Research on Innovative Approaches to Ideological and Political Education in Martial Arts Courses in Chinese Universities within the Context of Moral Education
Moral education and talent cultivation are fundamental imperatives for higher education institutions, especially in the context of inheriting and promoting traditional Chinese martial arts culture. Martial arts, deeply entrenched in Chinese heritage, not only symbolize a traditional sport but also constitute a vital component of university physical education programs. Recognizing the educational value of martial arts courses and establishing a national traditional physical education curriculum infused with Chinese characteristics are pivotal for advancing ideological and political education within university curricula and enriching their content. This paper delves into the realm of ideological and political education within university martial arts courses, employing methods such as literature review, expert interviews, and systematic analysis to comprehensively evaluate its intrinsic value. Addressing prevailing challenges and complexities in ideological and political education in university martial arts courses, while embracing the traditional sporting essence of martial arts, this paper introduces innovative pathways to effectively preserve and propagate the essence of traditional Chinese culture. The objective is to contribute significantly to the development of a culturally and athletically robust nation while fulfilling the fundamental goals of moral education and talent cultivation.
Education is widely recognized as the bedrock of a nation's prosperity and the reinvigoration of its culture. In China, "Moral Education and Cultivating People" has been established as the fundamental mission of education, with the cultivation of students' core qualities at the forefront of educational priorities. The objective is to shape individuals with both moral integrity and competence, aligning with the historical direction of societal development and the pressing needs of contemporary society. The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China explicitly designated "Moral Education and Cultivating People" as the basic task of education in November 2012. This directive aimed to enhance and fortify educational efforts in schools, focusing on cultivating well-rounded individuals with development in morality, intelligence, physique, and aesthetics, in harmony with the requisites of China's socialist construction. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized during the National Conference on Ideological and Political Work in Colleges and Universities in December 2016 that "Moral Education and Cultivating People" should form the core, permeating the entire education and teaching process. This envisions achieving full-cycle education and all-round student development, striving to create a new paradigm for higher education in China .On February 27, 2017, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the "Opinions on Strengthening and Improving Ideological and Political Work in Colleges and Universities under the New Situation," advocating the principle of "educating everyone, throughout the whole process, and in all respects." This stressed the integration of ideological and value guidance into every aspect of education and teaching, forming a long-term mechanism for education through teaching, research, practice, management, service, culture, and organization . In September 2019, the Ministry of Education issued the "Opinions on Deepening the Reform of Undergraduate Education and Teaching to comprehensively improve the quality of talent training," explicitly stating that "the construction of curriculum ideological and political education should be a key link in implementing the fundamental task of Moral Education and Cultivating People". Further emphasizing this, in May 2020, the Ministry of Education issued the "Guidelines for the Construction of Ideological and Political Education in Higher Education Institutions," highlighting that "the construction of curriculum ideological and political education should be comprehensively promoted in all universities and all disciplines" . This underscored the nation's emphasis on constructing "curriculum ideological and political education" in universities as a pivotal link in realizing the fundamental task of "Moral Education and Cultivating People." The implementation of this construction, anchored in the foundation of "Moral Education and Cultivating People," and deeply comprehending its connotation and significance from a strategic perspective, holds profound strategic importance in shaping a traditional ethnic sports curriculum with distinctive Chinese characteristics and realizing the fundamental task of Moral Education and Cultivating People.
Chinese martial arts, steeped in a history of thousands of years, embody rich cultural significance and are an integral part of Chinese culture. Integrating martial arts into higher education, particularly through the construction of ideological and political education in martial arts courses, can advance a project for the inheritance of Chinese culture. It can promote the preservation and flourishing of outstanding traditional Chinese culture, bearing immense historical and contemporary relevance. The ideological, moral, and national spirit progressively converging within martial arts constitute the core values of Chinese martial arts. These values encompass patriotism, inclusivity, progressiveness, friendliness, and more, playing a pivotal role in shaping contemporary students' ideological and moral concepts and values. Through the construction of ideological and political education in martial arts courses, these spiritual values can be imparted to students, aiding them in comprehending and practicing these values, thereby enhancing their overall quality. The construction of ideological and political education in martial arts courses is not merely a vehicle for martial arts education in higher education but also a critical approach to cultivate well-rounded socialist builders and successors in morality, intelligence, physique, and aesthetics. By promoting the spirit of martial virtue in Chinese culture, it can not only facilitate the inheritance and development of Chinese martial arts but also contribute to nurturing high-quality talents aligned with societal needs. Additionally, this approach serves as a vital avenue to showcase Chinese national characteristics, preserve Chinese culture, and enhance the country's cultural soft power.
The Contemporary Relevance of Universities Integrating Martial Arts Curriculum for Ideological and Political Education
Embracing the Educational Philosophy of Martial Arts
General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized at the National Education Conference that the concept of moral education, aimed at nurturing individuals with sound moral character, should be seamlessly integrated into various aspects of ideological, moral, cultural, and practical social education. Martial arts, as a traditional sports discipline of the Chinese nation, encapsulate profound Chinese cultural connotations and mirror the unique spirit of Chinese culture. The promotion of martial arts emphasizes not only physical health and combat skills but also morality and a balance of literary and martial arts skills. Martial virtue (Wude) is a spiritual quality expected of martial artists, encompassing attributes such as integrity, courage, respect, humility, and a strong sense of morality. Martial virtue plays a vital role in regulating ethical relationships, governing moral conduct, nurturing moral beliefs, and shaping moral ideals. It is an intrinsic ethical standard adhered to by martial practitioners throughout the practice of martial arts routines. The martial virtue culture embodies a spirit of patriotism, vigor, inclusiveness, and other virtues, reflecting the spiritual values of the Chinese nation. It has a positive impact on implementing ideological and political education in martial arts courses at universities.
In university physical education courses, the goal of martial arts instruction extends beyond the development of students' physical fitness and combat skills; it is paramount in shaping an individual's character, moral sense, and sense of responsibility. By using professional skills as a carrier and incorporating theoretical knowledge into technical instruction, knowledge can be vertically linked through thematic teaching. Therefore, the curriculum should encompass teachings on value concepts, philosophical thoughts, logic of routines, meanings of attack and defense techniques, hero stories, and aesthetic aspects of movement and attire within martial arts. In the design of classroom content, students should be educated on patriotism, the inheritance and promotion of outstanding traditional culture, and the comprehensive development of character and skills. Martial virtue is not only a code of conduct followed by martial artists but also a moral standard. Incorporating moral education into ideological and political education in martial arts courses at universities can cultivate students' awareness of patriotism, an enterprising and inclusive spirit, and enhance their sense of teamwork. Promoting the resurgence of martial virtue culture aims to cultivate a new generation of youth who are active, innovative, and courageous while nurturing individuals with sound moral character.
Cultivating Ethnic Cultural Identity
General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out at the National Conference on Ideological and Political Work in Universities: "The duty of teachers is to disseminate knowledge, disseminate ideas, disseminate truth, and it is the work of shaping souls, shaping lives, and shaping new individuals." Ideological and political education in the curriculum is not only the task of ideological and political teachers, but all subject teachers should actively participate. This is an essential aspect of fulfilling their educational responsibilities. Martial arts, as a traditional sports discipline of the Chinese nation, represent one of the practical carriers for inheriting and developing the splendid historical and cultural heritage of the Chinese nation and promoting the national spirit in universities. The responsibility of teachers is to impart knowledge, disseminate ideas, and simultaneously stimulate students' interest in learning through classroom teaching. By integrating martial arts culture with the concept of "harmony between man and nature," contemporary value can be unleashed from martial arts education at universities, achieving the educational goal of martial arts courses: "cultivating the self through martial arts and fostering cultural individuals."
Martial arts play a crucial role in university physical education courses, with the curriculum primarily focusing on martial arts classroom teaching supplemented by extracurricular martial arts exercises and related martial arts cultural activities. The aim is to inherit traditional Chinese culture and achieve the goal of imparting knowledge and guiding values. Martial arts embody rich ideological and political education resources, emphasizing elements of morality, virtues, etiquette, harmony, upholding justice, and courage in the face of right and wrong. It holds a clear educational value function. The inheritance of martial arts culture is reflected in the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty, aligning with the perspective of nurturing individuals with sound moral character. It emphasizes the cultivation of both inner and outer qualities, not only focusing on physical fitness but also placing great emphasis on inner composure and tranquility, embodying the characteristics of traditional Chinese culture and reflecting the fundamental spirit of continuous self-improvement and carrying virtues to contribute to society.
Challenges in Integrating Martial Arts Curriculum with Ideological and Political Education in Higher Education
Lack of Clarity in Ideological and Political Objectives
Teaching objectives are fundamental to excellent teaching outcomes, serving as both the starting point and the destination of teaching activities. In the context of higher education martial arts curriculum integrating ideological and political aspects, the objectives extend beyond imparting martial arts knowledge and cultivating martial arts skills. They encompass a comprehensive educational objective that integrates value shaping, knowledge transfer, and skill development. However, in practical teaching, due to the predominant focus on explicit objectives such as knowledge transfer and skill development, implicit ideological and political requirements may be overlooked. This imbalance results in a notable emphasis on specific objectives, weakening the overall impact and not fully showcasing its educative nature.
Teaching objectives possess strong guiding properties. If martial arts instructors lack a thorough understanding of the ideological and political aspects embedded in the objectives, they may lack corresponding teaching methods and supportive mechanisms in specific martial arts teaching. Consequently, the formulated teaching objectives lose their guiding effect, rendering them hollow. Some instructors, although aware of the importance of ideological and political education within the curriculum, may have an incomplete understanding of the educative philosophy of ideological and political teaching. They may struggle to identify the appropriate integration points between specialized courses and ideological and political education, resulting in rigid and unsuitable teaching objectives, thereby affecting teaching effectiveness. Only by giving due attention to the educative orientation within the teaching objectives and faithfully implementing them can we better accomplish the task of moral and intellectual education. To effectively guide the value orientation of ideological and political integration within higher education martial arts curriculum from the outset, a comprehensive understanding of the educative nature of these objectives is essential. Furthermore, employing appropriate teaching strategies is crucial to ensure the effective implementation of these objectives.
Insufficient Exploration of Ideological and Political Contents
Ideological and political integration in higher education martial arts curriculum involves infusing ideological and political implications into the martial arts educational process. Therefore, it is essential to delve into the educative contents within the martial arts curriculum, broaden the educative scope, and enhance the unique educational role of ideological and political integration within the specialized curriculum. Currently, in the practical construction of martial arts curriculum with ideological and political integration, the fusion of ideological and political contents with martial arts knowledge is not closely tied, resulting in a separation between martial arts and ideological and political education. This is because the martial arts specialized textbooks do not clearly construct ideological and political educative contents, and some martial arts instructors have knowledge limitations that hinder in-depth exploration of ideological and political educative contents within martial arts textbooks. As a result, ideological and political discussions often become detached from the teaching content, and the integration of ideological and political elements with the teaching content does not form an organic whole. It is common to see ideological and political elements existing independently in the teaching. Additionally, martial arts instructors have a good grasp of dynamic explicit specialized knowledge but struggle with integrating static implicit ideological and political contents, resulting in superficial, simplistic, and fragmented ideological and political contents in public physical education martial arts courses. In these classes, only specialized knowledge is taught, occasionally interspersed with "ideological and political" contents, making it appear disjointed and significantly reducing the educative effectiveness of ideological and political integration in public physical education martial arts courses. Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen the overall construction of ideological and political knowledge content structure in higher education public physical education martial arts courses, allowing students to receive a balanced exposure to ideological and political educative contents while acquiring martial arts knowledge.
Relying on Singular Teaching Methods and Approaches
Utilizing a single, fixed teaching method during the teaching process may restrict the overall quality of classroom instruction. Currently, most universities still rely on traditional teaching methods for ideological and political integration in martial arts courses, primarily emphasizing explanation, demonstration, and error correction through practice. This approach confines students to a fixed, one-way teaching model, where they passively listen to the teacher's explanation and analysis of martial arts techniques, observe the teacher's demonstration, and then imitate and learn, ultimately corrected by the teacher. Although this teacher-centered, unidirectional, instructional approach can quickly accomplish certain explicit and specific teaching tasks, it has become the dominant teaching method in education that has persisted to this day.
However, with the advancement of time and progress in higher education, this traditional teaching method has revealed several shortcomings. Firstly, this teaching method struggles to fulfill the implicit educative requirements of ideological and political integration in the curriculum, resulting in limited educative effects. Secondly, teachers tend to be conservative in their teaching methods and lack innovation, failing to effectively integrate new teaching tasks and educational philosophies to update their teaching methods. This leads to insufficient integration of ideological and political content into martial arts instruction, preventing students from fully understanding the deeper meanings and ideological values of martial arts. Consequently, students lack enthusiasm when studying martial arts, making it difficult to achieve the anticipated educative teaching requirements. This traditional and conservative teaching approach also renders classroom instruction lacking in distinctiveness and freshness, making it challenging to stimulate students' interest and attention. Students may lack a subjective sense of ideological and political integration in the curriculum, significantly diminishing the intended educative effects of "internalization in heart, externalization in behavior" as emphasized by ideological and political education.
Research on Innovative Paths of Ideological and Political Integration in University Martial Arts Courses Under the Concept of Moral Education and Talent Cultivation
Embracing a People-Oriented Approach for Holistic Student Development
Contemporary college students are characterized by their curiosity for new experiences, a strong desire for knowledge, and a willingness to explore the unknown. Ideal and moral education should be an integral part of self-development and problem-solving. Within the context of martial arts classroom teaching, considering the physical and mental characteristics of college students is vital. Transforming physical skills and theoretical knowledge into tools to cultivate students' internal moral qualities is significant for ideological and political integration. Guiding students to explore literature and artistic works broadens their horizons. Many literary works depict vivid martial arts characters, and the heroic spirit portrayed in classic film and television works captivates contemporary college students, enhancing cultural identity and inspiring them to enthusiastically learn martial arts skills. This fosters active thinking, research, analysis, and problem-solving using dialectical thinking, meeting their thirst for knowledge and aligning with the university's goal of nurturing well-rounded individuals.
Developing expertise in martial arts demands long-term and rigorous training, requiring perseverance and determination. Implementing ideological and political education in the curriculum, particularly during technical learning, enhances students' self-confidence, national pride, and mastery of techniques like routines, sparring, Tai Chi, and fitness qigong. In curriculum design and the teaching process, exploring innovative methods is essential to stimulate students' creative thinking, encourage their independent learning and thinking, and make the curriculum's ideological and political integration dynamic and creative. Combining ideological and political education with technical instruction strengthens students' awareness of ideology and politics, enhancing their sense of social honor and responsibility, truly achieving the curriculum's goal of imparting knowledge and guiding values. Leveraging the advantages of multiple martial arts courses for ideological and political integration in the martial arts classroom, consciously guiding students to observe and actively identify problems, encouraging their active participation in martial arts competitions, ignites their enthusiasm, enhancing students' cultural self-confidence and achieving the all-course, all-round educational goals.
Enhancing the Teaching Environment for Synergistic Learning
Utilizing campus club platforms, social practice platforms, entrepreneurial and innovative platforms, etc., in conjunction with martial arts classroom teaching, enhances students' practical teaching abilities. Teachers can utilize the implicit value function of martial arts classrooms to guide students in developing value orientations that align with societal needs. Optimizing the teaching environment, including proper attire and equipment, significantly influences students' support and engagement. Multimedia devices and innovative teaching methods, combined with a favorable classroom atmosphere, enrich teaching content and enhance students' interest in learning. Innovating martial arts classroom teaching methods, clarifying teaching objectives, optimizing the teaching environment, and presenting the curriculum in ways that students enjoy result in excellent teaching outcomes. Leveraging the advantageous resources of various institutions, actively developing diversified martial arts teaching and competition activities, encouraging students to actively participate in social practices, and striving for effective allocation and utilization of educational resources provide high-quality educational resources and services for students, continuously improving the educational environment to meet the evolving needs of students. Highlighting the importance of practice in martial arts classroom teaching enhances students' learning, practical, and innovative abilities, contributing to social service. Establishing a series of internship and practical platforms and mechanisms provides students with more opportunities to participate in social practices, truly applying what they've learned to real-life situations.
Strengthening Martial Virtue Education for a New Ideological and Political Education Model
The concept of "fostering virtue and nurturing talent" prioritizes moral education in higher education, integrating ideological and political education with moral cultivation in teaching activities, with the goal of nurturing contemporary youth. Martial arts classrooms serve as pivotal platforms for martial and moral education. Actively leveraging the advantages of classroom educational resources, establishing distinctive martial and moral education-oriented classrooms, and formulating a curriculum that integrates ideological and political education promote the inheritance and development of martial and moral education. The quality of instruction in martial arts classrooms significantly impacts the effectiveness of moral education. Integrating martial moral culture resources comprehensively, creating a positive and dynamic teaching atmosphere, and enhancing classroom teaching quality are essential. Establishing "martial morality" featured classrooms guided by traditional Chinese martial moral culture is a crucial step. The content design of these classrooms focuses on holistic education, encompassing martial arts cognition, martial arts competence, and martial arts ethics. The aim is to elevate students' martial arts combat capabilities and ideological and moral cultivation, constructing a trinity of moral education, health, and cultural inheritance. Within the perspective of fostering virtue and nurturing talent, martial moral education serves as a carrier. Through the exposition of elements such as "benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, trust, and courage" in martial moral culture, with students at the core, their interest in learning is ignited, fostering a positive and uplifting martial moral culture ambiance. This approach helps in crafting and manifesting classrooms that embody the essential spirit of martial morality, promoting the comprehensive development of contemporary students in morality, intelligence, physical fitness, aesthetics, and labor skills. Adopting a "dual-track" teaching model involving online learning after class, offline practice, and student-led sharing during class with teacher-assisted teaching, effectively enhances the educative role of classrooms featuring distinctive Chinese martial moral characteristics.
Establishing an Assessment Mechanism to Stimulate Intrinsic Motivation for Teachers and Students
Traditional assessment methods in martial arts classes often focus solely on students' academic performance, overlooking individual strengths and potential development. Introducing relevant policies and evaluation mechanisms to comprehensively assess students' performance in martial arts courses encourages specialized instructors to delve into the ideological and political elements in martial arts courses. These policies and mechanisms should also enhance corresponding incentive and evaluation mechanisms to drive the implementation of ideological and political education in university martial arts courses. Furthermore, comprehensive assessment should be introduced, encouraging instructors to pay more attention to the ideological and political education of college students. Universities can act as organizing bodies to help instructors gain a deeper understanding and mastery of the spiritual connotations of ideological and political education in the curriculum and organically integrate these contents into classroom teaching. Establishing relevant evaluation indicators and continuously improving teaching quality to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of ideological and political education implementation is essential. Universities, as the implementing bodies, should coordinate and guide the construction of ideological and political education for various disciplines to ensure the smooth implementation of ideological and political education in each professional course. Additionally, universities can establish reasonable assessment and evaluation mechanisms and development plans for ideological and political education in university martial arts courses to prompt instructors to pay more attention to the ideological and political education of college students. The university can formulate appropriate assessment and evaluation mechanisms according to the actual situation to supervise and promote the effective implementation of ideological and political education. To enhance teachers' ability in ideological and political education, universities can actively organize teachers to participate in discussions and training related to ideological and political education in martial arts courses and establish corresponding evaluation mechanisms to improve teachers' level of implementing ideological and political education in courses. Additionally, universities should actively conduct ideological and political education to enhance the comprehensive quality of martial arts teachers. When selecting ideological and political elements, teachers can cleverly combine traditional Chinese national sports with contemporary college students' aesthetics. Through various forms of communication, they can better integrate ideological and political education content into martial arts courses, so that students can receive ideological and moral education while studying knowledge.
Integrating Chinese martial arts culture, embodying its contemporary relevance and progressiveness, into the cultural framework of universities is an ongoing and crucial effort in advancing the ideological and political development within higher education. Higher education plays a pivotal role as a conduit for upholding China's rich traditional culture and fostering a strong national spirit. It must not only disseminate the positive essence of martial arts but also bolster students' confidence in traditional culture and national unity. Fulfilling the fundamental mission of nurturing virtue and cultivating individuals necessitates active and precise value guidance.
This paper is supported by Lingnan Normal University, including the 2021 Annual School-level Ideological and Political Demonstration Teaching Team, "Ideological and Political Teaching Team of Martial Arts and Traditional National Sports," the 2022 Annual School-level Ideological and Political Demonstration Class, "Specialized Martial Arts (First Section of 42-style Tai Chi)," and the 2023 Annual School-level Ideological and Political Demonstration Course, "Basic Martial Arts."
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