Teaching with teddy bears: Lecturer uses stuffed animals to engage classes

Published: November 20, 2019
Quyen Di Chuc Bui posing with a stuffed animalCourtesy of the Daily Bruin.

Every day, professors look for new ways to encourage active participation in their classes. Quyen Di Chuc Bui takes a unique approach.

When teaching his introductory Vietnamese courses, the UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures lecturer hands out stuffed animals to his students as a way of motivating and rewarding them for their work.

After a Twitter video of his teaching method went viral with over 7.7 million views and counting, Chuc Bui found himself in the spotlight.

In the viral Twitter video, Chuc Bui counts more than five stuffed animals that he plans to hand out to students during a single class. Even for his more advanced courses, Chuc Bui tells the Daily Bruin that he likes to bring his students food such as spring rolls and java apples.

Chuc Bui’s style of lecturing shows how kindness and generosity can go a long way in higher education.

“I think the way to the heart is shorter than the way to the mind,” Chuc Bui said in an interview with the Daily Bruin. “So I get my students’ heart first, then I get their mind.”

Watch the viral video and read how students have reacted to Chuc Bui’s stuffed animals in the Daily Bruin article.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Bruin.

By Jasdy Perillo