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Hong Kong Assuring and Improving High Quality Education


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by Christopher Wardlaw

by Christopher Wardlaw

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  • 1. Hong Kong : Assuring and Improving High Quality Asia-Pacific Leaders Forum on Secondary Education March 24-26, 2008 Mr Chris Wardlaw
  • 2. Hong Kong Context
    • Professional qualifications “all graduate, all trained” not yet a reality (dramatic increase over past decade)
    • Student allocation to schools [Band by ability both primary and secondary]
        • primary one
        • secondary one
        • secondary six
    • Class sizes 30-40
    • Subvention non-secular
    • Primary education subject based
    • Specialized teaching (Chinese, English & Mathematics)
    • Medium of Instruction – English/Chinese
  • 3. Reforms since 2000 to Reform analysis informed by multiple independent studies, consultations, continuous feedback Leading and managing change….
    • determine what students should learn (curriculum) 2. how school heads and teachers help students learn (pedagogy) 3. know what students have learned (assessment)
  • 4. Four Interrelated Areas of Reform Initiatives to Meet Global Challenges of 21st Century in “One Country, Two Systems” III. Assessment reform – balancing assessment of and for learning I. Systemic change and school improvement – coherence-making & devolution II. Curriculum & learning reform – whole- person development & life-long learning IV. Accountability & quality assurance – driving continuous improvement
  • 5. Systemic Change and School Improvement – coherence-making & devolution
    • 1. School-Based Management
    • 2. Funding flexibility and diversity of school system
    • Enhancing capacity in schools
    • To support – Curriculum and Learning Reform
  • 6. Assessment Reform – balancing assessment of and for learning - reduce excessive tests, examinations and dictations to create more space for learning and teaching - promote the use of assessment data as feedback to learning - diversify assessment modes to improve validity - maintain the function of a credible public examination system at senior secondary level
  • 7. Accountability and Quality Assurance – driving continuous Improvement Fundamental principles
    • Schools are the centre of change and improvement
    • Internal School Self-Evaluation complemented by External School Review
    • > To validate school self evaluation
    • > To provide feedback for
    • improvement
    • The process should be data driven and
    • evidence based
  • 8. Curriculum and Learning Reform – Learning to Learn for whole-person development and life-long learning for ALL
    • 10 -year curriculum reform plan in basic education from 2002-03 to 2011-12 (Primary 1 – Secondary 3)
    • (Priority task – Reading to Learn)
    • New Senior Secondary (NSS) academic system for ALL from 2009 onwards (Primary 1 – 6, Secondary 1 – 6), and multiple pathways to further education & work
  • 9. School Curriculum Framework since 2001 Value & Attitude Generic Skill P1- S3 General Studies 4 Core Subjects : Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics, Liberal Studies (45-55%) 2-3 Elective Subjects out of 20 subjects or Applied Learning (20-30%) Other Learning Experiences including moral and civic education, community service, aesthetic and physical experiences and work-related experiences (e.g. job attachment) (15-35%) NSS 2009 Moral and Civic Education Intellectual Development Community Service Physical & Aesthetic Development Career-related Experiences
  • 10. International Benchmarking of Education in Hong Kong
    • Four recent studies
    • 1. McKinsey and Co “How the Worlds’ best performing systems came out on top”
    • > HK found to be working on all parameters common to top performing and improving systems
    • 2. PISA 2006 (15 year olds)
    • > Science 2nd (third in 2003)
    • > Mathematics = 1st (three others, two others 2003)
    • > Reading 3rd (10th in 2003)
    • 3. Primary International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) (Primary 4) 2006
    • > 2nd (14th in 2001)
    • 4. TES World University Ranking
    • > 4 institutions among top 150 (18, 38, 53, 149)
    • Jurisdiction data sets also show we are improving on
    • already high standards, but there is no room for complacency
  • 11. What is Hong Kong doing well ?
    • Coherent curriculum with high expectations
    • Treasures the training of basic skills and the grasp of fundamental concepts at basic education level.
    • Chinese culture values learning and provides extra incentives for students
    • Teachers with strong pedagogical content knowledge
    • Other factors include
      • Societal expectation
      • Parental involvement
      • Learning behaviour (time-on-task/structured teaching/homework)
      • Curriculum
      • Textbooks
  • 12.
    • But …………….
  • 13. For example…..
    • In mathematics
    • Strength in computation is also a weakness
    • There is evidence suggesting that Chinese learners are relatively weaker in certain mathematics areas, in particular,
      • Data analysis
      • Statistics
      • Probability
  • 14. Attitudes
    • Confidence in mathematics (Grade 8) (TIMMS)
    • PISA indicates very low self-efficacy and low connectedness to school of HK students
  • 15. The Pyramid (Number of Students) 90% 36% 18%
  • 16. Moving to a new academic structure in 2009 334 * Currently only one-third of students proceed to S6 New Structure (“3+3+4”) New public examination leading to HK Diploma of Secondary Education 2012 Current Structure (“3+2+2+3”) 4-Year Undergraduate Degree 3-Year Undergraduate Degree Secondary 7 HKALE HKCEE Secondary 6 Secondary 5 Secondary 4 Secondary 3 Secondary 2 Secondary 1 Senior Secondary 3 Senior Secondary 2 Senior Secondary 1 Secondary 3 Secondary 2 Secondary 1
  • 17. New Senior Secondary curriculum in 2009 4 Core Subjects : Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics, Liberal Studies 2-3 Elective Subjects out of 20 subjects or Applied Learning courses Other Learning Experiences including moral and civic education, community service, aesthetic and physical experiences and work-related experiences (e.g. job attachment) 45-55% 20-30% 15-35%
  • 18.
    • Creativity….
    • Communication….
    • Critical Thinking….
    • Values….
  • 19. Developing creativity..
    • A demanding process of teaching, difficult to make routine, but
      • ask students to go beyond given information
      • give students time to think
      • use strategies and thinking techniques which involve creation
      • reward and value creative efforts
  • 20.
      • Biliterate & Trilingual Language ( 兩文三語 ) Policy
      • since 1997, English + Chinese (Cantonese & Putonghua)
      • Foreign languages as 3 rd /4 th language…
      • French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish and Urdu ……
  • 21. Senior Secondary Mathematics as Core
    • The breadth & depth of curriculum
    • Catering for individual differences
    • A balance between content and understanding (doing and thinking)
    • “ Problem” solving and “problem solving”
    • Attitudes and values (confidence, perseverance )
  • 22.
    • Liberal Studies
    English Language Why is it a core subject? To ensure that students experience a broad education in their senior secondary years What does it provide to students?
    • Liberal Studies interactively borrows knowledge and perspectives from other subjects to enrich its study. Issues are chosen so that students have the opportunity to:
    • study contemporary events not covered by any single disciplines (Awareness)
    • expand perspectives beyond single disciplines (Broadening)
    • connect knowledge & concepts across different disciplines (Connection & critical thinking)
    X1 X2 X3 Mathematics Other Learning Experiences Chinese Language Issues in Liberal Studies
  • 23. International Benchmarking Agencies for New Senior Secondary Curricula 2005
    • UCLES / Cambridge Assessment
    • International Baccalaureate
    • Advanced Placement (AP, USA)
    • Australian Council of Educational Research (Australia)
    • National Foundation of Education Research (UK)
    • SLO (The Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development)
    • Singapore & China academics for Chinese language & history
  • 24. Multiple strategies for professional development
    • Demonstration/master teaching
    • Lesson study
    • Collaborative school based model
    • Professional knowledge and pedagogy upgrading
    • Specialist teaching in primary mathematics and languages
    • Professional education community
    • Heavy resource commitment emphasisng on-site support
  • 25. Big Challenges for Hong Kong Education Reform
    • High expectations of continuous improvement & HK as world class city
    • Close disconnect between what our students are capable of and what they believe they can do
    • Greater attention to supporting teacher professionalism
    • Balancing improvement and accountability matters
  • 26. Values…. our young people will have….
    • a deep understanding of what it means to be a Hongkonger and a citizen of China and of the world.
    • a sense of responsibility for all in our society, regardless of their background, sex, race, social or geographical group.
    • perseverance and risk taking (never accepting defeat yet being prepared to fail).
    • an acceptance that the answers they are seeking may not be totally clear at first, but to build their understanding.
    • a willingness to collaborate and share, to listen to others’ points of view and to communicate their own viewpoint.