Asia Society Hong Kong Center

Likely one of the few places in Hong Kong that spell it center. I’ve been wondering if it bothers those at the British Consulate next door as when I first moved to Hong Kong at the age of 11, I attended an ESF school and my teachers made it a point to correct all of my American spelling.  Childhood memory aside, the Asia Society Hong Kong Center is stunning. Located in Admiralty, it is the former explosives magazine compound built by the British Army in the mid 19th century. Adaptive re-use should be much more common with so many beautiful historic buildings in Hong Kong.  This is a great example and worth visiting and exploring.

I discovered this place existed through their hosting of 2 education panels one Saturday afternoon–Transforming Learning and Achieving Equity in Education: Lessons from the Global Cities Education Network.

The first panel: Gen-Ling Chang, Anthony Jackson, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Catherine K.K. Chan–achieving equity, how school systems can be designed to ensure all students have access to an excellent education

They shared what was taking place in their respective countries and some of the dialogue from the past two days at Global Cities.

Some points I jotted down:

  • Students new to Canada are new Canadians, not immigrants–a shift in mindset
  • data sets reveal disparity in racial groups, gender and poverty–which seems to be the case around the world
  • attach importance to whole person learning
  • Is there common ground in equity challenges?
  • There is a need to address inequities of the past and also what exists in modern cities of today.
  • There should be access without the wealth barrier
  • Resource allocation is key
  • Make every school an effective school
  • Children come to school with a rich cultural capital but how is it being utilized at school?
  • opportunity gap vs. achievement gap–all students can achieve, they just need access to opportunity
  • culturally relevant pedagogy is needed
  • effective school leaders are needed
  • there should be a broadening of the spectrum of what leadership looks like
  • leadership is not just principalship, there should be leadership growth tracks for teachers
  • How can schools build up a network and learn from each other?
  • How do we facilitate learning and sharing across all levels–teachers/learners, schools, cities?
  • International benchmarking to help reflect and re-calibrate
  • data literacy is a capacity building component
  • embrace cultural diversity
  • equity does not mean standardization, it is the necessity of access to opportunities and personalization–developing self and the potential to learn and contribute

The second panel: Tony Mackay, Kai-Ming Cheng, Cheong Wei Yang, Tom Boasberg–Global competence and 21st century skills

Tony Mackay is by far the best panel moderator I have ever seen in action. This man is brilliant! Succinct and thoughtful in linking questions, rephrasing, connecting, and deriving meaning and direction from the conversation. I could listen to him talk all day.

Some questions brought up:

  • What’s the difference of skills required in previous centuries?
  • What kind of learning environment do we need to achieve 21st century skills?
  • What kind of learning experience do students deserve?
  • Are all outcomes measurable?

towering tree at the entrance

looking out towards the harbour

the meeting space–natural light and amazing view

fruit bats around here but couldn’t spot any

roof garden

navy boundary stones


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