Becoming Interdisciplinary: Implementation of a Structured Interdisciplinary General Education Curriculum in Hong Kong

Lisa Lam

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


    General Education is an integral part of the Hong Kong Baptist University’s (HKBU) effort to promote liberal arts and whole person education. HKBU completed a comprehensive review of its general education curriculum in 2017 and the revamped curriculum has just been launched for AY2018/2019. Unlike most university general education curricula, HKBU’s new general education curriculum has a structure that consists of three levels of interdisciplinary learning, from foundational courses (Level 1, 3 categories) to courses in thematic areas (Level 2, 3 areas) and a culminating experience (Level 3 Capstone). This presentation will discuss the potentials and challenges that the University faces in implementing a structured interdisciplinary general education curriculum, one that is independently managed by the General Education Office while all interdisciplinary general education courses are being offered by academic departments. It will
    examine the tensions encountered in the discipline-based undergraduate curriculum, and how such tensions invite discussion and reflections on interdisciplinary general education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
    Event11th Asian Conference on Education 2019 - Toshi Center Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
    Duration: 31 Oct 20193 Nov 2019 (Conference website)


    Conference11th Asian Conference on Education 2019
    Abbreviated titleACE2019
    Other“Independence & Interdependence”

    The 2019 conference theme for The 11th Asian Conference on Education is “Independence & Interdependence”, and invites reflections on the desirability, extent and limits of our individual independence and autonomy, of that of our students, and of the institutions and structures within which we work, teach and learn. We do not educate, and are not educated in vacuums, but in such contexts and constraints as families, groups, and societies; of nations and cultures; of identities and religions; and of political and financial realities.

    Ever changing technologies offer new ways for us to be independent and autonomous learners, encouraging students to be self-directed and confident in making choices, and enabling and empowering students and teachers to be proactive and tailor content. However, myriad technologies and services make us more dependent on the very things allowing autonomy. How do we help students and teachers alike navigate and curate the vast information available? How do we encourage individual growth while also underlining the importance of belonging and of the reciprocal responsibilities and privileges of education? How do we help students build the skills and attitudes necessary for positive engagement in distributed, globalised communities that so often lead to polarisation and alienation instead? How do we educate with independence and interdependence in mind?
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