Learning Chinese Culture in Hong Kong Tertiary Education

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Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 and has changed its political identity from a British colony to a Special Administrative Region of People’s Republic of China. The post-colonial administrative policy is based on the Basic Law, the provisional constitution for Hong Kong until 2047, and continues the existing structure for governance and educational policy. The teaching of Chinese culture in the tertiary education, however, has become an issue of political and cultural identity, for Hong Kong is now part of Chinese sovereignty. City University of Hong Kong started planning its university requirement of 6 credits in 1996 and founded Chinese Civilisation Centre (CCIV) to implement the program in 1998.

The CCIV program developed a new pedagogical scheme in teaching and learning Chinese culture on the tertiary level and has proved to be successful after practicing it for 11 years. It emphasizes the role of participation, self learning, and diverse approaches to the subjects. Online teaching is introduced and tutorial sessions with more discussions and student presentations constitute the main part of classroom teaching. Chinese culture and Chinese performing art lectures and demonstrations enrich the learning process and entice students’ interests in knowing more about their own culture. A mandatory field trip studying some cultural sites, such as Buddhist or Daoist temples and traditional extended clan village, also help students to the enlightenment of their own cultural background in a changing world.


Keywords: Hong Kong Tertiary Education, Chinese Culture, Cultural Identity, New Pedagogy
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Pei-kai Cheng

Director, Chinese Civilisation Centre, Chinese Civilisation Centre, City University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Graduated from National Taiwan University with a B.A. degree in Foreign Languages & Literatures, Pei-kai Cheng went to U. S. to pursue his postgraduate work in History. He received his M.A and Ph.D degrees in History respectively from University of Hawaii and Yale University. He has taught at Wesleyan University (1978-79); State University of New York at Albany (1979-82); Yale University (1982-83); National Taiwan University (1991); National Tsinghua University (1993-95); Pace University (1983 - 98). He also served as editor of Dousou Journal (Hong Kong ) (1979-83) and the editor-in-chief of Chinese Culture Quarterly (1986 – present).

His research interests are mainly related with Chinese cultural history, Chinese cultural aesthetics, Ming-Qing artistic consciousness, and historicity of Chinese Drama and Films. His publications include Tang Xianzu and Late Ming Culture (1995), A Documentary Study of Fascism in China (with Michael Lestz, 1999), Selected Prose of Dai Wangshu (1987), China Westward: Chinese Export Porcelain from 9th Century to 15th Century(2005), five volumes of poetry, two volumes of essays, and five translation works.

He has been the founding director of Chinese Civilisation Centre at City University of Hong Kong since 1998, is honorary advisor to Hong Kong Arts Council, and a member of Academic Board of Directors, Institute of Advanced Humanistic Studies, Fudan University, China.

Ref: L09P1140