Teachers' Update Course 2004 kicks off

Regina Lau


A forum stimulating reflection upon the role of universities in secondary education curriculum reforms kicked off CityU’s Teachers Update Course (TUC), 12 May. More than 80 secondary school principals and teachers, and 40 CityU staff members attended to celebrate the event.  TUC is a professional development programme CityU offers secondary school principals and teachers to update their knowledge on subject content and pedagogy. This year TUC is celebrating its seventh birthday. Over 7,000 local educators have participated in the programme in the past six years.


“Developing Reflective Professionals” is the theme of this year’s TUC, which comprises 30 seminars and workshops to explore the various areas: enriching school culture; preparing students for lifelong learning; promoting innovations; and updating subject knowledge. Inaugurating the ceremony were Professor Edmond Ko, CityU Vice-President (Undergraduate Education), and Dr K K Chan, Principal Assistant Secretary (Curriculum Development), Curriculum and Quality Assurance Branch of the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB), HKSAR.  TUC is recognized by the EMB as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunity for teachers and principals in local secondary schools--- attendance in the TUC can be counted on their training records. EMB recommends that every secondary school teacher acquire 150 CPD hours every three years. TUC will produce more than 8,500 training hours for this year’s participants.


In the opening ceremony, Professor Ko reiterated the importance of a partnership with EMB. “We are proud to see the partnership forged between TUC and EMB.  The partnership is a recognition of CityU’s commitment to and achievements in quality education,” said Professor Ko who also took the opportunity to introduce major elements in the teaching and learning culture at CityU, such as the shift from “teaching” to “learning”, evidence-based quality assurance, “whole person” development, and the notion of “ideal graduates”. “Hong Kong is facing social, economic and political challenges. The primary goal of education is to produce competent graduates to succeed in the world of work. To achieve this goal, an effective partnership among policy makers, educators and students is essential.”


In her speech “How Could Schools Prepare for the New Senior Secondary Curriculum Reform?”, Dr Chan explained the rationale for the proposed switch from the current “5+2” academic structure in secondary education to “3+3”. One major objective of the curriculum reform is to cultivate lifelong learners, who are informed and responsible citizens, and are able to understand contemporary issues that may affect them at personal, community, national and global levels.


Echoing the theme of enhancing collaboration between universities and secondary schools in preparation for the proposed changes, Professor Y S Wong, CityU Vice-President (Administration) and Chairman of Curriculum Development Council, chaired a panel to discuss “The Role of Universities in Curriculum Reform in Hong Kong”.  The forum panel members included: Dr Chan; Professor Ko; Dr Chan Wai-kai, Chairman of Hong Kong Direct Subsidizing Scheme Council and Principal of Wai Kiu College; and Mr William Yip, Chairman of Hong Kong Association of Heads of Secondary Schools and Principal of Yu Chun Keung Memorial College No. 2.  They shared their thoughts on and aspirations for the role of local universities in supporting curriculum reform.


“TUC has created a win-win-win situation for students, secondary school teachers, and CityU staff as well,” said Professor Wong. At CityU, academic and professional staff sees TUC as a community service and an effective vehicle to share the latest subject knowledge and teaching experiences with frontline practitioners and administrators of secondary schools. They have learned  more about the educational experiences of the future university students and gained  insights to improving the effectiveness of curriculum, teaching and assessment.  This year some 50 CityU staff members have volunteered to join TUC, offering more than 30 sessions in June and July. Subject content of the sessions will be based on the following topical issues:


Students focused topics: lifelong learning skills, problem based learning (PBL), critical thinking skills, student leadership training, career planning, mediating between self and life etc.


Teachers focused topics: subject updates on optical fibre and optical communication, wireless networking technologies, digital signals, human computer interface design for multimedia systems, Chinese language and literature English poetry, self-access language learning activities, simulated ecological investigation, corporate governance and quality of earnings management etc.


Topics about school management: leadership & financial analysis for school management, action research for school improvement, a whole-school approach for tackling school bullying, and media and communication, etc.


Teachers and principals of secondary schools can become TUC members by applying online at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/tuc.  Participants will be able to view their TUC registration results and attendance records online. The application deadline is 30 May 2004.  For course related enquiries, please contact the TUC Secretariat at tel: 3442 6726 or via email: tuc.cityu@cityu.edu.hk .





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