Dr Ping Kwong Kam

Associate Professor
Department of Applied Social Studies

Video Format: wmv | Duration: 00:04:08 | Link to Video


About me

I have been teaching in the City University of Hong Kong for more than 18 years. My focus of teaching is teaching social work courses.

My teaching philosophy

My teaching philosophy includes the following 10 aspects:

  1. (A “social work teacher” rather than just a university teacher )

    First, I treat myself not just as a university teacher but rather a “social work teacher”, and try my best to display the social work characteristics from which students can model.

  2. (Life education )

    Second, I regard my teaching as a life education for students which emphasizes the concept of not teaching the subjects but teaching the student as a person.

  3. (Importance of faith education )

    Third, faith education is very important and I need to help students learn how to hold on to their faith when they are facing challenges and frustrations.

  4. (A caring education )

    Fourth, social work education needs to be a caring education. I try to provide a more supportive and caring environment for students.

  5. (Practise what I teach )

    Fifth, teachers serve as models for students, thus I try to remind myself to behave and practise consistently what I teach.

  6. (Learning by experiencing )

    Sixth, I like to encourage students to have more direct experiences of what they want to know.

  7. (Informal education complementary to formal training)

    Seventh, teaching and learning should not just take place inside the classroom. Out-of-classroom and informal learning activities should be encouraged to complement the formal curriculum.

  8. (Critical and reflective education)

    Eighth, action and reflection are the vital elements in my teaching and I like to help students learn to be more critical and reflective in their thinking.

  9. (An ally or partner with students)

    Ninth, teachers need to play an ally or partner role with their students; that means I try to go through the learning experience together with the students.

  10. (Empowerment-oriented Approach and Strengths-based Approach)

    Finally, the goal of my teaching is to help empower students to become a competent and self-empowering social work professional. To do this, I hold a strong belief in students’ strengths.


Particular teaching experiences & strategies to share

When asked about my remarkable experiences and achievements in teaching, I immediately think of my experience organizing two similar community concern projects for students in two consecutive years 2003 and 2004. These projects are out-of-classroom projects and I used the informal education strategies to complement the formal curriculum, with the aims of helping students develop the faith and mission in social work, helping them learn by experiencing, enhancing their critical and reflective thinking ability and empowering students to become competent and self-empowering professional social workers. Students’ participation was voluntary and I worked with them as a learning partner or ally to promote the public’s awareness of racial discrimination and protect the labour rights of South Asian people in Hong Kong. Both projects lasted for half a year and we did a lot of work together outside of the classroom, such as organizing training for South Asian youths, running street service counters to let South Asian people know about the provision of existing welfare services for South Asian people and introduce them to the labour ordinance, conducted a survey on the situation of racial discrimination and the protection of labour rights among South Asian people, published a booklet on labour ordinance in South Asian language and a research report. Additionally, we organized a press conference to release the findings of the research and held meetings with government officials to express our views and recommendations. These projects had a great impact on students, not only on their professional development but also on their personal development. The results were much better than what I with formal classroom teaching. Students also learnt much about offering care and support to fellow classmates as well as learning how to build up a more cohesive and supportive relationship among one another. Through working with them as a partner, I had the chance to practise in front of them what a social worker should do and this experience gave them a very good model of learning how to aspire to be a passionate and committed social work professional.

Special thanks

My special thanks go to all the nominating students and graduates as they help me collect 98 students’ feedback forms to support my nomination, and all their feedback are very useful and treasurable to help me make use of this selection exercise to review and consolidate my teaching experiences. Their feedback has actually helped me a lot to generate the above-mentioned teaching philosophy. I am also grateful to the 18 colleagues in my department who helped write me the supporting letters and gave me so much encouragement and inspired me to have deeper reflection on my teaching methods and strategies.

Comments or suggestion for the university’s support and promotion of teaching.

I sincerely hope that the university can give our teachers more support and resources in order to allow us to have more time to initiate more personal contacts with students and show more personal concern for students as a person.