Social studies teacher Leung Lai-yung lets her students watch re-plays of the popular TVB television programme Super Trio Show, known for the embarrassing pranks it played on celebrity guests, in class. She also hands out copies of newspaper reports with racy headlines. The tape and newspaper cuttings are the only materials used in the media education session designed by Ms Leung and a colleague. There are no textbooks. Far from being a passive audience, the Form Two and Three students are asked to analyse and present their views on what they have seen or read. Ms Leung, of the Buddhist Ho Nam Kam Prevocational College, believes her students are more motivated following their involvement in the media review. 'They also learn to construct their own knowledge, which is very important too,' she added. Her approach typifies a new learning culture called for by the curriculum reform - that students should develop multiple skills and an interest in learning, in line with the Government's goal of promoting life-long learning. Though the speed of change varies considerably across schools, a rising number, from kindergarten to secondary levels, are exploring a wide range of innovations to broaden students' learning. Community services, e-card making, study trips to Shenzhen and campus TV stations are some examples. Some secondary schools have introduced Integrated Social Studies combining Chinese and English history, geography and economics and public affairs. Ms Leung's media education module could also become part of a school-based curriculum, as called for in the Curriculum Development Council's (CDC) final report on curriculum reform, entitled Learning to Learn, released in June after a six-month consultation. The document emphasises life-wide learning, meaning learning beyond the classroom, and efforts toward eight key learning areas and nine generic skills, rather than subject-based learning. Among the generic skills, the priorities are promoting communication, creativity and critical thinking skills. Schools are expected to devise between 10 and 15 per cent of their curriculum to cater for their students' interests and aptitudes. CDC chairman Wong Yuk-shan said: 'Students lacked the motivation to learn. We now need to strike a balance between developing a curriculum that is fun for them and the core content of a subject.' He conceded that having traditionally relied on the central curriculum, many schools did not know how to devise their own. Principal of Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School, Lawrence Lour Tsang-tsay, warned that projects developed by teachers often lacked a sound theoretical basis. 'They judge the effectiveness according to their own subjective feelings,' he said. His school has introduced only limited changes, such as abolishing the allocation of Form One boys and girls to design and technology class and home economics class respectively. A small number of schools were hesistant about introducing reform, but generally teachers had limited time coming up with new ideas due to their heavy workload, Mr Lour added. 'Schools needed additional manpower and resources to strengthen the various areas of education, including music and art appreciation,' he said. Director of Education Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, meanwhile, has called for greater flexibility in school learning. 'We welcome new arrangements such as flexible time-tabling, split or combined classes,' he said. Praising samples of school projects at an exhibition last weekend at the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre, he also offered to link up schools with enterprises so students could broaden their experiences by taking up internships. The CDC's executive arm, the Curriculum Development Institute, advises schools at the forefront of change, that have volunteered to run 'seed projects'. Currently 170 secondary and 140 primary schools are experimenting with teaching strategies and learning areas. Their experiences will also be uploaded to a data bank containing exemplary practices on the CDC Web site.