Experiencing Classics in the GEF Programme through Farming (2017-2019)

Principal Supervisor(s): Dr. LI Ming Kenneth, Dr. CHENG Wai Pang Damian

Co-supervisor(s): Dr. CHIU Chu Lee Julie (retired in 2021), Dr. LAM To Kam Cherry, Dr. LUI Wing Sing, Dr. WONG Wing Yu Esther

General Education Foundation (GEF) Programme is designed with the vision of shaping students into better global citizens by cultivating students’ knowledge, attitudes, and values through reading classics. However, the lack of direct experience of the contexts in which ideas and issues arise hinders full appreciation of the classics and their relevance to contemporary life. An attempt by a teacher to incorporate rooftop farming into his GEF course In Dialogue with Nature showed that hands-on experience could foster a sense of relevance and immediacy, thereby enhancing understanding of dilemmas discussed in the classics, and fostering deep reflection on the ethics of applying science in real-life situations. Encouraged by the positive feedback received, this pilot project employs experiential learning through farming in both GEF courses, with the objective of improving teaching and learning and establishing a connection between the two GEF courses. Specifically, this project aims to enable students better able to:

  • reflect on personal life, social system, and the ethics of scientific applications, through farming and through visits to farmers and social enterprises;
  • engage in critical reflection on the classics concerned based on experience and considerations of real-life situations; and
  • gain solid understanding and appreciation of the classics.