CityU boosts professional development of secondary school teachers

Ellen Chan

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CityU will provide once again local secondary school principals and teachers with the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications and subject knowledge through the Teachers Update Course 2007 (TUC) programme.

This year more than 2,500 participants will attend 40 sessions at TUC, tallying up to 7,500 hours of professional development time. These hours go towards credits for Continuing Professional Development, as required by the Education and Manpower Bureau.

Organized by the university's Education Development Office, CityU has been offering the TUC free of charge in June and July since 1998 in line with its commitment to promoting educational development in the community.

The aim is to help secondary school principals and teachers to find out more about the latest subject knowledge, pedagogy and issues surrounding the challenges posed by the changing educational environment.

The theme this year is “Developing Reflective Professionals,” and there will be seminars and workshops in five areas: updating subject knowledge; language enhancement; supporting curriculum change; IT in support of student learning; and effective teaching and learning.

"The TUC provides a platform for participants to explore the latest subject knowledge and pedagogy through ongoing exchanges with fellow educators," said Professor Lilian Vrijmoed Kwan Lee-ping, CityU’s Dean of Student Learning. "It also offers an opportunity for our staff to gain a more accurate picture of local students' educational needs."

Teachers who have attended TUC courses in the past are more than satisfied with the learning experience. Ms Karen Ho Pui-yi, a teacher from China Holiness Church Living Spirit College, joined the subject update course on accountancy last year, and this year she will join courses on effective teaching and learning.

“I really appreciate the work that the CityU teaching staff have put into TUC. They are keen to help us update our skills, providing us with useful illustrations from the local secondary school context. These sessions have been very useful and helped me to prepare better classes for my students,” Ms Ho said.

Mr Yeung Shau-kwun, Vice-Principal at Tin Shui Wai Government Secondary School, has attended the last three TUCs and he is very satisfied with the quality of training provided, adding that the sessions are a great chance to exchange ideas and information with other secondary school teachers.

The success of the TUC is due to the hard work and support of those CityU staff members who volunteer to offer teaching sessions - this year 49 are taking part. One of the volunteers is Dr Anna Kwan Siu-fong, Senior Education Development Officer in CityU’s Education Development Office, who has been involved with TUC since 2002.

This year Dr Kwan’s sessions focus on learning motivation as she tries to help teachers to improve the students’ self-learning and self-motivation skills. In addition, she will be using problem-based learning principles to promote the pedagogical concepts behind learning-to-learn.

“It is an honour to share my experience with other educators,” Dr Kwan said. “I hope my sessions will contribute to training up students to become life-long learners.”

Dr Ricky Yeung Wai-hang, Laboratory Manager of Department of Manufacturing Engineering & Engineering Management, is also a great supporter of the TUC. Dr Yeung found that secondary school teachers not only need to teach students, but also need to deal with administration work. However, many are not very well equipped with the skills. Dr Yeung believed that through the TUC, he can share his experience with them.

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