Annual Hotung Lecture cum Biennial Parent Conference 2022 Exploring Keys to Fostering Gifted Students to Become Our Future Leaders
(22 June 2022, Hong Kong) The signature event of the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE), the Annual Hotung Lecture cum Biennial Parent Conference 2022 (Lecture), was successfully concluded on 18 June. It was well received by more than 200 educators, professionals, parents, and members of the public who attended the event in person. Besides, a viewing rate of over 200 visits was recorded for the live webcast.
In the complex and ever-changing society nowadays, challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and global warming issues emerge one after another. Our society may face even more and greater challenges still to come. In times of rapid changes, far-sighted and extraordinarily courageous leaders are needed to lead society to open new horizons. Gifted students, being exceptionally talented, are likely to take up leadership roles in various areas in the future if they are nurtured appropriately.
In view of this, the HKAGE was glad to have Professor CHENG Kai Ming, Emeritus Professor of The University of Hong Kong as the keynote speaker of the Lecture; whereas Mrs CHAN LUI Ling Yee Lilian, Guest Lecturer of Centre for Educational Leadership of The University of Hong Kong, and Ms WONG Ho Yee Miranda, Director of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) Leadership Institute were invited as the speakers at the Parent Talk and Teacher Talk respectively in the Biennial Parent Conference.
Professor CHENG Kai Ming: Don't Let Giftedness Become Shackles of the Gifted
Professor CHENG Kai Ming shared his enlightening insight on the topic ‘Giftedness: Gifts or Shackles?’. The keynote speech started with a thought-provoking question: ‘The greatest challenge for education is the world has changed. Are the methods used for nurturing children before still applicable today?’ The opening question was followed by even more questions for the participants to reflect on: How to avoid deeming today’s advantages to be lifelong advantages? How to balance intellectual development with affective development? How to avoid treating giftedness as a privilege? How to prevent one’s giftedness from becoming one’s shackles? And how to avoid turning the nurturing of leadership into a band-tightening spell? By quoting the twists and turns of the Jiangxi prodigy Ning Po's life, Professor CHENG concluded his speech by encouraging parents and teachers not to be bound by the traditional perceptions of giftedness but to let their gifted children/students flourish in their own way according to their own characteristics!
Mrs Lilian CHAN's Message to Parents: Leave More Space for Your Children and Yourselves
At the Parent Talk, Mrs Lilian CHAN introduced to the audience the characteristics of future leaders, including optimism, courage, and diligence. Besides these, a good leader should also possess the virtues of kindness, integrity, fairness, benevolence, gratitude, and dedication. ‘I hope parents will leave more space for their children and themselves instead of relentlessly increasing training for their children. One thing that parents can help their children is to give a sense of wellness in their lives from early childhood. To me, leadership is self-management. Only those who manage themselves well are capable of managing others.’
Ms Miranda WONG's Message to Teachers: Don’t Forget Your Original Intention and Keep a Sharp Eye on Your Students’ Potential
At the Teacher Talk, Ms Miranda WONG shared the inspirational stories of graduates of the Leadership Institute, as well as the six essential future skills that the Leadership Institute advocates for young leaders to master, including Wellness Management, Innovation & Problem Solving, Digital Skills, Resilience and Crisis Management, Life Planning, Communication, and Cooperation. ‘Though they might not be the only beacons that guide young people into the future, these skills can be taken as reference indicators. I hope all teachers will hold tight to their original intention, keep a sharp eye on their students’ potential, and provide them with a platform to unleash their potential!’
Dr LAM Tat Ho Lander, Chief Curriculum Development Officer (Gifted Education) of the Education Bureau (EDB), officiating guest of the Lecture, was delighted to hear the sharing of Professor CHENG, one of his first mentors in education. Dr LAM said, ‘Gifted students face a number of affective issues, such as excessive perfectionism, fear of failure, and easy to be frustrated. They are apt to quit without proper nurturing. Therefore, home-school cooperation is essential in the development of gifted students. I believe that the speakers’ tips for nurturing gifted students will be very useful to the participants.’
Ir Dr Alan LAM Hiu Fung, Chairperson of the HKAGE, expressed his gratitude to all speakers and guests. ‘I am very glad to be present at this event. With the advancement of technology and the free flow of information nowadays, everyone can become a specialist. However, specialised knowledge alone is not sufficient for solving huge problems. Nowadays, generalists seem to be more valuable as they can cater better to the needs of the ever-changing society and are hence more popular in the result-oriented society,’ said Ir Dr LAM.
In his appreciation speech, Mr WONG Chung Po, Associate Director (Programme) of the HKAGE, thanked the three speakers for generously sharing their precious experience and the participants for joining the event. ‘Today’s event is a remarkable milestone for us as it is the first time for the Lecture to be held in a Gifted Education Satellite Centre. I look forward to having more collaborations with different Satellite Centres in future so that more educators and parents will benefit from our partnership. In recent years, the HKAGE has actively implemented the Talent Development Model, under which various learning pathways are provided to gifted students. We hope that through the learning pathways, gifted students will know more about their specific talents and become future leaders,’ said Mr WONG.
The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education, a subvented non-governmental organisation, was established in 2008. It aims at serving the education sector in Hong Kong, offering high quality information and appropriate learning opportunities to students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders engaged in gifted education. Most of its programmes are provided free-of-charge.
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Mr WONG Chung Po, Associate Director (Programme) of the HKAGE, hoped that through the learning pathways, gifted students would identify their specific talents and become future leaders.