollment number has been full right at the starting of the school.

"Students would not have preconceived ideas by using picture books, and the effect of learning through reflecting from the story is better than direct lecturing." Liu, an associate professor of political science at National Chung Cheng University opened a course of "picture books, novels, and Multicultural Education" this year, each week selecting appropriate picture books from a variety of themes of gender, class, age, ethnicity disease, etc. This helps students clarify political conflicts.

"Nowadays social phenomena are political issues." Liu mentioned Hong Kong's recent movement of occupying the central, cooking oil and other news events, she said that in the famous picture book "Not My Fault" illustrated by Leif Kristiansson, everyone was curious why the bullied child was crying, but no one thought they might also be the indirect injurers. "The public is often indifferent to politics thinking 'that's not my fault,' 'not my thing,' or 'it cannot be changed,' but are we really unaware of it?" Liu expected students to be more concerned about news events and reflect from life after completing this course.

"Like how the role of women being saved was subverted in 'The Grey Prince,' I saw a lot of adults in this class holding a standard of protectionism, in fact, fairy tales are very simple and real, children would not think too much." Huang, a student of political science, and also another student from the department of Adult and Continuing Education Course Department said: "initially everyone is keen to concern a social issue, but often the passion doesn't last long, so, it's only after class will I began to put into action to understand the matter thoroughly."

In addition to paying attention to current events, talking about gender conflict, adapted from the true story of the picture book "Zwei Papas für Tango" described a couple of same-sex penguins in America unable to hatch like the other penguins. When the nurses found out, they thoughtfully put the extra eggs into the penguins' nest. Furthermore, the illustrator has drawn the affection between the penguins and the parent-child interactions of swimming and fishing, reflecting the possibility of the diverse of families. In the more realistic picture book "Arrival," immigrants adapting to a new environment and a new language is portrayed. At the same time, they must survive under discrimination. This is like a microcosm of today's cross-border movement of people.

To make it easy for students to understand politics, Liu Cong Wei, associate professor has designed the curriculum of "Universal political education trilogy," a total of three classes. In addition to picture books and politics, in the Rings "music and politics," students can hear the music of the different periods of Taiwan, and various civil rights movements, the blues during the period of International Communism, old melodies, opera and other works. Why were songs such as the popular "Small Town Lu Gang" censored? This is because in the song, one sentence of the lyrics is "Taipei is not my home," which is inconsistent with the philosophy of the government. In addition, in the final song on "Baseball political science" of the class, Associate Professor Liu also used the history of the major league baseball to probe into social issues of race, color, religion, etc. This is to let the students freely create fiction or comics after observing political phenomena, to bring up their sensitivity towards the attitude of "Politics is everywhere."