Photo: China Youth Daily
A university in Southeastern China has received widespread attention, and it’s not for their main academic offerings, but rather for an elective that could be the first of its kind in the country, China Youth Daily reported.
China University of Mining and Technology in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province now offers Psychology of Love and Relationships, an elective designed to help young adults gain a better understanding the strongest human emotion.
During one recent evening class, Zhang, a teacher’s assistant, held up a placard that read, “Friendship Hint.”
The focus of the class examined the difficulties in understanding how males and females experience love.
So far, the online course, which is streamed live and available to the general public, has generated over a million hits. On the QQ platform it is not uncommon for 20,000 people to tune in. Viewers can leave comments and on this particular evening, someone wrote, “Even with a worm in the belly, I do not know how girls think.”
The class was created by psychology professor Duan Xinxing, who assembled a team and spent two years designing the course and syllabus. When it was first offered, over 600 students signed up.
As Duan explained, most women think that to feel love from someone else, understanding comes first. Instead of speaking directly to their male counterparts when they need help, they insinuate or beat around the bush.
The course also has offline activities and interactive teaching, which helps students acquire a better understanding of love.
The course takes a Marxist approach to understanding love. Students use a book containing 10 chapters on Plato, and there’s 50 video nodes that offer theoretical teaching.
"If students can learn how to handle relationship problems, then they’ll acquire some imparting knowledge. We just want to help them understand the true meaning of love,” Duan said.
The class is focused on actual experience and students are encouraged to share stories from past relationships on topics ranging from love at first sight, unrequited love, long-distance love, and sex.
Although the class is popular, some students have said it is harder than math. By the end of the Spring semester, only half of the 480 students had earned an A.
One assistant, Si Ying, told reporters, "The best thing is to get credit for the class and find love. It helped me find a wonderful girlfriend.”