Education in the Community
To ask the Faculty of Education about its knowledge exchange programme is to ask it about its entire body of work. The Faculty by its very nature requires a high degree of knowledge exchange in order to be able to place students in schools for teaching practice and identify and test research that is pertinent to education.
To ask the Faculty of Education about its knowledge exchange programme is to ask it about its entire body of work.
The Faculty by its very nature requires a high degree of knowledge exchange in order to be able to place students in schools for teaching practice and identify and test research that is pertinent to education.
"We rely on the community and they rely on us," said Dr Ida Mok, Associate Dean (Local Engagement) and one of two associate deans dealing with knowledge exchange.
"We have partnerships and other contacts with the schools, which provide good places for our student teachers."
"And in terms of research, the teaching profession and policy-makers want to see research-related developments and projects that have a direct impact on school bodies. We cannot hide in our office and do research, we need to capitalise on what's happening inside schools so very often we need to do our research in schools."
That involvement in the community stretches beyond the classroom setting, too. The Faculty provides expert advice to the Education Bureau on policy matters such as language of instruction, and offers training and development for in-service teachers in the face of curriculum change.
It also has programmes to raise awareness of educational issues among the lay population. A Distinguished Lecture serieswas organised to bring renowned scholars to give talks on the latest developments in education. And Faculty academics have organised seminars for parents on the role they play in supporting their children's learning.
An intriguing development in the Faculty's knowledge exchange has been its increasing activities beyond Hong Kong's borders. For example, staff have worked closely with such organisations as UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and encouraged students to participate in international knowledge exchange activities, such as a student KE project in Nepal.
"Our mission and vision is to support capacity-building in education in a cross-border and international context. We have very good expertise in different areas so we have a lot to offer," said Dr Mok's colleague Dr Pang Ming-fai, who is Associate Dean (Cross-border / International Engagement).
And there will be more outreach activities to come. The new Professor Shirley Grundy Memorial Fund has been established to commemorate the former dean, who passed away in 2011. The late Professor Grundy placed a high value on knowledge exchange and made significant contributions to the Faculty's strategic developments in this third mission of higher education. Projects created by both students and staff will be supported and the first call for proposals will be announced in June 2013. The outcome will provide further proof of the Faculty's commitment to the community.