2 Re-imagining Undergraduate Education Amy B M TsuiPro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice PresidentThe University of Hong Kong
3 Outline International Higher Education Landscape 334 Education Reform: Nurturing 21st century graduates at HKUGoal-setting: aims of UG educationOperationalization and ImplementationChallengesPersonal Reflections
5 Reviews of Higher Education Worldwide China: 1993, 211 project (21st century; 100 universities) ; 1998, 985 project (May 1998 – 9 universities) → 34 in 2009 ; 2009, formal establishment of C9 – Chinese Ivy League ; 2010, (Medium and Long Term Educational Reform blueprint 2020)UK: 1997 (Dearing Report); 2003 (The Future of HE); Scotland (3 Phases of Higher Education Review); 2007 (Burgess Report); 2011 (HE White Paper)Europe: 1998 (Bologna Process); 2010 (EHEA); 2010 (Impact of BP)US: 1998 (Boyer Report), 2002 (Review of Boyer); 2005 (LEAP); 2008 (national report on HE)HK: 1996 (Review of HE); 2002 (Sutherland Report); 2010Australia: 1998 (West Review), 2003 (Backing Aust’s Future); 2008 (Bradley Report)Reviews of Higher Education Worldwide
6 International HE Reform Initiatives : refocusing on UG Education Curriculum Structure: standardization & portability of credits; flexibility for student choice, career change; recognition of prior experienceCurriculum content: broadening; early specialization questionedEmphasis on generic skills and life-long learningBreaking down barriers: vocational vs university training; university vs communityInternational HE Reform Initiatives : refocusing on UG EducationInternational experience: global outlook
7 Knowledge Economy Conceptual Economy “The growth of the conceptual component of output has brought with it accelerating demands for workers who are equipped not simply with technical know-how, but with the ability to create, analyze, and transform information and to interact effectively with others.”Alan Greenspan, 1997, speech at U. of Connecticut
8 Conceptual Age“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.”Daniel Pink, 2005, A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future (Riverhead Books); translated into 34 languages.
9 Innovation: crossing boundaries “…technology alone is not enough. It is technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”(Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple Computer and Pixar Animation)
10 It is no longer sufficient to teach skills or even meta-skills (e. g It is no longer sufficient to teach skills or even meta-skills (e.g. learning how to learn).Skills are important but so are mind sets and dispositions. … passion, imagination, and “arc of life” learning: activities in our daily lives which keep us learning, growing and exploring.Thomas, Douglas & Brown, John Seely (2011), Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace
11 334 Education Reform (2009 - ) in Hong Kong Secondary education ( ) 5 (100%) +2 (40%) → 3 +3 (100%) New senior secondary curriculum: S4-S6 New exam system: HKALE (NRA) → HKDSE (SRA) Undergraduate education ( ) 3 → 4 years
12 New Senior Secondary Curriculum (S4-6) 4 Core SubjectsChinese LanguageEnglish LanguageMathematicsLiberal Studies2 or 3 Elective SubjectsChosen from: 20 elective subjectsApplied Learning coursesOther LanguagesOther Learning ExperiencesMoral and Civic EducationCommunity ServiceAesthetic DevelopmentPhysical DevelopmentCareer-related ExperiencesLiteracy + numeracyCritical thinkingBroad knowledge base and diverse interestsPositive values and attitudes, and whole-person developmentSource: EDB (2005) New Academic Structure for Senor Secondary Education and Higher Education – Action Plan for the Future. HK Govt. Printers
13 Professors’ Responses to 4-year UG Curriculum Reform I want to give students remedial math so that they can follow our syllabus.I want my students to specialize more !I want my students to have a more solid grounding in Chemistry!
14 Professors’ Responses to 4-year UG Curriculum Reform I want my students to treat patients as human beings !I want thinking architects !I want my students to stop asking me what is the right answer !
15 Employers’ ResponsesI want graduates who can work outside their comfort zone !I want graduates who can identify what the problem is, not just solve problems !I want graduates who can tell me an interesting novel they have read !
17 Goal-Setting: Educational Aims Six Educational Aims for UG Education:Academic excellence and critical intellectual inquirytackling novel situations and ill-defined problemspersonal and professional ethicsintercultural understanding and global citizenshipcommunication and collaborationleadership and advocacy for the improvement of the human condition
18 Operationalization and Implementation Questions from teachersThese aims are motherhood and apple pie. How do we achieve them?How can they be realized in the curriculum?How do we teach them?How can we assess values and dispositions?ResponseWhat do we need to do to generate university-wide discussion?What are the key ideas and concepts in this reform process ?Do we have a common language to explore them?How do we know whether things are working?
19 A Conceptual Framework for New Curriculum Global & Local EnvironmentsUniversity CommunityConception of KnowledgeTheory of LearningEducationalAimsConception ofthe CurriculumGoal & Principles ofCurriculum DesignPedagogyAssessmentContentCURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
20 Common Conception of Curriculum Classroom Learning (Formal curriculum)Extra-/Co-curricular activities (Informal curriculum)SystematicOrganizedExplicitDecontextualizedAssessedTeacher drivenNon-systematicIncidentalTacitContextualized and situatedNot assessedStudent driven
21 Reconceptualization of Curriculum Curriculum = Total learning experienceExtra / Co-curricular LearningClassroom Learning
22 Learning Environment : Learning Commons - Synergy between physical, virtual and social environments
35 Learning Journey: Academic advising Goals:Transitioning to university educationSetting academic and personal goalsSelecting courses and programmesMaximizing learning opportunitiesApproach: Advising RedundancyAcademic advisor for each student (mandatory)Peer advisor (optional)Residential advisor (all residential halls)
36 Induction into University Learning To ask questions instead of looking for right or wrong answersTo see things from different perspectivesTo see things as connectedThe student who can begin early in life to think of things as connected … has begun the life of learning.” (Mark van Doren, 1943, Liberal Education, p. 115)Mark van Doren ( ) American poet, writer, critic; winner of Politzer prize for poetry (1940)
37 Common Core Curriculum: Framework Addressesissues of deeply profound significance to humankindcore intellectual skills that all undergraduates should acquirecore values that they should uphold
38 HKU Common Core 核心課程Scientific & Technological LiteracyHumanitiesGlobal IssuesChina: Culture, State and Society“Only connect….” E.M. Forster (1910), Howards End.
39 Theme 1 Science, technology and society – Key issues Can science and scientific discoveries be value-free? How are scientific findings shaped by beliefs and value systems?Can science be error-free? What are the possibilities and consequences of the misuse of science?What are the benefits of technological innovations and what kind of unwelcome and unanticipated side effects could they bring?What are the moral and ethical dilemmas created by scientific discoveries and new technologies? …. How can we formulate our position and plan appropriate action as we face these dilemmas?
40 Feeding the World"I want students to think about where the food they eat comes from and the human and environmental costs of providing food. They find out very quickly that the key issue is not biotechnology, it's much more to do with economics and politics. Social science departments may teach some of this, but they tend to skate over the technological issues. But if it were taught purely as a food science course, students wouldn't learn about the bigger issues."Dr Harold Corke, Assoc Professor in the School of Biological Sciences, teaches “Feeding the World”
41 Common Core : Faculty Participation ArchitectureSocial SciencesArtsScienceBusiness & EconomicsMedicineDentistryLawEducationEngineering: 151 courses on offer
42 Common Core : Profile of teachers Teaching Consultant/ Fellow9 (7%)Chair Professor & full Professor21 (17%)Assistant Professor41 (34%)Associate Professor50 (42%)
43 Experiential Learning: from peripheral to central Investigation of issues in real-life contexts
44 Dialectics of Knowing and Doing “When you know something but don’t act on it, your knowledge of it is still superficial. After you’ve personally experienced it, your knowledge of it will be much clearer and its significance will be different from what it used to be.”Zhu Xi, 朱熹 philosopher, Song Dynasty, )
45 Dialectics of Learning and Doing “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” John Dewey ( )Learning as social participation: learning is not just a cognitive process, it is fundamentally social and experiential(Jean Lave, 1988; Lave and Wenger 1991; Wenger 1998).
46 Experiential Learning: Embodiment of knowledge, skills, disposition and values Characteristics of real-life working environments:Situations are often unfamiliarProblems are not well-definedContextual factors are crucialNo perfect solution – learning to live with dilemmasSkills and disposition cultivated:Adaptability; thinking on one’s feetEmpathy; passionResourcefulness; imagination; creativityCommunication, collaboration, negotiationDecision-making: making informed decisions driven by core values
56 Business Consulting Practicum: Making a business plan for a social enterprise(Faculty of Business & Economics)
57 Same-cohort comparison of HKUSLEQ scores (3-year curriculum)Advocacy for the improvement of the human conditionIntercultural understandingGlobal Citizenship2007 – First Yr N = 1087; Final Yr N = 1324 / 2008 – First Yr N = 1241; Final Yr N = 1513 / 2009 – First Yr N = 1389; Final Yr N = 1581
58 Reflections on Leading and Managing Curriculum Reform Shared “Vision”Seeing the big pictureSeeing the need for change : evidence-basedGoal-setting: What do we want to achieve?Building “consensus” Building a common discourse and a shared repertoire (ideas and concepts)Operationalization and implementationInnovation: New ideas is only part of the equation, execution is just as important.Participation and ownership: willingness to live with imperfectionResource supportSustaining change
59 Challenge: Sustaining Change Incorporated into everyday practiceas part of quality assurance and enhancement mechanismsas part of performance indicators, with resource implicationsInfra-structures to support and sustain changeMonitoring and disseminating progressCelebrating and sharing good practicesStrategic allocation / re-allocation of resource support
62 – Save the Children Project in Vietnam (1990-1996) Jerry Sternin– Save the Children Project in Vietnam ( )Don’t presume you have the answer.Initiate open discussions and interrogation.Look for “positive deviants” – they see solutions where others don’t.Use innovative behaviours to shape new thinking, not the other way round.
63 “Act your way into new ways of thinking”, not “think your way into news ways of acting.” (Pascale, Sternin and Sternin, 2010)
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