The reason we study history is to draw on our ancestors' experience so that we can face present-day challenges and plan for the future. Therefore, analysing history is not merely a matter of learning about "culture and heritage"; it also requires training in thinking and creative problem-solving. This programme, which is implemented in the form of whole-class enrichment activities, introduces components of gifted education into the F. 1 Chinese History subject in order to nurture the creativity of students. After being guided by teachers in completing the "History Module – Qin Dynasty", students are divided into groups for a discussion. They are encouraged to acquire better understanding and analyse historical issues from many perspectives, in objective, critical, emotional and creative ways. The programme's objectives are to encourage them to abandon subjective views and have break- through in their thinking framework, in order to enhance their creativity and problem-solving skills.
Through everyday-life scenarios, diverse examples, free-stretch environment and open questions, teachers guide the students in reflecting on and analysing the merits and demerits of the Qin emperor Qin Shi Huang to enable the students to comprehend history more deeply and objectively, and their competence in problem-solving, observation, sensitivity to problems, flexibility, fluency and creativity is enhanced.
Group discussions and the exchange of views within groups enable teachers to help students increase their collaborative and communicative skills. It also helps them learn to accept different views. After reaching a consensus, students are required to present their findings to the rest of the class. In doing so, they not only strengthen their communication skills, but also their confidence as well.
The programme's design provides opportunities for students to understand historical facts on a broader and more in-depth scale, and to learn how historical characters have influenced contemporary life. Moreover, they will be inspired to think creatively, and cultivate the habit of contemplating the facts from different perspectives. What's more, the programme allows students with high potential (such as quick thinking, strong analytical power, skills of expression and creativity) to develop their potential to the full.
In addition, by grouping students with average ability to share their views together with higher-ability or gifted students, the learning interest and ability of the former are strengthened, and the overall learning atmosphere of the classroom is improved.
Target: Secondary 1 students
Students can comprehend and analyse in depth the merits and demerits of Qin Shi Huang and their interest in history is stimulated.
Students are able to abandon preconceived personal standpoints, to make breakthroughs in their framework of thinking, via reflection on and analysis of historical issues from different perspectives. In this way, their creativity can be enhanced, and they can achieve a higher level of problem-solving ability.
Students are able to learn to respect and accept the opinions of others through the process of exchanging views in group discussions.
Students' abilities in expression and communication are strengthen by presenting their conclusions after discussion and responding to the questions of others.
Learning and Teaching Process:
Before the students embarked on the activities, they are required to collect information about Qin Shi Huang from various sources to fully prepared themselves for the tasks.
After introducing the techniques of reflecting on problems from various perspectives, teachers divide the students into four groups to analyse the merits and demerits of Qin Shi Huang from different angles, including objective, intuitive, creative and analytical angles. In the group-discussion process, teachers guide the students in seeking and reaching a consensus, of preparing their arguments and questions.
Each group is required to present its discussion results in turn, question one another, and answer the questions of others. Students must spontaneously create new arguments in response to questions raised by the other groups.
Teachers then lead the entire class in a discussion in a friendly and open atmosphere. They summarise the arguments made by each group and comprehensively comment on the merits and demerits of a historical character (for example, how deeply and to what extent historical characters influenced contemporary or future history, and whether their actions deserve praise or criticism).
Teachers guide students to go into the role of Qin Shi Huang, so that this historical character becomes more lifelike. Students are asked to design some constructive or reform policies in a creative way that the public would feel happy with. By encouraging students to think from different angles and conduct discussions, teachers can pool their collective wisdom and reach a final consensus. In addition, the process of mutual help and the creation of new ideas enhances the problem-solving skills and creativity of students.
Students acquire information-processing skills by collecting and screening information that matches their viewpoints, followed by analysis and validation.
The entire programme is comparatively more interesting. Students can study in a more relaxed and open atmosphere. Their motivation and interest about learning will thereby be stimulated. As they reflect on the same topic from different perspectives, their analytical skills and creative problem-solving skills will be enhanced.
By quoting examples and problems with various levels of difficulty, teachers satisfy the needs of students of different abilities, demonstrate the handling of problems from diverse angles, and arouse interest in learning among students.
During the process of problem solving, discussion and debate, students become more willing to accept challenges. Through discussion and the exchange of views, they can learn from and supplement each other's abilities. Not only their strengths will be fully developed; they will also learn to care about the differences in each other's abilities and points of view. Their communication and collaboration skills will thus be enhanced. Also, by thinking from various perspectives, students become more open towards different or opposing opinions. Generally speaking, exposure to an enjoyable and challenging learning atmosphere that helps them understand and analyse historical figures not only arouses students' interest about learning Chinese History, it also increases their knowledge of the subject. Through debates and thinking from different perspectives, students can give full play to their creative and higher-order thinking abilities.