Teaching as enquiry – roles of teachers
• To guide students and ensure the discussion is aligned with the learning objectives
• To provide assistance such as giving cues, organising the information presented by the students and leading students forward to the next steps
• To provide feedback and stimulate students’ critical thinking in discussing issues from different angles
Learning as a ‘process’ – roles of students
• To participate actively in discussion and group work to share and compare views, ideas and knowledge with peers
• To learn how to justify their viewpoints with evidence, and critically analyse the problem from different viewpoints before making a reasoned decision.
Students cannot evaluate the effectiveness of the decision as they are not actually involved in the implementation process. Teachers should provide students with the final management reports on this problem, and then students can compare their own decisions with professional management views. In this process, students can reflect on how and why decisions were made in order to enhance their decision-making skills.
These steps help students to develop higher-order thinking skills as they need to analyse the findings, generate and evaluate the possible alternatives, and make reasoned decisions.
Applied Learning (ApL) ApL is an integral part of the senior secondary curriculum.
Students at all ability levels could take ApL courses as elective subjects. The design principles of ApL courses are the same as those of other school subjects, focusing on the development of knowledge, generic skills, values and attitudes. Through application and practice, ApL aims to provide learning experiences in professional and vocational contexts for students to understand fundamental theories and concepts, develop beginners’ skill set and generic skills, and explore career aspirations and orientation for lifelong learning. A flexible combination of ApL courses with core subjects, elective subjects and Other Learning Experiences broadens students’ learning experience and enhances diversification within the senior secondary curriculum for holistic learning.
Assessment Objectives The outcomes of the curriculum to be assessed in the pubic assessments.
Co-construction The approach of “learning and teaching as co-construction” is different from direct instruction and enquiry learning. Co-construction emphasises the learning community formed by both teachers and students in the learning process and the joint participation of both parties. This process contributes to the general building up of knowledge.
Core Subjects Subjects recommended to all students to take at senior secondary level: Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics and Liberal Studies
Assessment (C&A) Guide
A guide prepared by the CDC-HKEAA Committee. It embraces curriculum aims/ objectives/ contents and learning outcomes, and assessment guidelines.
Curriculum Interface Curriculum interface refers to the interface between the different key stages/educational stages of the school curriculum (including individual subjects), e.g. the interface between Kindergarten and Primary; Primary and Secondary; and Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary. The Hong Kong school curriculum, made up of eight key learning areas (under which specific subjects are categorised), provides a coherent learning framework to enhance students’
capabilities for whole-person development through engaging them in the five essential learning experiences and helping them develop the nine generic skills as well as positive values and attitudes. Thus when students move on to senior secondary education, they will already have developed the basic knowledge and skills that the study of various subjects requires. When designing the learning and teaching content and strategies, teachers should build on the knowledge and learning experiences students have gained in the previous key stages.
Elective Subjects They include a total of 20 senior secondary subjects, a wide range of Applied Learning courses and six Other Languages in the senior secondary curriculum from which students may choose to develop their interests and abilities. They open up a number of pathways for further study and careers.
Generic Skills Introduced in 2001, the nine generic skills are refined in 2017. The refined generic skills include Communication Skills, IT Skills, Mathematical Skills, Self-management Skills, Self-learning Skills, Collaboration Skills, Critical Thinking Skills, Creativity and Problem Solving Skills. According to their nature, the generic skills are grouped under three categories: “basic skills”, “thinking skills” and “personal and social skills”, and are refined to promote their integrative use, such as collaborative problem solving and holistic thinking.
Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)
The HKDSE is the qualification awarded to students after completing the three-year senior secondary curriculum (implemented since 2009) and taking the public assessment.
Internal Assessment This refers to the assessment activities that are conducted regularly in school to assess students’ performance in learning. Internal assessment is an inseparable part of the learning and teaching process, and it aims to make learning more effective. With the information that internal assessment provided, teachers will be able to understand students’ progress in learning, provide them with appropriate feedback and make any adjustments to the learning objectives and teaching strategies they deem necessary.
Term Description Key Learning Area
It is a way of organising the school curriculum around fundamental concepts of major knowledge domains. It aims at providing a broad, balanced and coherent curriculum for all students through engaging them in a variety of essential learning experiences. The Hong Kong school curriculum encompasses eight KLAs, i.e.
Chinese Language Education (CLE), English Language Education (ELE), Mathematics Education (ME), Personal, Social and Humanities Education (PSHE), Science Education (SE), Technology Education (TE), Arts Education (AE) and Physical Education (PE).
Knowledge Construction This refers to the process of learning in which learners are involved not only in acquiring new knowledge, but also in actively relating it to their prior knowledge and experience so as to create and form their own knowledge.
Learning Community It refers to a group of people who have shared values and goals, and work closely together to generate knowledge and create new ways of learning through active participation, collaboration and reflection. In the school context, a learning community may involve not only students and teachers, but also parents and other parties.
Learner Diversity (LD) It refers to the variations in learning ability and outcomes among students receiving the same instruction. Their differences may be due to divergence in abilities, motivation, interests, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. Teachers may differentiate their instruction and flexibly group the students to turn LD into new learning opportunities in the classroom.
Learning Outcomes Learning outcomes refer to what students are expected to master by the end of a particular stage of learning. They are developed based on the learning targets and objectives of the curriculum for the purpose of evaluating learning effectiveness. Learning outcomes also describe the levels of performance that students should attain after completing a particular key stage of learning.
Learning Targets and Learning Objectives
• Learning targets set out broadly the knowledge/concepts, skills, values and attitudes that students need to learn and develop.
• Learning objectives define specifically what students should know, value and be able to do in each strand of the
KLA/subject in accordance with the broad targets at each key stage. They are to be used by teachers as a checklist for curriculum, lesson and activity planning.
Level Descriptors A set of written descriptions that describes what the typical candidates performing a certain level is able to do in public assessments.
Other Learning Experiences (OLE)
OLE is one of the three major components of the senior secondary curriculum. It complements the other two components, namely the core and elective subjects (including Applied Learning courses and Other Languages) for the whole-person development of students.
These experiences include Moral and Civic Education, Community Service, Career-related Experiences, Aesthetic Development, and Physical Development.
Public Assessment The associated assessment and examination system for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education.
School-based Curriculum Schools and teachers are encouraged to adapt the central curriculum to develop their school-based curriculum to help their students achieve the subject targets and overall aims of education.
Measures may include readjusting the learning targets, varying the organisation of contents, adding optional studies and adapting learning, teaching and assessment strategies. A school-based curriculum, hence, is the outcome of a balance between official recommendations and the autonomy of the schools and teachers.
Standards-referenced Reporting (SRR)
SRR is a reporting system adopted in the HKDSE Examination.
Candidates’ performance is reported in terms of levels of performance matched against a set of standards.
Student Learning Profile (SLP)
SLP is the supplementary information built up by senior secondary students to reflect their learning experiences in life-wide learning and achievements, in addition to their academic performance in the HKDSE Examination. SLP includes the following:
Academic performance in school
Other Learning Experiences
Awards/achievements gained outside school
Student’s self-account (e.g. learning experiences, career goal setting)
Information in SLP could be considered in students’ application for further study and recruitment.
Values and Attitudes Values and attitudes are generally referred to as one but carry different meanings.
Values indicate how one assigns different values to and affect his/her understanding and judgment of thing. Nurturing positive values in students enables them to understand and judge right from wrong, analyse and evaluate an event or an issue with positive values as the foundation, and have the courage to act according to the values for the well-being of the community, the nation and the world.
Attitudes are one’s perception and position on things, which have a critical influence on his/her behaviour. Developing students’
positive attitudes towards life helps them face the challenges and adversities of life with an optimistic and positive attitude, and treat people and things around with an appreciative and receptive mind.
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