Prof. Nicholas Sun-Keung Pang
Prof. Nicholas Sun-Keung Pang
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (China)
Title: Building Professional Learning Communities via School-University Partnership

In Hong Kong, the notion of professional learning community (PLC) can be traced back to a consultation document launched by the Advisory Committee on School-based Management (2000, p.1), “Transforming Schools into Dynamic and Accountable Professional Learning Communities”. This document highlighted the importance of PLCs in enhancing the effectiveness of learning and teaching and for improving students’ learning outcomes. It was hoped that through engaging in interactions, dialogues, feedback and reflections, teachers could view their colleagues as learning partners and are willing to contribute to each other’s professional learning.  

While there has been a call for the development of PLCs in Hong Kong schools, there is no explicit policy on mandatory requirements of PLCs. From the years of 2000 to 2017, the Author has been successfully working collaboratively with over 500 kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools in launching school-university partnership (USP) projects in Hong Kong. The main themes of these projects include school self-evaluation, organizational learning, metacognition, and assessment for learning. These USP projects aim to enhance the quality of school education in general and build professional learning communities in particular.  

It is to argue that school-university partnership (SUP) may be an effective way to initiate, lead, and manage organizational change in schools and assure the quality of education. After introducing the details of a series of SUP projects in Hong Kong, and setting in context, this paper reports on an investigation into the effectiveness of implementing professional learning communities in Hong Kong schools. Lastly, the issues of school-university partnership and the characteristics and conditions for effective school-university partnership in Hong Kong schools will be explored and examined.

Nicholas Sun-keung Pang is Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Educational Administration and Policy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China. He is also the Director of the Hong Kong Centre for the Development of Educational Leadership (HKCDEL). Professor Pang specializes in educational administration, management and leadership, as well as school effectiveness and improvement. He is a sought after presenter and keynote speaker, and has published widely, locally and internationally, with five books, as well as numerous book chapters and internationally refereed journal articles. He is Co-author of an academic book entitled Leadership and Management in Education: Developing Essential Skills and Competencies (2003); Editor of an academic book entitled Globalization: Educational Research, Change and Reforms (2006); and Co-Editor of another academic book entitled East-West Perspectives on Educational Leadership and Policy (2015). He has also been the Guest Co-Editor of three special issues for academic journals.