Newsletter No. 357

1 No. 357, 4.5.2010 第三五七期 二零一零年五月四日 No. 357 4 May 2010 本刊由香港中文大学资讯处出版,每月出版两期。截稿日期及稿例载于 。 The CUHK Newsletter is published by the Information Services Office, CUHK, on a fortnightly basis. Submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at (续下页 To be continued ) 通 识教育对培养学生广阔的视野、综观全局而深入 分析的能力不可或缺。大学通识教育主任张灿辉 教授说:「General Education 一词源自拉丁语 studium generale ,即来自各方的人一起学习的意思。General并非 普通简单之意,而是为所有人而设,涵括所有人。」 目前中大的大学通识课程分为「中华文化传承」、「自 然、科技与环境」、「社会与文化」和「自我与人文」 四个范围,八个学院四十多个学系共同参与,每年 开办二百多门题材广泛的科目,某程度上已达到了 「来自各方的人一起学习」的理想,为学生开展了广阔的知 识层面,灌输了不同学科的价值的理解。 怎样达到博采而不浅陋,本就是一门学问。由2012年9月 起,大学教育将改为四年制,本校通识课程也将由十五 增至二十一学分,并会推出一个占六学分的全新必修「通 识教育基础课程」。为此,大学于2009年推出了两个先导 科目─「写给当代的经典:追寻美丽人生与美好社会」和 「经典中的科学:宇宙和生命的探索」,让学生选修。 为何必修?为何是经典? 为什么还要规限选课?通识教育基础课程主任梁美仪博 士指出:基础课程的理念是藉着共同的学习为学生建构 共同的智性及文化基础。透过直探经典,培养学生深入阅 读、思考和研讨严肃课题的习惯,对自己信念和价值的反 思,对人类处境的敏锐感察,与老师和同侪在这些问题上 智性对话,形成学习社群,理解学习与生命的关系;这种 理解正是不断学习的动力。 梁博士说:「我们选的经典都对人类社会有重大影响,蕴 含历久不衰的信念和价值,讨论了人类存在以来一直备受 关注的课题,尽管没有既定答案,但必能激发对话。」她强 调对话的重要:反覆讨论,激荡思维,学生的独立批判思 想渐渐形成,这正是终身学习的必须条件。 在这知识爆炸的年代,专业学科各自 发展,知识金字塔愈堆愈尖,每分每秒 都在衍生新知。被视为知识分子的 大学生,需要怎样汲纳知识? G eneral education (GE) is instrumental in broadening students’ horizons and developing critical thinking. Prof. Cheung Chan-fai, Director of University General Education, says, ‘“General education” is derived from the Latin term studium generale , which means “a university for all”. “General” here is not what most people take it to mean, “ordinary, simple”; but carries its Latin original meaning, “for all”.’ To achieve that ideal, currently in CUHK, more than 200 GE courses are offered by over 40 departments from eight Faculties. These courses, which fall into four areas, namely, Chinese cultural heritage; nature, technology and the environment; society and culture; and self and humanity, cover a wide spectrum of topics and give students extensive exposure to the values of different disciplines. From September 2012 onwards, local universities will adopt a four-year undergraduate curriculum. The required credits for GE at CUHK will increase from 15 to 21. The six additional credits come from the new compulsory GE Foundation (GEF) programme. Two pilot courses of the progamme were rolled out in 2009 as electives. They are ‘Classics for Today: In Search of Good Life and Good Society’ and ‘Science in Classics: Exploring the Universe and Life’. Why compulsory? Why classical texts? Why is the new programme compulsory? Dr. Leung Mei-yee, director of the GEF programme, explains that the programme is aimed at building a common intellectual and cultural foundation for the students through a shared learning experience. The study of classical texts enables students to develop the habit of reading on, thinking about and discussing serious topics. They will also be encouraged to examine their own beliefs and values, develop a sensitivity to the human condition, and carry on intellectual discussions with their teachers and peers on these issues. They will then form a learning community and try to understand the relationship between learning and life. This understanding will be the driving force for continuous learning. Dr. Leung says, ‘All the selected classics have had significant impact on human society, manifesting long lasting beliefs and values, and addressing issues critical to human existence.’ There may be no definite answers, but she stresses the importance of discussion to stimulating thought. This will foster student’s critical thinking, which is a prerequisite for life-long learning. Exploring Universe and Life Dr. Wong Wing-hung, associate programme director of the GEF programme, describes the course as ‘a journey sprung from the question of “Who am I?” Students taking the course read and compare the development of science in Western and Chinese cultures, compare how the humankind investigated, understood and changed nature and life, and reflect on human being’s place in nature.’ The students read selected passages from classical texts by Aristotle, Galileo and Newton, and ponder issues like ‘What is truth?’, the laws of life, the code of life, the limitations of science and the nature of human thinking— understanding science beyond calculations. In this age of information explosion, new knowledge is being generated every minute. How should university students discover and take in what they need? 构建中大人的共同学习经验 Building a Common Learning Experience for Students 张灿辉教授(右)及梁美仪博士 Prof. Cheung Chan-fai (right) and Dr. Leung Mei-yee