School-based Curriculum Development in the Primary Schools
The Section’s Seminar on “Learning in Action : Learning, Teaching and Assessment” was held on 29th March, 2014. Details of the Seminar could be found at this ＜link＞.
- To support school development, we take a collaborative approach but not a pathological approach;
- To explore ‘knowledge’ through a philosophical and practical stance;
- To examine and adjust continually the relationship between teachers and ourselves as supporters to facilitate interaction and construct knowledge together.
School-based curriculum is the general policy ordained by the Curriculum Development Council for schools' consideration in the design of a quality curriculum conducive to effective pupil learning. Schools are encouraged to adapt the Central Curriculum to suit their unique contexts. When designing the school-based curriculum, schools are advised to observe closely the directions and requirements stipulated by the Curriculum Development Council in the official curriculum documents. Based on careful analysis of pupils'needs, abilities and interests, schools' ecological contexts, leadership style of the principals and middle management, as well as the readiness of teachers, schools need to employ the most appropriate teaching, learning and assessment strategies and use diversified learning materials to integrate the teaching-learning-assessment cycle in their school-based curriculum. It is important to ensure that all pupils have equal opportunities participating in rich learning experiences that aim at promoting whole person development and life long learning.
- Teachers are able to discern, inquire and understand students’ learning processes through collecting evidence and constructing knowledge systematically to engender practical wisdom.
- Schools are able to construct their own holistic school-based curriculum, explore diversified learning resources, build a systematical knowledge management platform and nurture a learning organization culture to facilitate schools’ sustainable development.
- Professional Learning Communities are established through collaborative lesson planning meetings, lesson observations and post-lesson observation discussion.
1.Support Services Provider: School-based Curriculum Development (Primary) Section, School-based Support Services Office, Education Bureau
2.Areas and Foci of Support
Areas of Support
Focuses of Support
To plan and implement a skill-oriented Chinese Language Curriculum
To facilitate teacher capacity building at school context
To develop a learner-centred and task-based curriculum
To facilitate the development of a "reading to learn" culture
To develop students’ language learning skills and strategies
To enhance assessment for learning literacy and practice
To facilitate teacher capacity building at school context
To promote students’ balanced development of Mathematics ability
To improve the effectiveness in the learning and teaching of Mathematics using diversified teaching strategies
To develop students’ generic skills through a wealth of learning experiences
To improve assessment practices and enhance learning and teaching
To plan and implement an inquiry-based General Studies curriculum
To develop generic skills
To promote life-wide learning
To strengthen the inter-connectedness between General Studies and other KLAs
To design diversified school-based assessment strategies
Curriculum Leaders Learning Community
Modes of Support
a. Regular on-site support service
- School development officers will negotiate with schools to schedule regular on-site collaborative lesson planning meetings with participating teachers. On request from schools, flexible modes of support such as talks, seminars, workshops, study groups and sharing sessions can be arranged to help schools develop selected focus of work.
b.Curriculum Leaders Learning Community
- The school development officers will meet the community of curriculum leaders regularly to facilitate professional sharing and discussion on issues identified by members of the learning communities (approximately 10-12 members in a group).
Expectations on Participating Schools
a. To make the best use of the support services, participating schools need to:
- arrange collaborative lesson planning time for teachers concerned
- designate curriculum leaders or teachers of the related KLAs to work closely with the school development officers to lead and coordinate school-based curriculum planning and development
- share with other schools and teachers the experiences in curriculum development and all materials and resources they develop, e.g. work plans, teaching materials, research reports, students' work (The copyright of these materials will be co-owned by the EDB and the schools concerned. The EDB also reserves the right to compile and refine the materials before disseminating them for educational purposes)
- observe strictly their legal obligations and, in all cases, comply with the Copyright Ordinance in developing school-based curriculum materials
b.For schools intending to nominate teachers to participate in the Curriculum Leaders Learning Communities, please note that:
- the nominees should be Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), Assistant Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), or Senior Primary School Masters/Mistresses
- they should make arrangements in the timetable to release the nominees for the meeting and activities
- 'A good beginning is half done'
- It is not necessary to begin with impeccable plans before putting thoughts into actions. We can introduce ‘half-baked’ ideas to stimulate thinking
- Don’t overlook the importance of integrating subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge in the daily practice
- Try to explore and understand the learning difficulty and complexity encountered by adults (teachers) in workplace contexts (schools)
- Teaching should always encompass collective critical reflections with reference to evidence-based practices
- We need to strategically disseminate within and outside schools the evidence-based teaching practices
- To sustain continuous development, we need to cultivate in teachers a sense of curriculum ownership and to enhance their capacity in constructing and generating knowledge persistently throughout their career
Our experiences in school-based curriculum development
- On-site support services
Based on the annual questionnaire surveys administered to all teachers receiving our services in the past five years (from 2006-2011), the satisfaction rating has increased from 4.22 to 4.28 in the 5 point scale (5 being the highest rating)
- Professional development activities
The School-based Curriculum Development (Primary) Section has been organizing the yearly ‘Journey on Learning in Action’ Seminar Series since 2001 for local educators and teachers. These seminars and sharing sessions, usually accommodating 30 parallel sessions with a large audience of 1500 principals, curriculum leaders and practicing teachers, create platform for teachers engaged in the curriculum development process to conceptualize their valuable experiences and generate practical knowledge for dissemination to the public. An overall rating of 4 or above in the 5 point scale (5 being the highest rating) is consistently scored in the end of activity questionnaire survey throughout the past years.
- Curriculum Leader Learning Community
Ever since the launching of the Curriculum Leader Learning Community in 2004, the overall satisfaction rating in the annual questionnaire survey increases from 4.46 to 4.59 in the 5 point scale (5 being the highest rating)
- Participation in international conference
Professional staff from the Section is keen on joining and presenting papers in international conferences with themes related to teacher learning and development and support services
- 2001 Presentation made at Harvard University: ‘Quality Learning & Teaching: Facilitating Teachers’ Paradigm Shift from Knowledge Transmission to Knowledge Construction in Hong Kong’
- 2004 Presentation made at the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) held in Hong Kong: ‘Who is Supporting Whom? Synergy in Teacher Professional Development’
- 2008 Presentation made at the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) held in Portugal: ‘Widening the space of support through evidence-informed practices: experiences and reflection of a school-based teacher support team in Education Bureau, HKSAR’