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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details

 

Lifelong and Lifewide Learning: Curriculum Integration for Teachers or Students?

Wai Lun Anthony Leung.


From the perspective of postmodernism and advances in information and communication technology, education in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region needs to cater for the future of the society as well as the individuals; and there are potential capacities for the reform of current primary school curriculum.
“Lifelong and Lifewide Learning” has been highlighted as a key element of Hong Kong’s recent curriculum reform after its new identity as part of China after 1997. It is proposed that the reformed school curriculum should help students to achieve the educational aims of promoting learning to learn and whole-person development. The Curriculum Development Council of Hong Kong has announced the approaches and strategies for curriculum reform in the coming ten years by encouraging school based curriculum development as well as integrated learning. In implementing these changes, the curriculum reform in Hong Kong appears to be moving in the direction with a shift away from a subject-based curriculum towards greater integration for an open and flexible curriculum framework.
Curriculum integration is not a ‘new’ issue of the local school curriculum development; however, there are many challenges and obstacles for the implementation. In some local schools the so-called “integrated curriculum” is still teacher-centered and authentic curriculum integration, which caters for student needs for lifelong and lifewide learning, rarely exists. Many teachers intend to provide students with integrated learning opportunities by considering administrative convenience as the first priority. The allocation of manpower, teacher’s expertise, teaching resources, and tasks for assessing student learning etc. become the obstacles of integrating school curriculum in a meaningful way. Student learning also tends to be surface-integrated with continuous emphasis on subject-based learning and tradition written assessment for learning. Teachers seem to resist having team preparation for teaching and collaborative teaching. Another critical issue counts for putting too much focus on student learning of fragmented subject content knowledge rather than aiming at the development of their generic skills in relation to critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, problem solving, self-reflection, self-management, information technology skills and study skills for learning to learn.
The difficulties that school-teachers may encounter in seeking to implement a genuine programme of school-based curriculum integration should not be underestimated. The approaches to overcoming these obstacles will, therefore, be examined. These include how teachers interpret integrating school curriculum for lifelong learning and lifewide learning. Some teachers may be influenced by the belief concerning “subject expert” which hinders the collaboration among teachers in developing curriculum content focusing on real-life problems as well as planning integrated learning activities beyond subject boundaries for students. Finally, the utilization of available resources within and outside the schools, application of multi-mode assessment for student learning, and support from the community especially from parents are sure to be critical factors for integrating student learning aiming at learning to learn and whole person development.

Presenters

Wai Lun Anthony Leung  (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Lecturer
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
The Hong Kong Institute of Education

Dr. Wai Lun Anthony Leung is a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the Hong Kong Institute of Education; and his research interest includes curriculum innovation, development, organization and implementation. Dr. Leung taught Core Curriculum Studies at the Baptist University for several years; and he is currently conducting research on curriculum integration and teaching strategies. His recent publication includes a book on curriculum integration & project learning and a journal article on the way forward for integrating school curriculum in Hong Kong. Dr. Leung is also actively involved in teaching the Curriculum Leadership & Management for Personal, Social & Humanities Education (PSHE) for Secondary School Teachers Course sponsored by the Education and Manpower Bureau, and acts as a consultant on school-based curriculum development in several local schools.

Keywords
  • Lifelong Learning,
  • Lifewide Learning,
  • Curriculum Integration



(Virtual Presentation, English)