Popular culture goes to school in Hong Kong

A language arts curriculum on revolutionary road?

English teaching and learning has taken an interesting shift in Hong Kong schools with the implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum. Associate Professor Aaron Koh will present his paper which seeks to think through the challenges and prospects of teaching the new Language Arts elective called Learning English Through Popular Culture module.

It is argued that while the module endeavours to connect and motivate Hong Kong students to learn English through popular culture materials, the official curriculum and schemes of work, however, narrowly articulate the teaching of popular culture texts conceived as "text-types".

Such a formulaic approach to using popular culture in the classroom is limiting and locks students into a procedural way of "thinking" and "doing" popular cultural texts.

The seminar will conclude by offering some ways forward that might deliver what is otherwise a revolutionary and innovative curriculum.

Aaron Koh is Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. At the National Institute of Education, he teaches Multiliteracies, Critical Literacy and Literature Pedagogy. Previously he worked at Monash University and the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

His research interests are Critical English Education, Cultural Studies in Education and Global Studies of Elite Schools. He is on the Editorial Board of Curriculum Inquiry, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy; Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education and Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. He is also the Co-Founding Springer Book Series Editor of Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinary in Education.


Thursday 26 March, 12.30-1.30pm
Theatre Q372
Level 3, 234 Queensberry Street
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
The University of Melbourne

Please RSVP to p.firth@unimelb.edu.au