1 HONG KONG SCIENCE TEACHERS JOURNAL Journal of the Hong Kong Association for Science and Mathematics Education 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 The Association is a founder member of: INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF ASSOCIATIONS FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION (ICASE) FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DES ASSOCIATIONS DE PROFESSEUJRS DE SCIENCES (FIAPS) FEDERACION INTERNACIONAL DE ASOCIACIONES DE PROFESORES DE CIENCIAS (FIAPC) I C A S E
2 HKASME Council President Hon. Auditor Hon. Legal Advisor Chairman Mr. WONG Chi Kong, Alex Vice-chairman Mr. PANG Chi Chuen Mr. CHENG Wing Kuen Hon. Secretary Mr. WONG Wing Kei, Stephen Hon. Treasurer Mr. LAU Kwok Leung, Gyver Hon. Internal Affairs Secretary Mr. LAU Tak Chi Hon. Editor Mr. LEE Wai Hon, Chris Biology Convenor Mr. LI Chi Man, Jimmy Chemistry Convenor Dr. LUI Bob General Science Convenor Mr. WONG Wing Kei, Stephen Mathematics Convenor Ms. TSUI Kwan Yuk Physics Convenor Mr. LAU Chi Ho, Humphrey Council Members Mr. KWOK Sze Chai, Charles Mr. MOK Ming Wai, Michael Mr. NG Bing, Ben Mr. WONG Chun Yin, Roi Immediate Past Chairman Mr. OR Choi Kuen Office Staff Project Co-ordinator: Dr. LAI Ching Secretary: Ms. CHU Bik Ha Accounting Officer: Ms. LO Yin Fong, Yvonne Professor Paul CHU Mr. Alex WU Mr. Lester HUANG STFA Lee Shau Kee College The Chinese University of Hong Kong St. Stephen s Girls College China Holiness Church Living Spirit College TWGHS Wong Fung Ling College HKASME PLK Celine Ho Yam Tong College YLPMSAA Tang Siu Tong Secondary School King s College China Holiness Church Living Spirit College HKSYCIA Wong Tai Shan Memorial College SKH Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School Queen Elizabeth School Old Students Association Secondary School Wah Yan College, Kowloon HKASME Ho Lap College (Sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen) Sai Kung Sung Tsun Catholic School (Secondary Section)
4 Contributions to the Journal Articles for the Hong Kong Science Teachers Journal are welcomed from anyone interested in Science and Mathematics Education. Practising teachers are particularly encouraged to contribute. Articles may be submitted to the Editor at the address/ address given below in either English or Chinese. The next issue (Volume 29, August 2013) will be published in August In particular references should be made using the name-date convention. Abstracts of articles are not required, but it will be usual for articles to begin with an introductory paragraph. Authors should make clear the namestyle and institution which they wish to head the article. Long articles, or articles with many illustrations, must be submitted on or before 30 June, 2013, though short notes, book reviews may be considered later than this. The views expressed in articles within this journal are authors own and do not necessarily represent any official view either of the Association or any other public body. Copyright of each article is co-owned by the author and the HKASME. The HKASME is willing, unless otherwise stated, to permit other similar educational, scientific associations to reproduce articles from this journal (for non-profit making purposes) without prior notification, by giving the usual acknowledgements. This does not apply to articles reproduced from other magazines. 會 刊 徵 稿 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 會 刊 ( 下 稱 本 刊 ) 歡 迎 對 數 理 教 育 有 興 趣 的 人 士 特 別 鼓 勵 現 職 教 師 來 稿 稿 件 可 以 中 英 文 字 發 表, 來 稿 請 寄 本 會 的 地 址 / 電 郵 地 址 ( 後 附 ), 轉 交 本 刊 編 輯 下 一 期 的 會 刊 ( 第 29 期,2013 年 8 月 號 ) 將 於 2013 年 8 月 出 版 文 章 後 的 參 考 資 料 請 按 人 名 日 期 的 習 慣 附 註 論 文 不 一 定 有 摘 要, 但 文 章 的 開 始 宜 有 一 段 簡 介 作 者 須 清 楚 表 示 他 希 望 在 文 章 前 所 用 的 作 者 名 字 職 銜 及 院 校 名 稱, 長 論 文 請 於 2013 年 6 月 30 日 或 之 前 遞 交 稿 件, 以 便 進 行 編 輯 及 審 閱 的 工 作 但 較 短 的 文 章 如 書 籍 評 介 教 學 筆 記 等, 可 以 稍 遲 一 點 遞 交 本 刊 內 的 文 章 只 代 表 作 者 的 個 人 觀 點, 並 不 代 表 本 會 或 其 所 屬 團 體 的 意 見 本 會 與 文 章 的 作 者, 共 同 擁 有 該 文 章 的 版 權 本 刊 內 的 文 章, 除 有 特 別 聲 明 外, 容 許 各 教 育 科 學 等 團 體 複 製 作 非 牟 利 用 途 而 毋 須 事 前 知 會, 惟 須 註 明 及 鳴 謝 但 這 條 款 並 不 適 用 於 來 自 其 他 刊 物 的 文 章 All correspondence should be addressed to 來 稿 請 寄 下 列 地 址 : The Hon. Journal Editor, HKASME Room 114, 1/F, Po On Court, 1-15 Po On Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 會 址 : 九 龍 深 水 埗 保 安 道 寶 安 閣 一 樓 114 室 電 話 TEL: / 傳 真 FAX: (852-) 電 郵
5 Editorial Chris, Wai-hon Lee Journal Editor, HKASME Following the idea adopted in recent issues, this issue of Hong Kong Science Teachers Journal consists of two main parts: Articles and Newsletter. We hope that our Journal can be academic, as well as informative about the HKASME. There are 10 academic articles, with 6 in English and 4 in Chinese, in the Articles part. The author of the 1 st article 詩 詞 曲 歌 學 化 學 introduced the use of different classical Chinese poetry forms in teaching chemistry. The way of teaching is innovative, as well as effective in enhancing students interest and understanding in chemistry. This article serves as a good reference material for chemistry teachers. The author of the 2 nd article Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? was deeply inspired by a book called The Unnatural Nature of Science. In the article, she shared her experience in teaching the nature of science based on the insights after reading the book. Science teachers are highly recommended to read this article. Science is fun! The author of the 3 rd article 科 學 魔 法 擂 台 demonstrated how to design and organize a creative science activity for all students in the college. He designed some science magic based on simple experiments and science concepts. Science teachers who like to design teaching activities are highly recommended to read this article. The author of the 4 th article How Can We Help You? - Gifted Education and The New Professional Development Framework for Teachers in Hong Kong shared a new approach to the training of teachers in gifted education in order to better meet the learning needs of gifted students. Teachers can have a better understanding of the training of teachers in gifted education after reading this article. The author of the 5 th article 飄 移 紙 飛 機 discussed the scientific principles of making paper airplanes and shared his experience in making paper airplanes and the investigation process. Some samples of paper airplanes, teaching plans and ideas on scientific investigation are also included. This article might provide teachers with some insights about teaching the topic. Ball-and-stick models are frequently used as 3D representations of molecules in science teaching. The authors of the 6 th article Constructing Molecular Models with Low-cost Toy Beads shared how to construct molecular models using low-cost toy beads. Such a low cost makes it affordable for most schools in arranging small group or individual model-building activities. This article serves as a good reference material for chemistry and science teachers.
6 The authors of the 7 th article 運 用 STS 教 學 促 進 高 中 學 生 學 習 甲 醛 及 多 相 催 化 作 用 shared how to make use of the Science-Technology-Society (STS) approach in teaching the chemistry topic Methanal and Heterogeneous Catalysis. The STS approach allows students to grasp new ideas based on daily life issues so that students learning experiences will not be boring. This article might provide chemistry teachers with some insights on teaching methodologies. The last three articles in this issue are related to the project of the HKASME funded by the Quality Education Fund (QEF). The author of the 8 th article Hebron Science Quest: an Interactive e-platform for Science Learning discussed how the teachers of various science disciplines in Assembly of God Hebron Secondary School, one of the schools joining the QEF project, collaborate with each other to promote NSS students learning of science. The authors of the 9 th article Driving Forces and Success Factors for School-based Curriculum Development in Science KLA reported the experiences of working with collaborative schools in the QEF project. In the report, the driving forces and success factors for school-based curriculum development in science KLA are highlighted. The author of the 10 th article Curriculum Leadership Beyond the School Wall: The Case of Integrated Science (S4-6) reported the inter-school collaboration via a web-based platform of teaching the subject Integrated Science in the New Senior Secondary curriculum. The article also investigates how the curriculum leadership in a school copes with the challenge of handling this brand new subject. The views of science teachers could be broadened after reading these three articles. In the Newsletter part, a lot of information about the HKASME can be found. Members can revisit the activities held in the last academic year from the Chairman s Report, Subject Reports, Hon Internal Affairs Secretary s Annual Report and FLOSSIG Annual Report. Among the activities held, the AGM Forum is probably the most important event to the education sector. The article 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 週 年 會 員 大 會 2012 reminds us the highlights of various parts of the event. Besides, some representatives of the HKASME were involved in an academic exchange with some secondary school science teachers at Shaoguan in the Mainland China. The article 粵 港 中 學 科 學 學 科 教 師 交 流 會 2012 有 效 的 學 與 教 簡 報 records some episodes of the event. The cover of this issue is a photo captured during the AGM Forum this year. In the photo, Mr. Chi-chuen Pang, the Vice-chairman of the HKASME, was introducing the theme of the AGM Forum, Next Step In The Education Reform: The Professional Role We Should Play.
9 Contents 目 錄 Articles 論 文 1. 詩 詞 曲 歌 學 化 學...P.1 潘 永 強 筲 箕 灣 東 官 立 中 學 2. Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural?...P.5 Carole, Kwan-ping Lee, University of Maine at Farmington, USA 3. 科 學 魔 法 擂 台...P.12 李 偉 瀚 保 良 局 何 蔭 棠 中 學 4. How Can We Help You? - Gifted Education and the New Professional Development Framework for Teachers in Hong Kong...P.24 Stephen Tommis, The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education 5. 飄 移 紙 飛 機...P.33 張 澤 民 文 理 書 院 ( 香 港 ) 6. Constructing Molecular Models with Low-cost Toy Beads...P.54 Se-yuen Mak, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Siu-ling Wong, The University of Hong Kong Pun-hon Ng, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 7. 運 用 STS 教 學 促 進 高 中 學 生 學 習 甲 醛 及 多 相 催 化 作 用...P.70 張 善 培 香 港 中 文 大 學 課 程 與 教 學 學 系 楊 玫 真 香 港 中 文 大 學 課 程 與 教 學 學 系 8. Hebron Science Quest: an Interactive e-platform for Science Learning...P.75 James, Kin-on Wong, QEF Project Consultant, HKASME
10 9. Driving Forces and Success Factors for School-based Curriculum Development in Science KLA...P.90 Chi-kin Wong, QEF Project Leader, HKASME Ching Lai, QEF Project Co-ordinator, HKASME 10. Curriculum Leadership Beyond the School Wall: The Case of Integrated Science (S4-6)...P.105 Wai-leung Kwong, QEF Project Consultant, HKASME Newsletter 會 訊 1. Chairman s Report P.111 Chi-kong Wong, Chairman, HKASME 2. Report on Activities in Memory of Mr. Ng Chung Chun and Donation for the Memorial Activities P.113 Chi-kong Wong, Chairman, HKASME 3. 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 週 年 會 員 大 會 P.115 賴 晴 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 項 目 統 籌 主 任 4. Hon. Internal Affairs Secretary s Annual Report P.117 Tak-chi Lau, Hon. Internal Affairs Secretary, HKASME 5. 科 組 簡 報 (Subject Reports)... P.118 徐 崑 玉 劉 國 良 吳 賓 陳 君 凌 林 威 廉 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 各 科 組 召 集 人 6. FLOSSIG Annual Report P.135 Tak-chi Lau, Hon. Internal Affairs Secretary, HKASME 7. 粵 港 中 學 科 學 學 科 教 師 交 流 會 2012 有 效 的 學 與 教 簡 報...P.136 劉 德 志 彭 志 泉 黃 兆 湛 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 8. 新 產 品 快 訊 (New Products Section)...P.139 Ben Ng, Council Member, HKASME
15 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? 5 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? Carole, Kwan-ping Lee University of Maine at Farmington, USA Why the nature of science is unnatural? What is common sense? What is moral or immoral science? You will have the insights of the questions by reading the book - The Unnatural Nature of Science, which was written by Lewis Wolpert and published by Cambridge: Harvard University Press in Though the book was written about twenty years ago, many phenomena and principles described are still applicable today. This entertaining and informative book is suitable for teachers and students. And I will share with you how I use some of the ideas in the book to teach the nature of science. Introduction When I encountered this book a few years ago, definitely, I was attracted by the title The Nature of Science. But more than that, I was fascinated by the word Unnatural. Why such word occurs in front of The Nature of Science? Often, we say science is the study of nature, and many wonders of science are natural processes. For example, when water reaches C, it boils and steam is rising up. We certainly consider it as a natural process. So what is the possible connotation of unnatural? From the description in the inner front cover, Wolpert tells us that science theories are not constructed on a common-sensical basis and some scientific discoveries seem opposing to our own experiences and observations. Apart from describing what the nature of science is, he hopes that the public after reading the book will have a more sympathetic attitude toward science and some of their misunderstandings of the nature of science can be clarified. Thus, with a clear mind the public are able to make informed decisions on science related issues such as the environment, genetic engineering, and nuclear power. Why Science is Unnatural In chapter 1, Wolpert talks about why science is unnatural. He begins by stating that Thomas Henry Huxley, an evolutionist, said that science is nothing more than trained common sense; and Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician also stated that science is rooted in the whole apparatus of common sense thought. Though Wolpert defines science is the explanation of nature, he argues that science is unnatural for two main reasons. Firstly, scientific ideas very often cannot be explained by natural thinking, that is, our ordinary and day-to-day common sense. Secondly, doing science requires a conscious awareness of the pitfalls of natural thinking because using common sense is prone to make mistakes when applied to problems requiring rigorous and quantitative thinking. Some science concepts are inconsistent with our personal experiences and are not based on logical reasoning. Therefore, using common sense rationales are inadequate to explain some physical phenomena. More of the unnatural arguments such as the law of motion and the nature of light can be found in chapter 1. Hong Kong Science Teachers Journal 2012 Volume 28 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 會 刊 2012 年 總 第 28 期
16 6 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? Is there a rational and logical way of thinking Wolpert puts forward an experiment to illustrate that rational and logical rules sometimes fail to solve a problem. Imagine you are presented with four cards, each with a letter on one side and a number on the other. The four cards when placed on the table show A, J, 2 and 7. Your task is to decide which cards should be turned over in order to determine the truth or falsity of the following statement: If there is a vowel on one side of the card then there is an even number on the other side. Most people would turn over the card with A, and some would turn over the card with 2 on it. Few would choose the card with 7, even though this is a logical choice. If there is a vowel on the other side of 7, the rule would be falsified. Whatever is on the other side of 2 will not give us any useful information since whether or not it is a vowel or a consonant will not determine the validity of the rule. With this experiment, it shows that most of us would try to confirm hypotheses rather than refute them. Try this activity with your students and see what happen! Feature of the book Wolpert uses simple English without difficult scientific term to describe and explain the scientific phenomenon. For example, he uses driving the dye away instead of using the word diffusing in explaining the spreading out of color in the dye experiment. In comparing the time taken for a bullet to drop from one s hand with another bullet being fired horizontally at exactly the same time, and which bullet would hit the ground faster, he simply states that the bullet s rate of fall is quite independent of its horizontal motion rather than using the principles of projectile to explain the phenomenon. Wolpert talks about the social responsibilities of scientists in chapter 8 - Moral and Immoral Science. Being a research embryologist, Wolpert describes the bioethic issues in eugenics, genetic engineering and gene therapy, and explains clearly his viewpoints why scientists should be ethically responsible for their research. He questions Why does the prospect of gene therapy... pose major ethical issues? (p ). The book is written in a concise and precise format with an explicit title for each chapter. An overall review of every chapter is provided in the Introduction. Readers can choose what to read according to his/her interests. If one likes to know more about the work of the scientists and philosophers in science, this is a recommended book as the full names of all scientists and philosophers mentioned have been spelled out. How the teaching of Nature of Science is related As the whole book is about the nature of science, it is difficult to quote exhaustively all the examples mentioned by Wolpert. Relevant examples that can be used to teach the nature of science and can be easily understood by high school students are listed in Table 1.
17 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? 7 Table 1: Key issues of the nature of science addressed: Key issues of the Exemplified by nature of science i) What is science knowledge Science knowledge When a bullet is dropped freely is counter-intuitive and at the same time another and may not be bullet is fired horizontally, the explained by time period for both of them to common sense hit on the ground is the same. (chapter 1) Without an external force, the natural state of a moving object should be moving at a constant speed. White light is made up of seven colors. When things burn, oxygen is take up rather than something is released. The spreading of color in water is due to the movement of the dye molecules in the water. There is a downward force acted on a ball when it is thrown up. The earth goes round the sun. The DNA in cells undergo evolutionary change from generation to generation. Comments Wolpert quotes a lot of daily life examples which challenge our common sense of thinking. The principles behind the phenomena are, in fact, difficult to be explained using common sense. Teachers can use the examples to ask students and see what their responses are. Through teacherstudent interaction, students may realize that the explanation of the nature of science may go beyond common sense. Difference between science and technology (chapter 2) Science produces ideas and technology produces usable objects. Technology has been long existed, e.g. agriculture, metalwork, steam engine, tool making, animal domestication, crafts etc. Unlike science which is mathematical and full of abstract thinking, many aspects of technology are pictorial, visual and non-verbal. Science is made up of ideas whereas technology is full of artifacts. Science depends on technology in terms of ideas and for apparatus. Wolpert clearly distinguishes science from technology but he also agrees that science and technology have impact on one another. In the ending paragraph of this chapter, Wolpert mentions that Japan is soaring in industry because of the success in applying science but not based on science. This illustrates clearly that technology, not science, accounts greatly for the prosperity in economic development.
18 8 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? The success in science is rewarded by esteem but for technology it is rewarded by money. Creativity in science (chapter 4) Science does not necessary provide an explanation of the world Science cannot answer all questions No single step to scientific method Science is related with mathematics Though Wolpert begins the chapter with Among the confusions about the nature of science that arts and sciences are basically similar are both creative products of the human imagination, he admits that there are differences between science and art (Appendix A). He concludes one similarity is that both science and art consist of human imagination and the ideas take many years to develop. The whole history of science is filled with new discoveries and the overthrow or modification of ideas which were held to be true. Hence, scientific knowledge is not a true description of the world. (p. 102) Science cannot solve moral and political issues and provide solutions to all technological problems. (p. 173) Science cannot predict global climate change. (p. 174) Patients suffer an illness whereas doctors treat a disease. There is no way a doctor can treat the sufferings. (p. 176) It is difficult to understand science as there is no formula for scientific method. (p. 177) Peter Medawar pointed out that scientific paper is a kind of fraud, for it bears no relation to the way in which scientists actually work. (p. 101) No one method or no paradigm will capture the process of science. There is no such thing as the scientific method. (p.108) Motion in science is related with calculus. (p. 121) It is an unnatural feature of science that mathematics can describe the inanimate behavior of systems in physics and the
19 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? 9 living behavior in biology. (p.7) ii) How science is affected by human behavior Science can be Thinking that scientists are subjective unemotional is an illusion; they are subjective and may fail to give the theories up even in the face of evidence against them. (p.18) Science research generates competition and cooperation (chapter 5) Science needs common consensus (chapter 5) Scientific ideas such as DNA and evolution are incorporated together; scientists need to be cooperative. Once a scientific discovery has been made, others cannot make it. Many scientific papers are written by four or five authors; single-author papers are rare. In molecular biology, once a paper is published, the authors are bound to enable other scientists to pursue work on those genes or proteins or collaboratively working on it and cannot keep all the materials to themselves. Scientists compete to be the first to publicize their findings as it is disadvantage to be the second discoverer. David Hilbert, a mathematician, said the importance of a scientific work depends on the superfluous of the previous publications. Scientists need to persuade other scientists to validate their ideas. The transposition gene theory by Barbra McClintock was not accepted until many years later scientists discovered transposition occurred in bacteria. Same happened in Alfred Wegener s continental drift and Lord Kelvin s ideas on the age of the earth. Wolpert is positive and the quoted examples are more on co-operation than competition among scientists.
20 10 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? People from all cultures contribute to science iii) How is science and society related Scientific ideas are affected by the social and historical environment Lord Rutherford, an American and Leo Szilard, a Hungarian both contributed to the discovery of atomic bomb. (p. 153) Scientists in the east and west discover science, but the approach and perspectives of discovery were different. (chapter 3) The making of hydrogen bomb in World War II was a political and not a scientific decision. (p.157) Ideas about how the embryo developed were strongly influenced by religious beliefs. (p.120) Scientific ideas may be used to justify social attitudes. (p.120) Science can alleviate genetic diseases by using genetic engineering if society finds it acceptable. If not, like euthanasia, it can be banned. (p. 173) Wolpert believes that the origin of science was in Greece. Thales of Miletos, a Greek philosopher in the 600 B.C. was the first person who used water to explain the world. His thought was contrary to common sense but was the essence of science. Science is part of social and cultural traditions New knowledge must be reported clearly and openly People s views are influenced by scientific ideas such as the earth goes round the sun; genetic defects cause disease and radioactivity can be dangerous. (p. 177) Scientists must inform the public about the possible implications of their work and when sensitive social issues arise, they must be clear about the reliability of their studies. (p.152) Conclusion Wolpert states that this book is for the general public and he tries to quote daily and practical examples. However, some of the examples are embedded with scientific principles and it can be a bit difficult to comprehend if one does not have any science background knowledge.
21 Why the Nature of Science is Unnatural? 11 In chapter 2 and chapter 8, Wolpert emphasizes the distinction between technological development and scientific knowledge, and he uses the bomb dropped in Hiroshima in 1945 as an example. He states that... there is no clear relation between ideas and implementation, between science and technology. Building of the bomb was a technological commitment, and its achievement was based on scientific knowledge. (p. 156). Apparently, he considers doctors and engineers are just technologist but not scientists; as they apply scientific knowledge and do not invent knowledge (p. 162). Wolpert thinks that ethical and social responsibilities of science should be considered when doing experiments on human genetics and gene therapy. Scientists should have the obligation to examine the social implications of their work and should inform the public about the possible consequences. He also mentions the problem of fairness in terms of wealthy people who can afford to pay for the manipulation of gene therapy. At the end of the book, Wolpert talks about science education. He bashes that education in science avoids personalities (p. 177) and science knowledge is learnt by rote memorization. He proposes that science should be taught with insight and creativity. The concept of Theory and Law is not much mentioned in the book. Wolpert causally addresses that theories are constructed to explain observed phenomena and these theories must be capable of being tested by both confirmation and falsification. Moreover, theories must be capable of modification or abandonment when evidence demands it (p. 2). I strongly recommend this book to science teachers and students as it will widen their perspectives of viewing science. Nature of science is not a subject of content or knowledge to be taught for tests. Students need to fully understand the nature of science as it does play a significant role in our society and everyday life. After reading the book, I think many of us will take back the statement Science is common-sense as we have mistakenly and casually saying it for many years. Appendix A: Differences between art and science Art It is personal. It reflects one s feelings or ideas of the artist. There is no sure way of judging. It can have multiple interpretations. It has strong moral overtones. It is an individual achievement. The fame of the artist is recognized. Other artists can redo that particular piece of art. It can be plagiarized but cannot be falsified. Science It is an understanding of the nature. The knowledge is constrained by selfconsistency. It has clear and strict meaning. It is value free. It requires a long period of intensive conscious study. The enterprise is anonymous. It is a cumulative work that needs consensus. Shared criteria and objectives are used for judging the work. Once a particular theory is made, it is difficult for someone to redo it.
34 24 How Can We Help You? - Gifted Education and the New Professional Development Framework for Teachers in Hong Kong How Can We Help You? - Gifted Education and the New Professional Development Framework for Teachers in Hong Kong Introduction Stephen Tommis The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education It is estimated that there are about 20,000 primary- and secondary-aged students who might be classed as gifted in the educational jurisdiction of Hong Kong. The term gifted refers approximately to the top 2% of all students and covers a broad range of domains, including creativity and leadership. This is a significant number, and it poses the question of how best to support teachers and schools in making appropriate provision for these students both in and out of the regular classroom. This question is particularly important when it is realized that gifted education (GE) in Hong Kong is not mandatory. There is nothing in the ordinances that makes GE compulsory in all schools and so many schools will take the view that GE can wait till there is more space in a busy school schedule to place GE on the agenda. In the meantime, many of these students will continue to face problems in their learning, some will manifest behavioural issues, and most will remain frustrated with their experience of learning and therefore underperform, possibly for the rest of their lives. We recognise that schools and teachers need information, help and support. Such functions are performed by the Gifted Education Section (GES) of EDB and the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE) and this paper sets out how both GES and the HKAGE have developed a new and different approach to the training of teachers in GE through the Professional Development Framework (PDF) and how you can take part in enhancing your own professional development to better meet the learning needs of gifted students. All courses are free of charge to registered or permitted teachers. Background to Gifted Education in Hong Kong Hong Kong aims to provide gifted students with educational opportunities necessary to help them develop their potential to the full, to become autonomous learners and well-adjusted individuals willing to contribute to the community. The present policy encourages mainstream schools to nourish gifted students through school-based gifted development programmes to meet their educational needs, i.e. the needs of the gifted should be met in the regular class using flexible and creative teaching approaches. There is also considerable recognition by the authorities of the need to support gifted students in their emotional and social needs. On-site and off-site support is provided to schools in facilitating them to foster the multiple potential of the gifted. Moreover, the policy recognises there are gifted students with special learning and/or behavioural needs (those who are twice exceptional ) who should be adequately supported in all schools at all levels. The mission of GE is, therefore, to fully explore and develop the potential of gifted students systematically and strategically by providing them with opportunities to receive education at appropriate levels in flexible teaching and learning environments. To cater for the educational needs of gifted students, Hong Kong advocates the following principles: Nurturing multiple intelligences is a fundamental goal of quality basic education and should be the mission of all schools Hong Kong Science Teachers Journal 2012 Volume 28 香 港 數 理 教 育 學 會 會 刊 2012 年 總 第 28 期