An interesting article was published by the Asia Society recently highlighting some of the changes educators are making in the way they teach, to deal with today's fast paced society.

"Knowledge transmission" can't seem to keep up so schools are now teaching kids how to learn on their own, in the hopes they become lifelong learners. "Today, when knowledge itself changes rapidly and people can access unlimited content on search engines, students need to become self-directed, lifelong learners."


Hong Kong has undergone a decade of major education reform. Starting in 1999, spurred by fundamental social and economic changes, Hong Kong implemented a comprehensive overhaul in the structure, curriculum, language of instruction, and assessment both in schools and higher education. The learner-centered reforms underlying this new system have been far-reaching. They involve significant expansion of educational opportunity and a shift of emphasis from teaching to learning, from fact memorization to development of learning capacities.

Reforms included the abolition of the end-of-primary school exam to encourage more active learning; the replacement of traditional subject matter in secondary schools with learning areas; the system-wide development of liberal studies, which promotes interdisciplinary studies and project-based learning; and the introduction of applied learning, which enables students to gain real-life experience within different sectors of the economy.

The reforms have shown considerable success. Hong Kong primary students rose from fourteenth place in reading in the 2001 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study assessment to second place on this exam in 2006. Hong Kong also scored second overall on the PISA assessment of fifteen-year-olds in 2009. Still, there are significant tensions in the system. For instance, it has been challenging to shift teachers from a knowledge-transmission teaching tradition to more active pedagogy, and to balance an innovative curriculum with an intense parental focus on admission to the best higher education institutions, fueled by a large private tutoring industry.

So Long Knowledge Transmission | Asia Society
These reforms make a lot of sense, and the results look good on paper, but will institutions be able to keep up with societies rate of change?

And, how can teachers adapt the classroom to fit this new model, where teachers are no longer the primary transmitters of knowledge for inquiring minds?