Liberal Studies @ IKTMC
Liberal Studies is a combination of many educational tasks. A famous man of letters, Han Yu (韓愈), had a famous quote that, ‘The job of a teacher is to teach the fundamental way of being a person, the knowledge and skills to contribute to the society, and to help students tackle frustrations in the game of life.’ (『師者，所以傳道、授業、解惑也。』)
Liberal Studies is an attempt to facilitate our students to understand the world in an open-minded and liberal way and construct their worldview. Thus, Liberal Studies fits Han Yu’s definition of the role of a teacher.
One of the marvels of Liberal Studies in IKTMC is our tradition of organizing plenty of activities to facilitate students to see the world.
From time to time we have organized visits to various organizations and destinations in Hong Kong and Mainland China. A tram ride in Central helps new arrival students to get to know Hong Kong; a drama or a wonderful debate in the interactive educational centre of Oxfam makes the subject interesting.
A boat ride in Sai Kung sea or Tai O to understand traditional fisheries was an eye-opener. While wandering, appreciating the historical UNESCO heritage of Kaiping Guard Towers, singing, dancing and giggling with the primary students in a school in Guangxi, and feeling amazed at all the marvels and wonders at Shanghai Expo, would be unforgettable experience for many students.
Another gem of Liberal Studies is its high degree of autonomy in learning. We can probe deep into any relevant issues and learn through interactive ways.
I still recall the good old days when I taught students ‘racial equality’ and ‘equal opportunities’, we were reading Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ together.
I loved the moment when I was explaining to students the concept of self esteem by telling them many encouraging moments in my life. It was not about books or text, but life education. It is how one person influences others.
Enthusiastic teachers and their curious students together can always make Liberal Studies very fruitful. It is always the best gift and motivation for our teachers when students say ‘You have guided us to see the whole world.’
在港的少數族裔相當大部份是來自南亞國家，包括巴基斯坦、印度、尼泊爾、孟加拉等國，他們有一些常見的共通點 : 例如較不鼓勵女性外出及參與戶外及社交活動，因此我經驗中很多女生對社會及現實生活的接觸實在有限。結果，少數族裔學生跟主流社會的接觸相對不足，融入也需要時間。
因此 ，通識科是難得的渠道，也是學生的一扇窗。通識科結合了生命 / 生活教育、品德價值教育、以至公民教育。例如：南亞裔學生可以思考在香港成長路上種種際遇及必須面對的變化和挑戰、在老師作為一個協助者(facilitator)及啟蒙者(Inspiration)之下，思考人生觀及如何自處。又例如：學生可以反思何以香港主流社會對少數族裔人士有一定的誤解及不重視，而反思如何自處及努力脫穎而出；學生也可以學習如何分辨新聞的真偽及持平程度，這即是現今廿一世紀青少年必備的media literacy。
另外，通識科老師也有效協助南亞裔學生了解本港發展昔與今、社會文化經濟的層面、以免離地脫節，將來缺乏一個公民應有的常識。通識的好處在於它能結合各類的室內活動，(比如辯論、角色扮演、持分者心理分析) 及戶外考察 (包括各種遊學團、導賞、考察、訪問等)，這些都是「怕悶」而欠耐性的南亞裔生所喜愛的學習方式。
Some words I didn’t say today -- For F6 students who are leaving school soon. Written by a Liberal Studies teacher in Feb, 2014.
How much I wished you could know,
I feel so fortunate
to be your teacher for half a decade.
Just a blink of the eye ago,
You guys were just-newly arrived,
I was so amazed,
That you knew nowhere but
Disney, Ocean and this campus;
But today you mock on my mispronunciation
Opportunities, calendar, compromise…....
I would like to thank you all,
For being so dedicated in class,
Summer, spring, winter and fall,
You guys hardly uttered complaints
to homework, exams, presentation and more.
Time flies with laughter and debates,
China, politics, housing and law.
The boring stuff becomes alive and wonderful,
Like eighty days around the world.
We sailed across the rough Sai Kung Sea,
We freed ourselves from stubbornness;
As long as you enlighten your mind,
Every effort will not be futile.
I wish I could teach you a few more years,
and write a booklet or two,
But well, life is a flowing creek,
And there’re numerous things you shall seek.
For more than a thousand days I’ve taught well,
and now it’s your turn to realize your dreams.
Please stay diligent, resist temptations and study hard,
Success is just a step ahead.
Every banquet has an ending.
If you have been decent, there’s no regret.
Graduation is such a joyous moment,
it's the beginning of the game of life.
the STORY OF IQRAH
Iqrah Ghaffar was a Pakistani teenager who came to Hong Kong to study in Form 3 with limited English proficiency and knowledge about this city. She recalls how Liberal Studies teachers conducted interactive and interesting lessons which guided her to see the world, understand the society, relate the current issues to her own life, and most importantly, fall in love with learning. This is evident in her stellar performance in a social science degree at Lingnan University, being consistently on the President’s list and has come back to teach in our school from last year..
Iqrah Ghaffar is awardee of Szeto Wah Education Fund’s Good student Annual Award in 2014.