The traditional university science curriculum was designed to train specialists in specific disciplines. However, in universities all over the world, science students are going into increasingly diverse careers and the current model does not fit their needs. Advances in technology also make certain modes of learning obsolete.
The Faculty of Science of the University of Hong Kong has recently undertaken major curriculum reforms. A sequence of science foundation courses required of all incoming science students are designed to teach science in an integrated manner, and to emphasize the concepts, not computational techniques, of mathematics. A number of non-discipline specific common core courses have been developed to broaden students’ awareness of the relevance of science to society and the interdisciplinary nature of science. By putting the emphasis on the process rather than the outcome, students are taught how to identify, formulate, and solve diverse problems.
Prof. Sun Kwok, who served as Dean of Science of the University of Hong Kong between 2006 and 2016, will discuss the rationale, implementation, and student reactions to these reforms. The relevance to the Canadian university science curricula will also be discussed.
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1