Mentors teach pupils skills to love learning

Mentor Debbie Mak with Nicole Chu (left) and Fanny Cheung (right).

Form Six pupil Fanny Cheung Wan-lam hated learning English from her kindergarten days.

Friday, 18 January, 2013, 5:00am

Secret to writing well lies in learning to think and feel

Many teachers think they're teaching writing when in fact they are teaching only grammar. Photo: Nora Tam

Why can't Hong Kong students write well in English? I've been asked this question so many times that I've long given up trying to come up with an answer and have learnt instead to look at the issue from a different perspective.

24 Dec 2012 - 8:33am

Between The Lines: Language Acquisition

Between The Lines: Language Acquisition

Once in a while, I meet someone who turns my long-held beliefs on their head. Dr Stephen Krashen is one of these people.

25 Nov 2012 - 11:01am

The science of knowledge helps parents teach children

Students at Diocesan Boys' School. Students learn best in an environment where they are challenged just beyond their expertise. Photo: Ricky Chung

It has been a privilege to facilitate the learning of exceptional young people in my teaching career. I have taught students who have achieved perfect scores for AP (advance placement) and International Baccalaureate, as well as national rankings in their IGCSE biology exams. These students have done themselves, their families and their schools proud.

25 Nov 2012 - 11:59am

Passion for learning can sustain our children into old age

A passion for learning can sustain our children into old age.

In reasonably affluent societies, life expectancy is now increasing at around half an hour per day. This is based on a reasonable extrapolation of trends around medical research linked to preventative as well as restorative health care. It means that anyone under the age of 20 has a 90 per cent chance of reaching and exceeding the age of 100.

23 Nov 2012 - 2:22am

When his homework just doesn't add up

When his homework just doesn't add up

My son is in Year 6 and often gets confused with his maths homework. I don't know how to help him. I was never good at maths at school and my son is not confident either. The methods he is taught are different to how I learned and I don't want to confuse him even further.

11 Nov 2012 - 3:06pm

How to toughen children up

Kay Fung with son Markus. Fung says she doesn't try to protect Markus from tumbles and expects him to be responsible for his actions. Photo: Warton Li

Six-year-old Markus Tsui knows the consequences when he throws a tantrum, or is rude to others: he will have to sit in a corner, opposite a wall pinned with a list of all his recent infractions.

14 Oct 2012 - 1:00pm 1 comment

Battle for ethnic minority children

When American author Robert Fulghum wrote, "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten", he was not far off the mark. The positive benefits of early education are well documented.

Yet many children in Hong Kong miss out on quality kindergarten education.

1 Oct 2012 - 4:42am

Stop boring our children at school

When the great Canadian short story writer Alice Munro was asked what makes her happy, she gave this simple reply: "It's being interested." By this definition, many of our students, bored silly in school, are an unhappy lot.

18 Aug 2012 - 2:37am

Logic gap

On a recent trip overseas, I was hiking up to a glacial lake with my wife when I asked her how to say the word 'tarn' in Cantonese. The resulting blank stare was expected, but this got me thinking about all the glacier-related terms stored away in my memory that I learned in my high school geography class.

15 Aug 2012 - 10:49pm

Private tuition has its place, but only after careful consideration

A reader recently told me about her neighbour's daughter, who is in grade six at an international school.

One day the girl's maths teacher asked students if they attended the Kumon or Enopi programmes after school. Most did, but all the teacher did was to tell the others they would have to catch up. The reader was rightly appalled.

29 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

An 'X' mark for Generations Y and Z

A new survey shows that Generation Y employees in Hong Kong lack the skills needed to drive the city's economy forward, with most respondents blaming the education system. The most pressing areas for improvement for Gen Y are their work attitude, a sense of responsibility and interpersonal communication skills.

20 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Wolves lurking in the shadows of education

For more than a decade, education professor Mark Bray has been intrigued by the growing phenomenon of students attending tutorial centres. Haven't they had enough class time after a day in school? His fixation with the phenomenon made him a leading author as well as advocate in the area.

19 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Creating a digitally challenging space for kids

Jennifer Fenton (below), Grade 6 leader at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CISHK), aims to create a classroom environment which supports and challenges pupils. Central to this is giving them the skills and awareness to make the best use of technology. She talks to John Cremer

In this area, what is your basic approach?

29 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

A 'tutor king' for deprived children

In a city where celebrity 'tutor kings' advertise themselves on billboards wearing flashy suits and confident smiles while promising to deliver guaranteed A-grade exam results, one teacher is offering his services for nothing.

Former school principal Chan Hung has opened a free tutoring service for pupils who can't afford to pay for places at the coveted tutoring centres.

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am