Institute capitalises on teaching excellence of veteran educators

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 February, 2016, 5:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 February, 2016, 5:12pm

I refer to Phil Glenwright’s letter (“New university needs lecturers with real teaching experience”, February 15).

As the leader of teacher education in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) treasures and takes pride in its scholarship and excellence in teaching. Our students, most of whom will become future teachers, are expected to be resourceful with a broad knowledge base and strong pedagogical skills to become the facilitators of learning. That is why we put equal emphasis on subject knowledge, pedagogy as well as knowledge creation and transfer through educational research. These are also the core areas normally expected of a university.

Grounded in the rich heritage of our former colleges of education, we have capitalised on the teaching excellence of our veteran educators, especially in the teaching of pedagogical subjects. After years of transformation, our current academic and teaching team represents a good mix of expertise and scholarship in teaching, research, knowledge transfer and professional development. We also boast the largest critical mass of education experts and scholars in Hong Kong, who have substantial teaching experience at different levels locally, regionally and internationally, in addition to their solid research background.

International literature has pointed out the importance of collaboration between universities and the school community. We have developed strong relationships with 11 school sponsoring bodies. Recently retired principals are co-opted in the preparation and nurturing of students’ professional attitudes and ethics, while experienced teachers are engaged as mentors.

In this context, the crux of the matter is how our academic and teaching staff can contribute to students’ learning and address the ongoing changing needs of the school sector and the community. Our effort has been recognised globally. In the QS world university subject rankings 2015, HKIEd ranked third in Asia and 15th in the world in education. Our performance in education has again been commended by the University Grants Committee in its latest review report.

There are different schools of thought regarding the ideal teacher education model. Whatever we do or advocate, our ultimate goal is to ensure the best learning outcomes of our students.

After all, education is the engine to drive change for the better, and we look forward to working with all stakeholders in addressing the evolving landscape and needs in education.

Professor John Lee, vice-president (academic), Hong Kong Institute of Education