See me after class is a weekly column where a different professor reveals their variety favorites.
Dr. Tao Wang is a child development and cross-cultural parenting studies professor that joined TU faculty in 2005. He received his B.Ed. and M.Ed. in psychology from East China Normal University in Shanghai. Wang went on to receive his Ed.M. in human development and psychology as well as his Ed.D. from Harvard University. Wang is a part of the Chinese American Educational Research and Development Association, the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Educational Research Association. He is a self-proclaimed “pied piper for many kids” and he was a national certified basketball referee about 30 years ago.
What’s your favorite book? What book would you say all undergrads need to read before they graduate?
My favorite book is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. I would suggest all undergrads read “Mindset” by Carol Dweck.
What’s reading like for you? Is there a specific setting, mood, drink set-up?
Reading in my office on weekends is my precious privilege. With a cup of hot green tea and a favorite book, that’s my day.
Is there a movie/show that you always return to?
Forrest Gump is the movie I always return to. Some songs in the movie are very historically provoking.
What was the last book/movie/show that you actually found funny?
Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show about kids is my favorite.
What’s your favorite Tulsa restaurant? Do you have any food/restaurant routines?
Fish Daddy’s Grill House is my favorite. No specific restaurant routines.
Is there a media/pop culture/entertainment/music side to you that students wouldn’t expect?
I am not a music person. But my favorite songs are often outdated for my students. Once I told my students that one of my favorite songs is “Take me home, country roads,” the whole class laughed.
If you had to pick three songs for a Playlist of Your Life, what would they be?
1. Take me home, country roads (John Denver)
2. Yesterday once more (Karen Carpenter)
3. Massachusetts (Bee Gees)
I remember when you gave us anecdotes about your experiences when you first moved to the U.S. during class. Would you like to share your favorite anecdote with the students of TU?
Once after checking my passport at Tulsa International Airport, a security lady smiled at me saying: “Have a good trip.” I replied: “You too.” She laughed and nicely said: “Thank you anyway.”
Can you speak to the challenges and successes you found while writing your book Discipline and Love?
Challenges: to inform ordinary parents of new academic research findings in this area, especially as many findings were in English.
Successes: Many parents like to read this book because it well-integrated research and practice, modern western culture and traditional Chinese culture. They especially like many examples from my own training program.
I know you conducted many workshops for parents learning Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. What motivated you to start these workshops and could you see the impact they made?
This program is a perfect match with my parenting philosophy of Discipline and Love. But it took me a while to make some important modifications to fit Chinese culture and Chinese parents’ needs. It has been run for 7 years now and more than 500 families have participated in this training. I had got several parents reports that at the their children’s first day to preschools or schools they got calls from their teachers who were amazed by their children’s good manners and strong empathy. Many parents have followed my training for more than five years. What touches me is that on my birthday every year, I got more than a hundred greeting cards with pictures of children. I can see how big they were. The number of cards is increasing every year.