PolyU will launch a three-year research project entitled, “Capacity Building Scheme for Secondary School Teachers: Promoting Meaningful Social Engagement for Young People through Service-Learning”, with a generous donation from Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation and Keswick Foundation. Through our extensive experience in implementing service-learning (SL), the Capacity Building Scheme aims to promote “academic service-learning” in secondary school education through equipping school teachers with essential attitude, knowledge and skills, and ultimately promote meaningful social engagement for young people as well as enhance their academic learning.
The project finds its root in the complex issues related to the education of youth in Hong Kong over the last several decades. Students are often stressed with their exam-oriented school life, and fail to see the meaningful linkage between academic knowledge and their real-life application. To this end, we wish to introduce service-learning to secondary school students as a means to discover the meaning of study through applying their knowledge to serve the community.
A multi-disciplinary team co-led by Prof. Daniel Shek, Associate Vice President (Undergraduate Programme), Li & Fung Professor in Service Leadership Education and Chair Professor of Department of Applied Social Sciences and Dr Grace Ngai, Head of Service-Learning and Leadership Office and Associate Professor of Department of Computing, aims to empower secondary school teachers with a systematic professional training and development package about the benefits and challenges of SL, how to develop and sustain community partnership, design, implementation and assessment of SL. This project is expected to benefit over 100 secondary schools, 500 teachers, 600 secondary school students, and over 2,000 service recipients.