Experiential Learning in the GEF Programme: Understanding classics through Farming
Ming Li, Wai Pang Cheng, Chu Lee Chiu, To Kam Lam, Hoi Lung Lau, Wing Sing Lui and Wing Yu Wong
General Education Foundation (GEF) Programme requires all students in CUHK to read and discuss the classics in humanity and nature. One of the missions is to help students cultivate “an intellectual inquisitiveness in addressing issues related to their life and society” through the study of classics. Yet, without concrete experience, students may find it difficult to fully understand the ideas, problems, and dilemmas in the classics, and therefore their relevance to contemporary situations. The GEF Programme has implemented a pilot project to employ experiential learning through farming in 2018/19. Students are guided by a series of tailor-made lecture videos hosted in the newly developed website “Experiencing Classics” to ponder on the issues related to farming and the classics. Through field-trips to farmlands and hands-on practices, students are expected to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the classics, and to reflect on their personal lifestyles, social system, and the ethics behind food production. Students are guided to reflect on issues including the environmental impact of agricultural technology, justice and land use, the influence of capitalism on consumption, and the attitude and ways of living with nature. This presentation aims to review the experience and feedback gained from the trial run of the project.