Helping secondary students learn how to learn

Cynthia Ou

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About 150 secondary school teachers and students gathered at CityU on January 22 to attend an experience-sharing seminar on the “Learning to Learn” programme. The programme, organized by the University's Education Development Office  (EDO) prepares secondary school students for lifelong learning, by exploring "problem-based learning" (PBL).

 

CityU launched the “Learning to Learn” programme in 1996 with the aim of helping first-year undergraduate students adapt to university life. In 1999, the programme adopted the PBL approach to encourage students to actively participate in the learning process. In 2003, the programme was extended to the secondary sector. Some 23 Form Six students from six secondary schools, namely Helen Liang Memorial Secondary School, The Mission Covenant Church Holm Glad College, Sha Tin Methodist College, Wa Ying College, S K H Kei Hau Secondary School and Yuen Long Merchants Association Secondary School, joined the programme to get a taste of the PBL approach. These high schoolers, together with teachers of their respective schools, shared their experience of participating in the “Learning to Learn” programme at the seminar.

  

“By sharing our experience on this programme, we're learning from each other’s expertise,” CityU's Vice-President (Undergraduate Education) and Dean of Students, Professor Edmond Ko, kicked off the seminar. “I believe the essence of the programe is to get students proactively involved in the learning process,” he said. EDO's Senior Education Development Officer Dr Anna Kwan, explained the PBL approach and introduced the “Learning to Learn” programme to the audience. “The PBL approach starts with a problem or a case study to which high schoolers can relate. The programme also includes a workshop about learning awareness and another intensive workshop that brushes up  students’ project management skills, presentation skills and other integrated skills,” she said.

 

Teachers give positive feedback

At the seminar, students who joined the programme reported that they'd achieved significant improvements in self-confidence, learning awareness, and time management skills. Miss Yuen Ka Mei and Mr Wong Tung Fong, masters of ceremony (MC) of the seminar, were two secondary six students. They had participated in the programme and returned to testify to the positive results they had gained, at the seminar. “As  novice MCs, it's natural to feel nervous. However, having  learned some presentation skills from this programme, we feel more confident,” they said.

 

 

 

The teachers also commented on how beneficial the CityU programme has been for the students. “My students have learned to think from different perspectives,” said Mr Lee Sau Yan, S K H Kei Hau Secondary School. “It is plausible to integrate PBL in Liberal Studies, which will be implemented soon under the "3+3+4" academic reform. The ‘Learning to learn’ programme equip both students and teachers,” said Mrs Cheng-cheung Wai Sum, Wa Ying College.

 

Distinguished guest of the seminar, Dr K K Chan, Principal Assistant Secretary of HKSAR Education and Manpower Bureau concluded, "When one can transfer knowledge to resolve practical problems, one has really learned how to learn. I believe learning must be a process in which both teachers and students learn from each other." 

 

 

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