Liberal Studies (LS) has recently been confirmed to be offered as an independent core subject in the local senior secondary school curriculum in 2009. There had been some controversy concerning its status as an independent core subject to be publicly examined in the coming proposed public examination in Secondary 6. This article argues that the new subject, pedagogically and epistemologically considered, should be implemented in a whole-school approach. Both from a curriculum development perspective and a philosophical perspective, the whole-school curriculum development approach is seen as more desirable, if not more feasible, when compared with an independent subject approach and a collaborative team teaching approach. The curriculum development perspective is drawn from the findings and advice given by Nias, Southworth, and Campbell (1992) in their study on whole-school curriculum development model and its advantages. They found that the success of a whole-school curriculum development approach hinges on four sets of conditions, namely institutional values, school’s structures, resources, and leadership. The philosophical perspective is premised on Gadamer’s (1989) notion of “fusion of horizons” and Bakhtin’s (1981) “heteroglossia,” both of which lay emphasis on the desirability of developing a community of multi-vocality, multi-faceted interpretation, and projection of multiple possibilities. The ultimate argument of this article is to suggest that LS should adopt a whole-school approach of curriculum development that incorporates the two notions of “fusion of horizons” and “heteroglossia” to transform the school into a hermeneutical learning community. It is because only in a hermeneutical learning community context can we generate the maximal conditions for collating and harnessing the wide array of LS-related teacher consciousness and competences among the whole school’s staff for the good of the teaching and learning of the subject. Copyright © 2007 The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2007|
CitationLam, J. T.-S. (2007). Fusion of horizons: Implications for a hermeneutical learning community approach of implementing liberal studies in Hong Kong. Education Journal, 35(1), 39-61.
- Secondary Education
- Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning
- Alt. title: 「視界交融」對香港高中校本通識科課程推行的啟示