Symposia I & III
English as a Second Language in ECE: Policy, Pedagogy and Research”

Chair: Prof. Kathy SYLVA, Professor of Early Childhood Education at Jesus College, Oxford University

Speakers:
Prof. Sue GRIESHABER, Professor at the School of Early Childhood, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology
Ms. Lynda BOYD, Associate Dean, Early Childhood Teacher Education, College of Education, University of Canterbury
Dr. Grace KOO, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, University of the Philippines
Dr. Audrey Swee-eng LIM, Head and Associate Professor of the Department of Early Childhood Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Dr. Sachiko KITANO, Associate Professor, National University Corporations, Fukuoka University of Education, Japan
Prof. Namhee S. WOO, Senior Professor at the Dept of Child Study, Dongduk Women's University and president of Korean Association for Mind, Brain & Education
Dr. Chien-ju CHANG, Associate Professor at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, National Taiwan Normal University
Dr. Sandy SHUM, SRO, Standing Committee on Language Education and Research, Education and Manpower Bureau, HKSARG

 

Symposium II
"Promoting Development and Well-being of Children: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives"

Chair: Mr. Michael Puk-sun TIEN, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR), Education and Manpower Bureau, HKSARG, the G2000 Group & KCR Corporation

Mrs. Frances Fung-khing neé YAM CHENG, Vice Director at the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Public Health, the Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Dr. Philemon Yuen-wan CHOI, Hon. General Secretary of Breakthrough
Dr. David Ka-yan LEE, Paediatrician
Mrs. Priscilla Sun-kai TSANG LUI, Director of Against Child Abuse


Professor Kathy SYLVA

Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford Department of Educational Studies

Kathy Sylva is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford Department of Educational Studies. After earning a PhD at Harvard University she moved to Oxford where she taught psychology while serving on the Oxford Preschool Research Group. Her book Childwatching at Playgroup and Nursery School broke new ground by questioning an unbridled 'free play' ideology. She has evaluated the High/Scope pre-school programme with its emphasis on 'plan, do, review' in each session. She has also carried out research on assessment and curriculum in primary schools. In Early Intervention in Children with Reading Difficulties she and Jane Hurry showed that Reading Recovery is a successful intervention and cost-effective as well. She is one of the leaders of the DfES research on effective pre-school and primary education (EPPE). A dominant theme throughout her work is the impact of education not only on 'subject knowledge' but on children's problem-solving, social skills and dispositions to learn. A related theme in her research is the impact of early intervention in combating social disadvantage and exclusion. She was specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education in 2000- 2001 and again in 2005-06; she advised the Scottish Parliament in 2005-6 on Early Years; and in 2006 she advised the Government on the teaching of phonics and early literacy.

Siraj-Blatchford, I., Sammons, P., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., and Taggart, B. (2006). Educational Research and Evidence-based Policy: The Mixed Method Approach of the EPPE project. Evaluation and Research in Education, 19(2), 63-82.

Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2004). EffectivePre-school Education. Final Report. DfES/London Institute of Education.

Sylva, K., Pugh, G. (2005). Transforming the early years in England. Oxford Review of Education, 31(1), 11-27.

Sylva, K., Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Taggart, B. (2003, revised 2006). Assessing Quality in the Early Years. Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale Extension (ECERS-E):Four Curricular Subscales- New Revised Edition. Trentham Books.

EPPE website: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/schools/ecpe/eppe/index.htm


Professor Sue GRIESHABER

Professor in Early Years Education at the School of Early Childhood, Queensland University of Technology

Sue Grieshaber is Professor, Early Years Education, at the School of Early Childhood, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Her research interests include early childhood curriculum, policy, gender and families, with a focus on equity and diversity. She has published widely in a range of areas that reflect her research interests and co-edits the international, refereed online journal Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. She is also on the editorial board of the Asia Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education, the Australian Journal of Early Childhood and is a consulting editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Recent books include :

Ryan, S., & Grieshaber, S. (Eds.). (2005). Practical Transformations and Transformational Practices: Globalization, Postmodernism, and Early Childhood: Education Advances in Early Education and Day Care. Stamford, CT: JAI Press.

Grieshaber, S. (2004). Rethinking parent and child conflict. Routledge Falmer

Grieshaber, S. & Cannella, G. (Eds.). (2001) Embracing identities in early childhood: Diversity and possibilities . New York : Teachers College Press (translated into Spanish in 2005).


Ms. Lynda BOYD

Associate Dean Early Childhood Teacher Education at the University of Canterbury at in Christchurch New Zealand

Lynda Boyd is the Associate Dean Early Childhood Teacher Education at the University of Canterbury at in Christchurch New Zealand. She has been involved in teacher education for 17 years and is a qualified early childhood teacher. Her particular interests are legislative and policy and cultural issues within early childhood. Ms. Boyd is particularly interested in how culture impacts on children and families and how early childhood teacher trainees can gain an appreciation and understanding of culture and its relevance to people's lives. In particular, she is interested in the role of the teacher in valuing and promoting cultural diversity within early childhood settings. New Zealand is a bicultural nation and she is particularly concerned with the part teachers must play in the revitalisation of the Maori language and the acknowledgement of the first people of New Zealand.

Abstract:

I am pleased to have been invited to be part of the symposium on second language English teaching and learning as part of the PECERA conference in Hong Kong. As New Zealand has become increasingly multicultural the issue of the teaching of English as an additional language has been much to the fore. In relating to you the New Zealand experience I will in draw parallels and comparisons with the teaching of the Maori language in New Zealand.

The NZ school curriculum has recently been redeveloped. As part of this redevelopment there has n been a focus on the needs of English language learners. The NZ Ministry of Education has recently undertaken research to inform a review of the New Zealand ESOL strategy. This work will form the backdrop to my contribution to the symposium.


Dr. Grace KOO

Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, the University of the Philippines

Grace Shangkuan Koo, Ph.D. is associate professor of Educational Psychology at the University of the Philippines (U.P). Her academic degrees include a Bachelor of Music degree from U.P., Master of Christian Studies from China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong, another M.A. and a Ph.D. in Education with specialization on Educational Psychology from U.P. She also took up post-doctorate studies at Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2003 and studied with Drs. Howard Gardner, Kurt Fischer, Robert Kegan and David Perkins

Dr. Koo was hired for her first job in 1981-83 as Music Curriculum Specialist and Consultant at Yew Chung Educational Foundation in Hong Kong. Since then she has taught in fields as varied as Philosophy, Music, Theology, Counseling, Psychology, and Education in several graduate schools and institutions. A frequent seminar speaker, she also writes for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Born in the Philippines to Chinese parents, she speaks fluent English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, and Filipino, reads Spanish and French, has taken up formal courses in German, Hebrew, and Greek, and sings in Italian and Latin. She lives in Manila with her husband, Caleb, and together are parents to two grown children, Crystal (M.A. candidate at University of New South Wales in Sydney) and Christian (college junior at Ateneo de Manila University).

Abstract:

English Language in Philippine Education: Variations of Policies, Pedagogies and Practices 

For more than 100 years, English language has been taught and given pre-eminent status in the Philippines. How do Filipinos fare in English fluency as compared with other South East countries and among generations of students? How have the changes in socio-economic-cultural situations affected educational policies and pedagogies of English teaching in early grades? Have these changes led to any gains or losses in school learning? Are there advantages for multi-lingual ethnic Chinese Filipinos?

Dr. Koo will present:
1) A brief historical background on language policies;
2) Arguments for and against English as a medium of instruction;
3) Cultural realities in the ecology of learning and teaching English;
4) A personal narrative of English learning and usage among 3 generations within her family.


Dr. Audrey Swee-eng LIM

Head and Associate Professor of the Department of Early Childhood Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education

Audrey Lim is currently the Head and Associate Professor of the Department of Early Childhood Education, the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd). Prior to her appointment as the Head of ECE Department, she was the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Professional and Early Childhood Education. She has been working in the HKIEd for nine years since 1998. Even before and throughout her stay at HKIEd, she has been an active researcher, having been granted a number of projects from different funding sources, whether internally or externally. Her areas of research expertise are Child Development and Assessment, Play and Literacy and Early Experiences in English. In 2006, she was awarded a Public Policy Research granted by the Research Grants Council (Hong Kong) concerned with equity issues in language education in Hong Kong preschools. She was also awarded a TDG (Teaching Development Grant) by the Faculty of Professional and Early Childhood Education to identify 'genre' formats in BEd (ECE) students' academic writing in order to facilitate their thinking and academic writing skills. She is also currently the President of the Hong Kong Reading Association.

Dr. Lim's record of refereed scholarly outputs include conference papers, chapters in books and referred journal articles which reflect her research on early childhood education, especially, multiliteracies and early experience in English.

A selected list of recent publications from the past five years are:

  • Aunio, A., Ee, J., Lim, S.E.A., Hautamaki, J. & Van Luit, E.H. (2004). Young Children's number sense in Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore. International Journal of Early Years Education, 12 (3), 195-216.
  • Lim, S.E.A., Cheng, P. W. D., Lam, M.S.M., & Ngan, S. F. (2003). Developing reflective and thinking skills by means of semantic mapping strategies in kindergarten teacher education. Early Child Development and Care (Special Issue: Singapore Childcare and Early Education), 21-38
  • Lam Lam, M. Y. H., Lim, S. E. A., Ma, J. C. J., & Adams, L. D. (2003). What Hong Kong teachers and parents think about thinking. Early Child Development and Care, 173 (1), 147-158.
  • Honig, A. & Lim, S. E. (2003).  Early childhood education in Hong Kong: New Directions. Early Child Development and Care, 173 (1), 1-6.
  • Lim, S. E. A., Cheng, P. W. D., Lam, M. S. M., & Ngan, S. F. (2003). Developing reflective and thinking skills by means of semantic mapping strategies in kindergarten teacher education. Early Child Development and Care, 173 (1), 55-72.
  • Wong, H. L., & Lim, S. E. A. (2002). Early childhood education in Singapore. In K. S. L. Chan, & E. J. Mellor (Eds.), International Developments in Early Childhood Services (pp. 183-193). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Lim, S. E. A., Chan Cheng, P. W. D., Lam M. S. M.,  & Ngan, S. F. (2001). Enhancing reflective and critical thinking skills. In Y. C. Cheng, K.W. Chow & K. T. Tsui (Eds.), New teacher education for the future: International perspectives, (pp. 485-522). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education & Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • .Lim, S. E. A. (1998). Linking play and language in Singapore preschool settings. In R. Evans (Ed.), A. S. Honig & Lim, S. E. A. (Guest Eds.) Early Child Development and Care(Special Issue: Singapore Childcare and Early Education), 21-38.
  • Lim, S. E. A., Gan, L., & Sharpe, P. (1997). Immersion in Singapore preschools. In R. K. Johnson, & M. Swain, (Eds.), Immersion education: International perspectives (pp.190-209). UK: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Abstract

English Language in Singapore in the Context of the Bilingual Policy: Pedagogy and Practices

The adoption and implementation of the bilingual education policy in Singapore since 1956 has meant that English has been used as the medium of instruction in schools and for official communication. This policy is implemented even in kindergartens and child care centres. Since the year 2000, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has been making efforts to improve the quality of preschool education, including developing a curriculum framework, introducing training and qualification requirements for teachers, and accrediting teacher training courses. Needless to say, there is much emphasis placed on promoting speaking and listening skills in the English language, especially for young children who are in need of such assistance.

Dr Lim will present:

1)A brief historical background on the bilingual education policy in Singapore;
2)The rationale for using English as the medium of instruction;
3)Some common pedagogical practices in the teaching of English to young children;
4)Recent developments in the implementation of the bilingual education policy within the early childhood curriculum.


Dr. Sachiko KITANO

Associate Professor of Early Childhood Care and Education in the Department of Education and Graduate School of Education at the National University Corporations, Fukuoka University of Education

Sachiko Kitano is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Care and Education in the Department of Education and Graduate School of Education at the National University Corporations, Fukuoka University of Education, JAPAN. Her thesis on Professionalization of Early Childhood Education: the Works of Early American Kindergarten Professional Organizations” received Ph. D in education from HiroshimaUniversity. She is interested in the professionalism in early childhood education and her most recent research interests are in the areas of function of professional organizations, preparation and in-service training, and policy. She is examining both the positive and negative consequences of the systematization and institutionalization in early childhood education. Her papers in English are The future of early childhood care and education in Japan: The promotion of professionalism (2006); Research and Policy Issues in Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan with Prof. Y. Shirakawa (2005) and Cultural Contexts and Current Issues in the Preparation of Preschool Teachers in JAPAN (2003). Titles of some of her papers published in 2006 and 2007 (in Japanese) are; Analysis of the Provision of the Early Childhood Services: the Case of an Intermediate and Mountainous Area, Issues in Family, Preschool and Elementary School Collaboration: Direct and Indirect Interview Analysis, A Case Study on Educational Conferences to Enhance Family-Elementary School Relationship in Home Economics Education; through University and Elementary School Collaboration, Family Media Literacy and Environment: The Case Study of the Fukuoka Univ. Lab. Kindergarten, Report of A Project on “Listening” to Enhance Children's Learning Attitude: through university and laboratory kindergarten collaboration, Fukuoka University of Education “Media and Education” Project: An experiment carried out in collaboration with university and attached schools, Analysis of the Provision of the Early Childhood Integrated Services: the experimental case of Hakata-Ku in Fukuoka-City, and more.


Professor Namhee S. WOO

Professor of the Department of Child Development and Education, Dongduk Women's University

Namhee S. Woo is Professor of the Department of Child Development and Education, Dongduk Women's University, Seoul, Korea. With a major in human development and psychology, Prof. Woo received her ED.D at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1990 where she returned to be a visiting scholar from 2002 to 2003. She specializes in the field of developmental psychology and English education. She is currently president of the Korean Mind, Brain and Education Society; advisor of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society, as well as co-president of Beautiful Children, Beautiful World (AA World).

Prof. Woo possesses broad teaching experience and has published extensively. Some of her latest publications include:

Woo, N., & Lee, K. (2006). Why Can't I be the parent I want to be? (trans.). Seoul: Choosubat, Chungrim Publishing.

Woo, N. (2006), The relation between young children's creativity and learning English. Dongduk Journal of Life Science Studies, 11, 126-133.

Shin, H., Woo, N., & Kim. M. (2006). Creative programs for young children. Seoul: Yangsuwon.

Woo, N., Pack, H., Kim, H.(2005). Problem Behaviors of Korean young children with much experience in early extra curricula. Korea Journal of Child Care and Education, 43, 23-43.

Woo, N., & Yang, Y. (2005). Policies for Children's rights in foreign countries. Journal of Korean Council for Children's Rights,9(4), 661-690.

Woo, N. (2005). Analysis of the reasons for rapid increase in early private education in Korea. Dongduk Journal of Life Science Studies, 10, 161-173.

Woo, N., & Han, K. (2005). Study on cheating behaviors of Korean children. Dongduk Journal of Life Science Studies, 10, 174-186.

Woo, N., Pack, H., & Kim, H. (2005). The effects of early private education on cognitive, emotional, and social development of the young children. Korean Journal of Early Childhood Education, 25(1), 5-24.


※ Dr. Chien-ju CHANG

Associate Professor at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, National Taiwan Normal University

Chien-ju Chang is an associate professor at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, National Taiwan Normal University. Her research focuses on narrative development in Mandarin-speaking children, home support for child language and literacy development, and children English education. Her recent research projects include two three-year longitudinal studies examining (1) narrative development (scripts, personal narratives, and fantasy narratives) in Mandarin-speaking children aged from 3 to 10 in Taiwan and Mainland China and (2) home support for language and literacy in preschoolers from low income families. Dr. Chang was also the co-principal investigator of two research projects investigating (1) the parental and teachers' attitude towards implementation of English curriculum in preschools in Taiwan and (2) the relationship between initial English learning age in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and their English and Mandarin achievement and proficiency. The following is a list of Dr. Chang's recent publications:

  • Chang, C. (2006). Linking early narrative skill to later language and reading ability in Mandarin-speaking children: A longitudinal study over eight years. Narrative Inquiry, 16 (2), 275-293.
  • Chang, C., & Lin, J. (2006). Mother child talk in joint book reading: Information and interaction types. Journal of Taiwan Normal University, 51 (1), 187-217.
  • Wu, H, & Chang, C. (2005). English academic performance, initial English learning age, and family background in elementary school and junior high school students in Taiwan. Proceedings of Conference on Children Foreign Language Development and Learning, 49-72. Taipei: Taipei Municipal University of Education.
  • Chang, C. (2004). Telling stories of experiences: Narrative development of young Chinese children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 25 (1), 83-104.
  • Chang, C. (2003). Talking about the past: How do Chinese mothers elicit narratives from their young children across time. Narrative Inquiry, 13 (1), 99-126.
  • Wu, H., & Chang, C. (2001). The earlier the better?-- Preschool English education in Taiwan. Proceedings of Conference on Children Second Language Acquisition, 22-41. Taipei: Association for Childhood Education International.
  • Chang, C., Chang, S., & Yan, H. (2001). Parental perspectives on preschool English education in Taiwan. Proceedings of Conference on Children Second Language Acquisition, 42-96. Taipei: Association for Childhood Education International.

Dr. Sandy SHUM

Senior Research Officer of the SCOLAR Support Unit, Education and Manpower Bureau, HKSARG

Sandy Shum is the Senior Research Officer of the SCOLAR Support Unit of Education and Manpower Bureau of Hong Kong SARG.

Prior to that, Dr. Shum has worked and involved in various English language research projects in Hong Kong Institute of Education and City University of Hong Kong. Her areas of interest are English language education and language development of children.


Michael Puk-sun TIEN, BBS, JP

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR), Education and Manpower Bureau, HKSARG, the G2000 Group & KCR Corporation

Mr Tien founded the fashion retail group G2000 in 1979 and has since taken it to more than 600 stores in 10 countries globally. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Other than his wide experience in the business sector, Mr Tien is also very devoted to the community affairs of Hong Kong. He is appointed as the Chairman of KCR Corporation since 2001. He is also the Chairman of the Employee Retraining Board and a member of Manpower Development Committee.

He has been the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) since 2000 and member of Education Commission (EC) since 1996.


Mrs. Frances Fung-khing neé YAM CHENG

Vice Director at the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Public Health, the Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Frances Cheng has been in the nursing field for more than 30 years and hold senior managing positions in the past 10 years. She is currently working as the Vice Director at the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Public Health, the Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Mrs. Frances Cheng obtained her Master degree in Public Health from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Mrs. Cheng's area of expertises are in Occupational Safety and Health, Health Education and Health Promotion and Primary Health Care and have taken up administrative roles as well as the role of team leader in research project.

Mrs. Cheng is one of the Committee members on Labour Advisory Board Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, as representative from occupation safety and health organizations and this is by invitation. She also sit in various committees of three of the 18 district Councils in Hong Kong. Her role in these committees is professional, advisory and servicing. Mrs. Cheng is also the Development Officer of International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Sub Regional Office of North Pacific region (Pearl River Region). She is also one of the advisors for the HK Primary Health Care Association.

Mrs. Cheng has been teaching the Occupational Health Science programme since 1986 and has extensive research experiences in occupational health. Her Master theses was written up as a conjoint paper and had been awarded the AAOHN /ACOEM Joint Research Award in 2000.

Mrs. Cheng have done extensive work on health education and health promotion via the Health Promoting Schools programme, teaching and administering different levels of taught programme in health education and health promotion and also heavily involved in research work in this area.

Mrs. Cheng was a member of Scientific Committee of CRN Conference on Self Management 2004 and the Primary Health Care conference in 2005 and 2006.


Dr. Philemon Yuen-wan CHOI, SBS, JP

Hon. General Secretary of Breakthrough

Trained as a medical doctor and psychological counsellor, Philemon Choi is a founding member and currently the Hon. General Secretary of Breakthrough. Under his leadership, Breakthrough has developed from one magazine to a multi-media youth organization. He is also active in community affairs, and is appointed by the Government of the HKSAR as members of various committees, including Chairman of Action Committee Against Narcotics, Chairman of Task Force on Continuing Development and Employment-related Training for Youth, Commission on Poverty, Commission on Strategic Development and Vocational Training Council etc.

Dr. Choi is a regular seminar speaker on matters related to youth among parents and teachers associations, schools services, church fellowships and international conferences. He is also an author of a few best sellers and a regular contributor of youth magazines. His recent titles include Healing Love, Manage Your Life, Father in the Making, Manual For Youth Workers: Shaping Adolescents of the 21st Century, Fostering Resilient Youth: Practical Handbook for Families and Schools, The Pursuit of a Dream in Career Planningand Not One Less: Rethinking the Youth and the Ministry etc.


Dr. David Ka-yan LEE, MH, JP

paediatrician

David Lee is a graduate of the Medical Faculty, University of Hong Kong. He is a Specialist in Paediatrics and now in private practice.

He was the President of the Hong Kong Paediatric Society 1990-92, Vice-President of the Hong Kong Medical Association 1994-96 and Chairman of the Kowloon Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society 2001-02. He served the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health from 1989-97. He is now the Chairman of the Board of Training and Development of the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Association.

Dr. Lee is closely related to education. He has been the Supervisor of Kindergartens, Primary schools and Secondary schools of the Lok Sin Tong group of schools (totally over 20 schools). He was the Council member of the Hong Kong School Drama Council 1998-2002. He now serves on the Board of Directors of G.T. (Ellen Yeung) School and the Suen Mei Hearing and Speech Centre.

He was honoured with the Medal of Honour in 2003 and appointed as Justice of the Peace in 2005.


Mrs. Priscilla Sun-kai TSANG LUI

Director of Against Child Abuse in Hong Kong, SAR, China

Priscilla Lui, has been the administrator in 1979 and the director of the Against Child Abuse, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, since 1983. Mrs. Lui has been involved, in addition to managing the agency and supervising her team, in advocacy of a child perspective in the community and to ensure children seen and heard in policies, practices, resource allocation and education. She works closely with the mass media and serves on the Government Committee on Child Abuse and many NGO committees.

Mrs. Lui has conducted different trainings and has contributed to conferences locally and overseas. Special areas of concern include the formation of a Child Commission in Hong Kong, the review of child related legislation to ensure the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child being thoroughly actualized, defending the rights of children left unattended and corporal punishment and humiliating management approaches.

Mrs. Lui was awarded the Tenth Outstanding Young Persons Award in 1990, the HKSAR Bronze Bauhinia Star Award in 2000, the Award of Outstanding Community Service Leaders in 2001, and the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

She obtained her Masters in Social Work from the University of Hong Kong in 1982 and her Diploma in Sociology from the Baptist University (then Baptist College) in 1974. Mrs. Lui is married with two children, Pierre and Petra.


Dr. Nirmala RAO

Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong

Nirmala Rao is Associate Professor and Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. She is a Developmental and Chartered (Educational) Psychologist, internationally known for her research on Child Development and Education in Asian cultural contexts. In recent years, her work has moved to have a greater focus on (i) early child development and education; and (ii) comparative studies of early development and education in China and India. She has engaged in policy-relevant developmental research and aimed at increasing international recognition for Asian research in early child development by elevating its quality and visibility.

Dr. Rao has published numerous articles and book chapters in the area of Child Development and Education and has been invited to give talks in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America. In the past few years, her work has appeared in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Infant and Child Development, International Journal of Early Childhood, International Journal of Early Years Education, International Review of Education, the Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology and in numerous books.

Dr. Rao has been very actively involved in OMEP (Organisation Mondiale de l'education Prescholaire) and was a member of the World Executive Committee and past president of OMEP-Hong Kong. She is a Fellow of the Hong Kong Psychological Society and Salzburg Seminar and a member of the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD), International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (ISSBD), and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She was involved in developing global standards for preschool children, has been a consultant for World Bank and is a currently a consultant for UNICEF and UNESCO for Early Childhood Care and Education in the Asia-Pacific region.


Winnie Wai-yee FUNG YEUNG

Principal Inspector (KG), Education and Manpower Bureau, HKSARG

Winnie Yeung began her education career as a secondary school teacher immediately after her graduation from the Arts Faculty of the University of Hong Kong. Upon her completion of a master degree programme in early childhood education, she assumed the headship of a kindergarten with responsibilities of curriculum planning and instructional leadership.Not long after, she was invited to join the Hong Kong Polytechnic (presently called the Hong Kong Polytechnic University) as a part-time lecturer in its training program for childcare workers and student guidance teachers. In 1989, Mrs. Yeung joined the Education Department of the Hong Kong Government (renamed the Education and Manpower Bureau hereafter), engaging in a variety of professional responsibilities in education, namely, curriculum development, advisory school inspection, teacher education and production of educational television programmes, etc. At present, Mrs. Yeung is a Principal Inspector of Education and Manpower Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government, with the responsibility of overseeing the quality of kindergarten services and its continuous improvement.