Reflections on Palmquist, S. 2004. Kant’s Ideal of the University as a Model for World Peace. In International Conference on 200 Years after Kant.

The concept of a World Citizenship is intriguing. The philosopher attempts to use debates to bring different genres of people together. Such diversity seems to be conflicting and he seems to look at it from a very different and holistic view. I felt he is an idealist and is optimistic when he writes this.

I like the way he describes the idea of an open conflict which is the basis for a peaceful and creative debate in academia. This was a regulated attempt to celebrate “diversity” and I think this metaphor is very appropriate for today.

Kant also mentions retrogression, progression and stagnation. A concept where he sees experience as constantly evolving and generating a moral “reasoning”

In these writings, we can see Kant’s influences for the last 200 years. I wonder if we can apply some those concepts today and what can we learn from there? From that period until now, there has been increased tensions, resulting in war and terrorist activities. I have learnt that universities can be seen as instruments of peace, bringing the balance back and embracing mutual respect.

Reflections on Whitehead, A.N. 1929. Universities and their Function. In the Aims of Education and other essays. The Free Press. pp91-101

These writings are refreshing for me as it describes the histories of some of the most elitist colleges in UK and US. This is written at the time when the business school is starting in Harvard.

I want to bring your attention to the point where he says that a way to connect between the young and the old is the University. Currently, this is not necessary true as a fair number of students do stay on in their respective academic fraternity after they graduate and gradually turning into key figures.

In some aspects, his thinking is quite ahead of his time in this writing. He “hints” on globalisation and the business effects it has and he sees the results of people moving across borders as good for future generations.

His discussion on “how prolonged work routine dulls the mind of young men….hence, we need to find ways to deter this” is intriguing and I have started to look at what I do from what he said about the imaginative acquisition of knowledge.

He also sees how the scholars, discoverers and inventors can be part of the force that develops into the “Instruments of Progress”, a thinking which I have started to take notice now.

Also, the statement where he says “that some of the more brilliant teachers are not among those who publish” is interesting and applicable, as a practitioner/teacher like me, need to find the balance as i think direct communications with my students is perhaps more approachable than books.

This has reminded me of the 2008 Harvard commencement by JK Rowling, which is also a book: Very good lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the importance of Imagination.

Reflections on Aoun, J. 2017. A Learning Model for the Future. In Higher education in the age of artificial intelligence. MIT Press. pp45-75


This is very relevant today and I felt this is very close to what my interests are. New typologies have emerged as a result of an acceleration in AI technologies and machine learning. The writings mentioned humanics. I think these concepts unifies my thinking on how I can start to leverage some of these in my teachings: marrying technology, data and irreplaceable human “literacy”

The other aspects mentioned were cognitive capacities which highlights critical thinking, systems thinking, entrepreneurship and cultural agility. This has allowed me to look at how we can use these insights to inform my teachings in technical studies where cultural diversity and sensitivity is important in my diverse cohort. I can start to think about how I can use an inclusive approach to deliver a technical lecture.

Our group discussion also highlights that this text is written in a “she” context which is interesting and refreshing. Perhaps, the author has taken an emphatic approach to highlighting situation of more women in technology /STEM subjects.

about KC…

“My teaching area is technical studies in under/postgraduate Product Design/Industrial Design. There are situations where I need to conduct lectures, workshops and tutorials to enable students to use appropriate technology, techniques and technical means to learn and reflect upon their designs.

Each lecture that I give usually has around 70-100 students and they are aligned to a specific unit of study. I hope to gain an in-depth understanding of how to work with a large class student teaching and also perhaps use a different approach to teach international students. My students have various learning capabilities due to this mix. Eventually, I hope to be able to inspire them to reflect upon their learnings and knowledge.”

KC Leong

Product, Ceramics and Industrial Design/BA Product Design/Tech Studies Lead

Spring 2018/PGCert: Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication/Teaching /Learning Cohort B/Academic Leadership