Message from Director (Schools)
Developing a Sense of Future among youths through whole-school partnership-based approach
According to Jerome Bruner, education is not just about ‘applying “learning theories” to the classroom or using the use of subject-centred “achievement testing”results to achieve so-called “standards”’. In a nutshell, education is the cultural reproduction from one generation to another that requires partnerships from society to nurture our youth with what is valuable to the older generations and to equip them with suitably new competencies and a positive ‘sense of future’ that can help them with both facing the rapidly changing world of work, as well as creating their own futures in all life and social aspects.
Under such a broad purpose of education, Career and Life Development (CLD) is the core agenda for schools to complement the existing subject-based educational targets. It warrants us to consolidate collective professional energy across all existing functional areas in school e.g. subject curricula, life and moral education, life-wide learning activities, parent-teacher collaboration and enterprise (community)-school partnerships.
CLAP’s “Hong Kong Benchmarks for CLD”(HKBM) is an adapted version of the world-class Gatsby Benchmarks developed by Sir John Holman from UK, which aims to provide us with a clear picture of quality CLD with tangible criteria for schools to selfevaluate and forward planning in Hong Kong contexts. From the perspective of accountability, it echoes key concepts of the government’s guidelines related to three areas, i.e. career guidance, curriculum and school self-evaluation. At a practical level, the ‘Toolkit of HKBM’ with its key features, ‘What good looks like’, ‘Why this matters’, ‘Top tips for schools’ and ‘Working with Partners’, have given school leaders, career teachers and education professionals insightful and practical guidance in building quality CLD in their own school-based contexts with an aim to achieve globally-accepted ‘practice standards’. Through ongoing efforts from our schools, insights from the Hong Kong Benchmarks for CLD and its subsequent supporting measures, I personally wish for our younger generations to be empowered and nourished with a confident ‘sense of future’ in their journey from school to work irrespective to their academic abilities. Drawing from Bruner’s terms again, our education should be ‘prospective’ – preparing students for or help them to shape the future, rather than just taking canonical content from the past (‘retrospective’).
Dr. Stephen W. Y. YIP
Director (Schools), CLAP@JC
Co-Director, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)
The Education University of Hong Kong