Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MOOc, MOOc, Mao, Mao

From Inside Higher Ed:

Mao's MOOC Rehabilitation

EdX, provider of massive open online courses (MOOcs), hosts an assortment of offerings on Chinese history. There's The Study of Folklore from Peking University, a look at international politics from Seoul National University and a five-part series on everything from aristocratic culture to neo-Confucianism from Harvard University. One course, from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University, focuses specifically on Mao Zedong, his philosophies and role in China’s “socialist transformation.”

That course is raising eyebrows because, despite hours of video lectures and supplemental material in the course, students would still have to tab over to Wikipedia to learn about the millions who died as a result of Mao’s land reforms or that his economic initiatives led to what may have been the greatest famine in human history, which killed tens of millions. Introduction to Mao Zedong Thought references those events glancingly in passing as “mistakes,” and generally heaps praise on Mao and his philosophies. “Mao Zedong was a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary strategist and theorist,” intones Wuzhong Feng, associate professor of Marxist studies at Tsinghua University, in one of the course's earlier video lectures...

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