Participatory Learning: The Case of Ping Che in City Development in Hong Kong
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings

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AbstractSubstantial efforts and resources have been put to encourage creative teaching and learning in recent years in many places in the world. Various kinds of funding have been allocated to projects promoting or studying experiential learning, participatory learning, internship and service programmes, etc. These projects not only aim at complementing formal curriculums but also broadening students’ horizons. However, the effectiveness of such experiential learning is not easy to measure. Various evaluation methods have to be applied to fully assess the achievements and difficulties of these learning experience.

This study examines the effectiveness and challenges of a participatory community learning project at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Twenty-one university students took part in a Teaching Development and Language Enhancement Grant (TDLEG) project “CUHK in Communities” in September 2018. They spent nine months in Ping Che (坪輋), a rural area in the New Territories in Hong Kong, doing field visits in every two weeks and participating festive activities with locals to understand the intertwined facets of the people’s living under the threats of city development.

Ping Che was first included in the North East New Territories New Development Areas Planning which involved clearance of village houses and land resumption. The plan met strong resistance from non-indigenous inhabitants. Later in 2015, the government reviewed and replanned Ping Che into the New Territories North Study, but the threat of land redemption remains. Since then, the locals and social activists have been organising community engagement activities such as community tours, art festivals, and running Ping Che Mural Village. These efforts not only revived rural cultures and empowered villagers with strong identity, but also united participants as a growing resistance to the development plan.

The Ping Che community is an exemplary case to rethink the legitimacy of the global trend of urbanisation under developmentalism. Through on-site participatory learning at Ping Che, students gained first-hand observation and opportunities to test the concepts learnt in class: the pursuit of good life, land justice, community-initiated development, and equal participation in a civil society, some of the core components of university general education.
In order to effectively evaluate the achievements of and the difficulties faced by students, participatory observation, questionnaires, reflective journals and focus groups were used.
Acceptance Date26/09/2019
All Author(s) ListChan Yin Ha, Wong Ka Po
Name of ConferenceICERI2019, the 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Start Date of Conference11/11/2019
End Date of Conference13/11/2019
Place of ConferenceSeville
Country/Region of ConferenceSpain
Proceedings TitleICERI2019 Proceedings
Pages1921 - 1928
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsExperiential learning, informal education, community engagement, community studies, qualitative research

Last updated on 2020-11-07 at 00:13