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To go, to think

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Peking University, June 3, 2011: A book featuring PKU students’ practical experiences has been published.


As a collection of works from the university’s student associations, the book To go and to think records students’ achievements and thoughts during their summer social practices - or community work with Chinese characteristics.


To go and to think


Student volunteer at community work


“Learn from practices and from the people,” the PKU Youth League Committee and the Student Extracurricular Activities Guidance Center, the publisher, called on the students.


With a unique perspective from student associations and their members, the book involves a wide range of topics like new rural community construction, environmental protection, economic growth, and local culture. It is made up of over 30 pieces of teams’ research reports, summaries, and essays during summer social practices in 2009 and 2010.


In the past few years, PKU social practice teams have been to mountainous areas near the source of the Yellow River, and southeast part of southwest China’s Guizhou Province, as volunteer teachers and investigators. Their footprints have almost covered half of China.


During summer social practices, they introduce the outside world to children who live in remote, mountainous areas; they free themselves from their ivory tower and express their real selves to society. From new rural community construction to promotion of teaching methods, from ecological protection to cultural heritage conservation, they go all out applying what they have learnt to practice. As a matter of fact, they have found that they learn more from society than what they had offered themselves.


Social practices allow PKU students to face real social problems, touch more, feel more, think more, and be more than an armchair strategist. Communication with local residents broadens their horizons with creative ideas and thoughts.


Student associations provide a significant platform for “Second Class” at PKU. Social practices offer the associations a broader space for development when the latter achieves “Self-Education, Self-Management, Self-Service” on the former stage. Since the 1990s, PKU’s student associations have taken up social practices. The popular Love Heart Society and Mountaineering Association are two pioneers. To date, the Love Heart Society has organized 16 summer expeditions to the country’s remote areas for half a month’s volunteering teaching; they have visited over 200 schools and walked over 60,000 kilometers, which can make one and a half circle around the earth. Meanwhile, since 1991, the Mountaineering Association has started its scientific research named “Care for Tibet, Care for the people.” They walked across Tibet, meeting local people. Not only has they gained the first-hand experience of the region, but also learnt from the arduous conditions.


The PKU Youth League Committee and Student Extracurricular Activities Guidance Center pledge to further organize such activities to facilitate students to have an insight into the grassroots, rural areas, and the underdeveloped west China.



Extended Reading:

President Hu writes in support of volunteer teaching service



Witten by: Qian Xin

Edited by: Jacques

Source: PKU News (Chinese)