In search of an epistemological underpinning for applied learning in Hong Kong: Insights from the Aristotelian phronesis and its contribution to facilitating a sustainable transition from school to work

Wai Yan TANG, Wai Lun TANG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 2006, vocational education at the upper secondary level of schooling in Hong Kong adopted the name “Applied Learning”, as the proposed curriculum moved away from skill-based training to one that comprised values and attitudes aimed at preparing students for work, as well as for lifelong learning. The modification was intended to eliminate the old classification of the curriculum – known as pre-vocational – which suggested the curriculum was only suitable for nonacademic young people. After 8 years of implementation, the government decided that raising awareness of Applied Learning was necessary. A task force was formed in the mid-2014 to provide both strategic advice and concrete proposals on how to take this forward. This study argues that success of the Applied Learning can significantly contribute to smooth transition from school to work. This study also maintains that the integration of school and work or education and employment at an epistemological level is crucial to the success of any curriculum. This paper begins by presenting a brief sketch of the current state of Hong Kong’s vocational education sector, followed by a discussion of how Applied Learning can be conceptualised in light of Aristotle’s phronesis. The implications of these insights for teaching, learning, curriculum design, content and research are discussed, followed by recommendations on how workplaces and universities can work together to raise awareness and recognition of Applied Learning (vocational education) in the community, leading to a smooth transition from school to work. Copyright © 2018 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransitions to post-school life: Responsiveness to individual, social and economic needs
EditorsMargarita PAVLOVA, John Chi-Kin LEE, Rupert MACLEAN
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer
Pages151-166
ISBN (Electronic)9789811064760
ISBN (Print)9789811064746
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Citation

Tang, W.-Y., & Tang, W.-L. (2018). In search of an epistemological underpinning for applied learning in Hong Kong: Insights from the Aristotelian phronesis and its contribution to facilitating a sustainable transition from school to work. In M. Pavlova, J. C.-K. Lee & R. Maclean (Eds.), Transitions to post-school life: Responsiveness to individual, social and economic needs (pp. 151-166). Singapore: Springer.

Keywords

  • Phronesis/practical knowledge
  • Vocational education
  • Integrative experience

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