My role as a history teacher is to equip students with the ability to distinguish between historical facts and interpretations and recognize how facts could be suppressed, overstressed, or misrepresented in both historical writings and political discourse. This ability is necessary for students to become a critical citizen in our globalized twenty-first century, when information at different levels of authenticity explodes and widely circulates.
As an Asian studies teacher I highlight the importance of transcending the national boundary in scholarly narratives and focus on the nexus of interactions between different peoples at local, regional, countrywide, and transnational levels. This pedagogy evolves from my research on Asia’s maritime world, where seafaring activities such as fishery, smuggling, and piracy were often transregional in nature and not restricted by political-administrative demarcations.
Growing up in Hong Kong and having acquired academic experience in East Asia, Britain, and North America, I appreciate that different voices from students with various racial, cultural, and gender orientations exist in the classroom. To make it inclusive, I welcome less-privileged students to speak up, not allowing them to be silenced.