Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education
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|The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education
|Type||Non Governmental Organisation (NGO)|
|Location||Sha Kok Estate, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong|
|Executive Director||Professor NG Tai Kai|
|Area served||Hong Kong|
|Motto||"Your Gifts Our Future"|
The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE) is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to offering information, support and learning opportunities to gifted students aged 10–18 years , their parents, teachers and researchers in Hong Kong. It was set up in 2007. Most of the programmes and services are provided free of charge.
In the Policy Address 2006-07, Chief Executive Donald Tsang announced the establishment of the HKAGE to provide more structured, articulated and challenging off-site programmes for gifted students, and to promote the concepts and practices of gifted education.
The HKAGE was set up in 2007. A total of $200 million were donated by the Government and Sir Joseph Hotung to the HKAGE as the start-up funding. The HKAGE started the planning and preparatory work in early 2008 and delivery of programmes and services at Kowloon Tong Education Services Centre in September 2008.
Board of Directors
The HKAGE is governed by a Board with directors appointed by the Government and drawn from various sectors of the community including prominent academics, professionals, experts in gifted education, school heads and teachers and parents etc. A small number of Education Bureau (EDB) officers will also serve on the Board to provide a formal link between the HKAGE and EDB.
Under the Board, there are five groups of Committee to oversee the strategic direction and development of the HKAGE.
Senior Management Team
The Executive Director (ED) heads the team including Association Directors and Managers to plan, lead and implement gifted education related programmes and services.
The founding Executive Director of the HKAGE is Dr. Stephen Tommis. He took up the post in February 2008. The UK-born education specialist earned his Masters degree at the University of Dundee and Doctor of Philosophy at Jesus College, Oxford. Between 2003 and 08, he was Director of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) in the UK. Since 1 June 2014, Professor Ng Tai Kai has taken up the post of Executive Director of the HKAGE. Professor Ng was appointed as the Associate Dean of Science of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2004. Since 2010, he has also served as the Director of the HKUST’s Centre for the Development of the Gifted and Talented. He is also a member of the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) Committee on Gifted Education. As a physicist, Professor Ng has made important contributions in his field. In 1993, he received an Honourable Mention in the Achievement in Asia Award of the Overseas Chinese Physics Association. In 2000 and 2002, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and awarded the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship respectively. Besides academic research, he has also been dedicated to primary and secondary education, making invaluable contributions to improve the quality of science education in Hong Kong. For instance, he has collaborated with the Education Bureau to organise teacher training programmes and develop physics teaching materials, as well as served as a member of the CDC Committee on Science Education.
Key Areas of Services
The HKAGE admits student members each year through school nomination whereby schools are invited to nominate gifted students who then join the selection process. The initial remit given to the HKAGE was to admit students in the 10-18 age range.
The nomination has been extended to primary schools. The primary school nomination is divided into three phases, based on schools’ participation in teacher training in gifted education. We launched the first phase in 2012/13 school year and the second phase of primary school nomination was finished in 2013/14 school year. In order to extend our provision of gifted programmes to more students, we plan to expand the nomination to include all primary schools in 2014/15 school year.
By December 2014, over 11,000 students aged 10 – 18 years had been admitted to the HKAGE and the Academy had served approximately 43,000 participants in more than 1,000 events.
The central planks of the HKAGE's work are to promote a better understanding of the holistic needs and development (cognitive and affective) of gifted students, to develop their confidence in the pursuit of excellence and to encourage them to serve the community.
The HKAGE organises a variety of programmes and invites university departments, non-governmental organisations, professional bodies and teachers to run them on behalf of the Academy. These programmes take various forms, including workshops, seminars, talks, weekend courses, mentoring, field trips, competitions, conferences and social service programmes. Initially, they were categorised into four major domains, namely Humanities, Leadership, Mathematics and Science, but more recently the framework has been diversified to include the Key Learning Areas (KLAs) adopted by Hong Kong in its secondary curriculum reforms. All programmes aim to stimulate and challenge students in the learning process with an active learning approach. The school curriculum may be used as a benchmark, but most of the knowledge, skills and values that students can acquire from the Academy’s programmes are markedly more advanced than those they acquire at school.
Support for parents takes the form of Parent Education Programmes and a Consultation and Assessment Centre. The Consultation and Assessment Centre is manned by a registered Educational Psychologist and a trained Education Advisor. Its services are available to parents and teachers. The Centre provides a free enquiry hotline and email response service, consultation and counselling services for parents as well as a full assessment service for those students who have complex learning needs and require more detailed examinations.
The Parental Education Programme consists of a range of seminars, workshops, parent-child parallel group, peer support groups and outreach talks spread throughout the year. Based on a needs analysis approach a wide variety of topics and issues are covered, including the identification and nurturing of gifted children, offering emotional support, communication in the family, and so on. One of the Academy’s highlighted parent events, the Parent Conference, is held every two years to provide opportunities for parents to exchange their ideas among themselves and learn from worldwide experts in gifted education. Between September 2008 and December 2014, around 290 programmes were organised for more than 26,000 parents.
Diversified training opportunities for GE issues are provided to educators to develop their skills in providing appropriate learning opportunities for gifted students in schools. Between September 2008 and December 2014, about 390 programmes were organised for over 20,000 teachers.
In 2012, the Education Bureau and the HKAGE jointly established a new Professional Development Framework (PDF) in gifted education (GE) for all teachers in Hong Kong. Under the framework, all schools are encouraged to establish dedicated posts of GE Manager and GE Coordinator in order to adopt a whole-school approach to gifted education. The professional development courses are available in three tiers, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced, among which the Foundation and Intermediate courses are available online at the HKAGE website.
Other training programmes include short thematic courses, seminars and talks. The Annual Hotung Lecture and the Biennial GE Conference are signature events of the HKAGE where overseas speakers are invited to share their insights about gifted education with local educators. Recent guest speakers included Professor June Maker from the University of Arizona, Professor Joseph Renzulli and Professor Sally Reis from the University of Connecticut, Professor Françoys Gagné from the University of Montreal, and Professor David Lubinski from the Department of Psychology and Human Development of Vanderbilt University.
The Teacher Professional Development Division (TPD) publishes a teacher magazine, Inspire, 3 times a year to share more details about gifted education with educators. The magazines are distributed to schools and also available online.
In 2012, PS and TPD published an info-kit about twice exceptional learners (i.e. students who are gifted but also have learning difficulty) for schools to guide teachers to provide suitable programmes and support for twice exceptional students to satisfy their learning and emotional needs. The sharing of twice exceptional children and their parents are included in the kit to help teachers understand more about their feeling and needs. In 2013, the booklet Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice and the DVD The Use of Questioning Techniques in Enhancing Gifted Students’ Learning were published to introduce teachers to curricular and pedagogical design for the gifted. In 2014, another booklet Guidance for the Gifted: Acknowledgment and Nourishment was published to facilitate education practitioners to guide identity development, career planning and friendship amongst the gifted. All publications are freely distributed to all schools, teacher groups and interested individuals and they are also available online.
The Research Division was set up in 2012 to conduct research on key issues of gifted education in Hong Kong, with a view to providing evidence-based advice about gifted students’ identification, gifted education course design and gifted education policy establishment. This is to ensure that gifted students, educators and parents are appropriately informed about the best practices of gifted education.
- Candy Chan (29 February 2012). "Earlier Chance for Gifted Kids". The Standard. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- The HKAGE"Objectives".The HAKGE Website. Retrieved in 2012.
- LEGCO"Item for Finance Committee "Grant to the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education" (PDF).LEGCO Website. Retrieved in 2007.
- The HKAGE"Our Purpose".The HAKGE Website. Retrieved in 2012.
- Information Services Department"press release,LCQ20: The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education".EDB Website. Retrieved in 2012.
- Chris Holland (4 March 2009). "New role full of Eastern promise". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- NAGC"A rising star in Asia" (PDF). NAGC Website. Retrieved in 2012.