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FILM EDUCATION IN HONG KONG: THE WAY AHEAD

In traditional concept of education, to read and write is fundamental to our basic education. Yet until recently, few acknowledge that film literacy is also crucial in the learning experience of the youth.While moving image is an essential and widely accessible form of art today, there is no film or media programme in our existing secondary education curriculum to teach our younger generation how to watch and understand moving images.

In the light of the "334" Academic Structure, we envisage some possibilities for students to have different learning experiences and a wider variety of study fields. Film is integrated into several subjects and is encouraged to be used as a convenient teaching tool. In the New Senior Secondary curriculum, film will be introduced in the following subjects:

1. Languages Classes

Currently, the English Language curriculum introduces two electives related to film: "Learning English through Popular Culture" and "Literature in English." In the former, film is seen as one of the most popular text forms, while in the latter, film is taken as literary and creative text for appreciation and analysis. The Chinese Language curriculum too, encourages comparison between literature and film by adding an elective "Masterworks and Audio-video Appreciation".

2. Liberal Studies

Film is a powerful educational tool covering almost all aspects of socio-cultural issues. Teachers will find it applicable to the six modules in Liberal Studies including: (i) Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships; (ii) Hong Kong Today; (iii) Modern China; (iv) Globalization; (v) Public Health and (vi) Energy Technology & the Environment. Film could also be a topic for "Independent Enquiry Study" under the suggested themes of Media and Art.

3. Visual Art

The new curriculum adopts an open interpretation of arts. Besides painting and sculpture, it also embraces three-dimensional design and media-related arts; it not only focuses on art making, but also emphasizes arts appreciation and criticism. Film as a dynamic platform that comprises various art forms would give students insight into the visual culture.

The core of this subject is still on traditional fine arts; nonetheless, the government has shown efforts by inputting film and animation into the syllabus to help develop creative industries in Hong Kong.

4. Applied Learning (ApL) and Other Learning Experiences (OLE)

To provide non-academic learning experiences for students in view of developing their potential, a range of ApL courses are introduced as elective subjects. Film-related learning is under the area of "Media and Communications." OLE serves as an extra curriculum for whole-person development of students and film education could be under the realm of "Aesthetic Development." Programmes of ApL and OLE are usually run by external bodies and organisations.