Yes! 鮮師/執教40年,走遍全球 Peter OBrien日日創新
2017-08-15  分類:校園新聞
Peter教授與學生們前往義大世界商場進行校外教學。(義守大學提供)/Prof. Peter with his Commercial Recreation course students on a Mystery Shopper field trip exercise at EDA Mall.
Peter教授與義大國際學院院長彭台光多年共事愉快。(義守大學提供)/Prof. Peter and Dr. T.K. Peng.

 從英國、加拿大、澳洲,再至日本等亞洲各國,而後來到台灣,Peter OBrien教授走遍全球,如今落腳義守大學國際學院 ; 擁有教育及人力資源管理雙博士學位的他,從事教學工作超過40年,但對Peter而言,今日彷彿是第一天,「每一天都是新鮮的」!

 7年前,Peter教授應義守大學國際學院邀請,從日本轉赴臺灣服務,擔任「國際學院國際觀餐系」的系主任,在那之前,他已經在日本任教多年,主要從事管理與英文教學,「我喜歡接受新挑戰,期待創造新可能性,對臺灣也感到好奇」,因此選擇到義大,並參與國際、管理與觀餐三學院合組的團隊,於2016年初獲得AACSB認證,創下一所大學同時三學院通過的世界新紀錄。

 一晃眼,兩千多個日子過去了,Peter教授仍不改其初衷,即使暑假期間,也見他頻繁出現於校園中,遊走於教職員間,或忙於備課 ; 國際學院彭院長表示,「Peter教授熱心於行政、教學事務,樂於幫助人,非常有耐心」,除了備受學生喜愛,老師們也經常向他請益,「他尤其擅長引經據典」,知識淵博不在話下。

 義大國際學院聘請來自14個國家的外師,招收超過三成境外生,比例且持續增加中,校園國際化有目共睹,國際學生能量為全臺前三名;長期觀察臺灣學生,Peter教授認為臺灣學生普遍較不懂得表達自己,即使英文能力不差,卻羞於展現,因此在課堂上,他總是鼓勵學生多參與、發言,即使學生回答不正確,也不會當場指責,但會藉由舉例引導,讓學生跟進理解。

 Peter教授指出,「我不批判學生的回答」,對他來說,學生就是來學習的,而且學習需要一段歷程,相反的,「教學是一連串引導學習的活動設計」,老師有義務引導與帶領學生成長;不過,在課堂管理上,Peter教授可是相當堅守原則,「事先訂好一套規範是必要的」,累積世界各國教學經驗,他發現,學生通常並非故意犯錯,而是「不知道自己行為不妥當」。

 此外,很多大學教授苦於學生上課滑手機、不專心聽講,但Peter卻強調「提醒學生課堂上為自己負責」,因為學校裡的表現,將影響未來職場信譽,尤其不少企業聘用新人,會希望求職者提供推薦信的要求,在學生應關心「如何讓自己成為值得被推薦的人」。

 聊起教學哲學,「爭取學生的信任感是重要的」,Peter說,當學生信任老師,就會願意接近討論,如此雙方才能產生良性互動 ; 而因應來自不同國家地區、種族或家庭成員需求,每一堂課講授內容都不盡相同,他認為「世界在變,教案理當改變」,隨時吸收新知與觀察趨勢演變、充實與更新教案,對師生都很重要,更成為他每天的功課與樂趣。

 「活著就是學習 (Living is all about learning)」,Peter教授把這句話視為座右銘、人生信念,尤其老師這志業,能藉由工作不斷吸收新知與接觸新族群,對他來說「非常棒!」,樂此不疲,無怪乎40年如一日,每一天都是新的開始,並歡迎更多來自全球各地學生加入義大這大家庭。

"Teaching over 40 years, travelling all over the world

Professor Peter OBrien looks forward to each new day."

 From the UK to Canada, Australia, and Japan, before coming to Taiwan, Professor Peter OBrien has taught for over 40 years. It’s an amazing number – 40 years – but he still enjoys his teaching career and feels “every day is a brand new day “.

 Seven years ago, Professor Peter was invited by I-SHOU University to Taiwan. He has been teaching at the International College since then. Before that, he taught in Japan for many years and, having spent part of his childhood and adolescence in Pakistan and Singapore as well as having taught for several semesters in the Philippines, he is used to Asian lifestyles.

 Professor Peter said, “I like to challenge myself and design different teaching ways for different groups”, that’s why he made the decision to come here, to be part of creating a new possibility for him and for the ISU campus. When sharing his philosophy of teaching, Professor Peter said “I never criticize my students’ answers.” It sounds odd but he explained, “For me, the students make mistakes not intentionally,” but because no-one explained to them what would be the right way. He explained, though, that he does criticize students behavior when it is unprofessional, adding that a perceived lack of professionalism among graduates is a global complaint among recruiters and employers.

 “Teaching is a system of actions intended to induce learning,” Professor Peter considers, meaning that he sees himself as responsible for teaching but that learning is something that students have to do for themselves, and that this may take place outside the classroom as well as in it. That means “a teacher should CREATE the situation for the students.” During his classes, he contacts all kinds of students from different ethnic groups, countries, ages and so on. To design different approaches for different levels of student maturity is necessary.

 In the classroom, Professor Peter tries to encourage students to participate more. Students should learn to be responsible for themselves, while teachers should draw up a set of rules for class management, he emphasized. In his eyes, Taiwanese freshman students tend to be shy to present themselves, so he always encourages them to participate more, whereas seniors become accustomed to contributing to classroom sessions.

 Learning is a long-term process, Professor Peter said. At first, he tries to get students to trust him. “If they trust you, they would come to you, and we could discuss more.” To help students be more confident is important, especially for Taiwan students, Professor Peter considered. Second, He modifies his teaching materials frequently. “The world changes, knowledge changes, you have got to change.” Teachers definitely have to keep up with the global stream. “Train students to prepare and deal with the changes is teacher’s duty.” Professor Peter said. Therefore, he reads and collects news to renew their teaching materials often. In that, that’s why he enjoys this vocation so much. To him, “Living is all about Learning.” When he teaches, in the meantime, he learns.

 Even though over four decades, Professor Peter still enjoys every lesson and looks forward to helping students better. “I expect to be the best person I can be.” Even now, he is very curious and open about everything new. Seeing through Professor Peter’s eyes, people around him would stay positive and be willing to learn.