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Re-imagining Undergraduate Education Amy B M Tsui Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice President The University of Hong Kong.

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Presentation on theme: "Re-imagining Undergraduate Education Amy B M Tsui Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice President The University of Hong Kong."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Re-imagining Undergraduate Education Amy B M Tsui Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice President The University of Hong Kong

3 Outline International Higher Education Landscape 334 Education Reform: Nurturing 21 st century graduates at HKU – Goal-setting: aims of UG education – Operationalization and Implementation – Challenges Personal Reflections

4 Information Age Knowledge Economy

5 Reviews of Higher Education Worldwide UK: 1997 (Dearing Report); 2003 (The Future of HE); Scotland (3 Phases of Higher Education Review); 2007 (Burgess Report); 2011 (HE White Paper) US: 1998 (Boyer Report), 2002 (Review of Boyer); 2005 (LEAP); 2008 (national report on HE) Europe: 1998 (Bologna Process); 2010 (EHEA); 2010 (Impact of BP) HK: 1996 (Review of HE); 2002 (Sutherland Report); 2010 China: 1993, 211 project (21 st 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) Australia: 1998 (West Review), 2003 (Backing Austs Future); 2008 (Bradley Report)

6 International HE Reform Initiatives : refocusing on UG Education Curriculum Structure: standardization & portability of credits; flexibility for student choice, career change; recognition of prior experience International experience: global outlook Curriculum content: broadening; early specialization questioned Breaking down barriers: vocational vs university training; university vs community Emphasis on generic skills and life- long learning

7 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. Knowledge Economy Conceptual Economy Alan Greenspan, 1997, speech at U. of Connecticut

8 The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mindcreators 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. Conceptual Age

9 …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) Innovation: crossing boundaries

10 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 ( ) 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 4 Core Subjects Chinese Language English Language Mathematics Liberal Studies Literacy + numeracy Critical thinking 2 or 3 Elective Subjects Chosen from: 20 elective subjects Applied Learning courses Other Languages Broad knowledge base and diverse interests Other Learning Experiences Moral and Civic Education Community Service Aesthetic Development Physical Development Career-related Experiences Positive values and attitudes, and whole- person development Source: EDB (2005) New Academic Structure for Senor Secondary Education and Higher Education – Action Plan for the Future. HK Govt. Printers New Senior Secondary Curriculum (S4-6)

13 Professors Responses to 4-year UG Curriculum Reform I want my students to have a more solid grounding in Chemistry! I want to give students remedial math so that they can follow our syllabus. I want my students to specialize more !

14 I want my students to stop asking me what is the right answer ! I want thinking architects ! I want my students to treat patients as human beings ! Professors Responses to 4-year UG Curriculum Reform

15 Employers Responses I 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 !

16 Undergraduate Curriculum Reform at HKU

17 Goal-Setting: Educational Aims Six Educational Aims for UG Education: Academic excellence and critical intellectual inquiry tackling novel situations and ill-defined problems personal and professional ethics intercultural understanding and global citizenship communication and collaboration leadership and advocacy for the improvement of the human condition

18 Operationalization and Implementation Questions from teachers These 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? Response What 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 Educational Aims Conception of Knowledge Theory of Learning University Community Global & Local Environments Goal & Principles of Curriculum Design Conception of the Curriculum PedagogyAssessment Content CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK

20 Common Conception of Curriculum Extra-/Co-curricular activities (Informal curriculum) Non-systematic Incidental Tacit Contextualized and situated Not assessed Student driven Classroom Learning (Formal curriculum) Systematic Organized Explicit Decontextualized Assessed Teacher driven

21 Reconceptualization of Curriculum Curriculum = Total learning experience Classroom Learning Extra / Co-curricular Learning

22 Learning Environment : Learning Commons - Synergy between physical, virtual and social environments

23 Learning Commons: Collaborative learning

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25 Learning Commons : Chilling out after class

26 Learning Environment : Collaborative classrooms

27 Learning Environment: Flexible classrooms

28 Library

29 Library: discussion corners

30 Enabling Curriculum Structure Learning environment : Curriculum structure

31 Learning Environment: Curriculum Structure Minor Physics (Science) Music (Arts) Computer Science (Engineering) Finance (Business and Econ) Global Studies (Social Sciences) Major Astronomy (Science) Philosophy (Arts) Information Management (Education) Economics (Business and Econ) Psychology (Social Sciences) Compulsory Common Core English Chinese Electives Electives 1 Electives 2 Electives 3 Curriculum structure: enabling & flexible

32 Learning Environment: Curriculum Structure Minor Physics (Science) Music (Arts) Computer Science (Engineering) Finance (Business and Econ) Global Studies (Social Sciences) Major Astronomy (Science) Philosophy (Arts) Information Management (Education) Economics (Business and Econ) Psychology (Social Sciences) Compulsory Common Core English Chinese Electives Electives 1 Electives 2 Electives 3 Curriculum structure: enabling & flexible

33 Learning Environment: Curriculum Structure Minor Physics (Science) Music (Arts) Computer Science (Engineering) Finance (Business and Econ) Global Studies (Social Sciences) Major Astronomy (Science) Philosophy (Arts) Information Management (Education) Economics (Business and Econ) Psychology (Social Sciences) Compulsory Common Core English Chinese Electives Electives 1 Electives 2 Electives 3 Curriculum structure: enabling & flexible

34 Learning Environment: Curriculum Structure Minor Physics (Science) Music (Arts) Computer Science (Engineering) Finance (Business and Econ) Global Studies (Social Sciences) Major Astronomy (Science) Philosophy (Arts) Information Management (Education) Economics (Business and Econ) Psychology (Social Sciences) Compulsory Common Core English Chinese Electives Electives 1 Electives 2 Electives 3 Curriculum structure: enabling & flexible

35 Goals: Transitioning to university education Setting academic and personal goals Selecting courses and programmes Maximizing learning opportunities Learning Journey: Academic advising Approach: Advising Redundancy Academic 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 answers To see things from different perspectives To see things as connected The 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 Addresses issues of deeply profound significance to humankind core intellectual skills that all undergraduates should acquire core values that they should uphold

38 HKU Common Core China: Culture, State and Society Scientific & Technological Literacy Humanities Global Issues Only connect…. E.M. Forster (1910), Howards End.

39 Theme 1 Science, technology and society – Key issues i.Can science and scientific discoveries be value-free? How are scientific findings shaped by beliefs and value systems? ii.Can science be error-free? What are the possibilities and consequences of the misuse of science? iii.What are the benefits of technological innovations and what kind of unwelcome and unanticipated side effects could they bring? iv.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 "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 Feeding the World

41 Architecture Arts Business & Economics Dentistry Education Engineering Law Medicine Social Sciences Science : 151 courses on offer Common Core : Faculty Participation

42 Assistant Professor 41 (34%) Associate Professor 50 (42%) Chair Professor & full Professor 21 (17%) Teaching Consultant/ Fellow 9 (7%) Common Core : Profile of teachers

43 Investigation of issues in real-life contexts Experiential Learning: from peripheral to central

44 Dialectics of Knowing and Doing When you know something but dont act on it, your knowledge of it is still superficial. After youve 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, philosopher, Song Dynasty, )

45 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). 45 Dialectics of Learning and Doing

46 Characteristics of real-life working environments: Situations are often unfamiliar Problems are not well-defined Contextual factors are crucial No perfect solution – learning to live with dilemmas Experiential Learning: Embodiment of knowledge, skills, disposition and values Skills and disposition cultivated: Adaptability; thinking on ones feet Empathy; passion Resourcefulness; imagination; creativity Communication, collaboration, negotiation Decision-making: making informed decisions driven by core values

47 Engineering Faculty: Sichuan Post-earthquake Kindergarten Reconstruction ( )

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49 Sichuan Kindergarten Construction Completed

50 Main Entrance of Sichuan Kindergarten

51 Engineering Faculty Construction Projects in Guangxi, PRC Mingde Lou – a primary school Gewu Lou – a dormitory

52 Qinmo Village Project (Architecture Faculty ) A New School blending with the terraced rice fields A school in Qinmo Village in need of a face-lift

53 The school provides a new community space for the village. Community participation is encouraged by having the villagers and children paint the individual bricks for the façade of the classrooms

54 Rural Urban Framework: Luk Zuk Village Redevelopment Project (Faculty of Architecture)

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56 Business Consulting Practicum: Making a business plan for a social enterprise (Faculty of Business & Economics)

57 Intercultural understanding Global Citizenship Advocacy for the improvement of the human condition Same-cohort comparison of HKUSLEQ scores (3-year curriculum) – 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 picture Seeing the need for change : evidence-based Goal-setting: What do we want to achieve? Building consensus Building a common discourse and a shared repertoire (ideas and concepts) Operationalization and implementation Innovation: New ideas is only part of the equation, execution is just as important. Participation and ownership: willingness to live with imperfection Resource support Sustaining change

59 Incorporated into everyday practice – as part of quality assurance and enhancement mechanisms – as part of performance indicators, with resource implications Infra-structures to support and sustain change Monitoring and disseminating progress Celebrating and sharing good practices Strategic allocation / re-allocation of resource support Challenge: Sustaining Change

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61 Qualities of a Leader

62 Dont presume you have the answer. Initiate open discussions and interrogation. Look for positive deviants – they see solutions where others dont. Use innovative behaviours to shape new thinking, not the other way round. Jerry Sternin – Save the Children Project in Vietnam ( )

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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