Sowing seeds for social studies

Shirley Lam

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More than 160 Form 6 students and their teachers from 22 Hong Kong secondary schools had their interest in social studies aroused by lectures over the past couple of months organized by the Department of Applied Social Studies.

At the lectures, which were also designed to introduce students to the Department's programmes and admission requirements, academics discussed such issues as: "Stress Management", "Gender Issues in East & South East Asia", "Knowing Your Personality", "Analysis on Youth Problems", "Unemployment: Hong Kong & Asia" and "Eating Disorders". Also speaking at the lectures were three first-year students.

"CityU's Department of Applied Social Studies is different than conventional departments," said Professor Ng Sik-hung, Head of the Department. "We house social work, psychology, and East Asia and Southeast Asian studies under one department.

This generalist approach allows students to learn more about each of the three disciplines before choosing a specialized field at too early a stage. Housing the three disciplines under one roof also ensures consistency which gives more room and freedom for students to nurture their own attitude to academic pursuits and outlook on life."

Academics and students from the Department will now organize school talks scheduled for May and June, which will introduce the social studies programmes to secondary school students. The Department is also considering to hold exhibits containing programme information at schools and organize contests during summer vacation.

"This is the first time we approached secondary school students via integrated lectures," said May Chan, Research Assistant, who assisted in organizing the event. "The students were very enthusiastic and responsive. It aroused their interest in social studies."



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