Dr Lindahl Teaches and Learns about Change in China
CHICAGO, IL (July 5, 2010) – Dr. Wesley Lindahl, Dean of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management, recently returned from Guangzhou, China, where he taught a two-week intensive change management course with 20 MBA students at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. This visit was a trial run for what North Park University hopes will be an ongoing relationship of culture and education exchange with several Chinese universities. “It was a very successful visit,” says Lindahl. “They invited me back, and they’d like to host more North Park faculty members.”
The tagline of Guangdong University’s MBA program is “Global Vision, Instruction in English”. Beyond teaching the course in English, Lindahl also used the interactive teaching methods so common in American classrooms, a style with which most Chinese students are unfamiliar. “They’re used to the lecture format,” Lindahl explains. “It’s not common for them to ask questions or participate during class. So it took us a while to get going, but at the end, they said they prefer the interactive style.”
The course offered numerous experiential learning activities, such as discussion groups, video viewing and discussion, and mini presentations. The winners of a class presentation contest won Chicago Bulls hats. Lindahl says, “They enjoyed having the opportunity to contribute and experience the camaraderie of teamwork.”
In addition to teaching the course, Lindahl delivered two lectures, one on higher education in the US to about 80 undergraduate English and education majors, and another on change management to about 40 MBA students. Wen Yang, a Chinese student who took Lindahl’s change management class in the US and earned her MBA from North Park in May visited the class one day to act as liaison.
Lindahl is pictured with students who attended the lecture on higher education (top left), Prof. Fang Fanquan, Vice President of Guangdong Unversity of Foreign Studies (center left), and MBA students in the classroom (bottom left).
Dr. Lindahl and his wife Deb also enjoyed a weekend trip to Hong Kong, where they went hiking in the mountains and sampled Chinese fare. “This was a very positive experience,” says Lindahl. “It expands the worldview of our students and theirs, and it increased my awareness of the rapid change in the world.”