A Community of Practice in Religion Teaching in Mission Schools

Curriculum August 1, 2022

There are three mission schools in Hong Kong and Macau, with a total of 2,300 students.  In the past, the Hong Kong and Macau Conference had published textbooks for the junior secondary classes but not for the senior classes, and the teachers had been using textbooks published by outside denominations for the senior classes. 

Church leaders in the territories felt that the situation was undesirable, so in 2018 they set up a Religion Textbook Committee and set aside a Religion Textbook Fund to either translate religion textbooks from English or to write new ones from scratch. Unfortunately, translating religion textbooks from English was problematic because most of the students in these schools are non-Christians. This makes it difficult for them to use textbooks which require good knowledge of the Bible. Writing a religion textbook would also be difficult because it required a high level of expertise. 

After long deliberation and much prayer, the Religion Textbook Committee came up with a plan to develop a religion curriculum instead of writing a textbook. The religion curriculum has the following features:

  1. It is a three-year senior secondary curriculum which covers:
  1. Grade 10: Worldview and Religion; Life and Teaching of Jesus
  2. Grade 11: Acts of Apostles and History of the Christian Church; Science and Religion
  3. Grade 12: Life Philosophy and Moral Issues; Religion and Health

The curriculum will use several books as basic references: the Crossroads series published by the Pacific Press, The Parables and Church Aflame from Collegiate Quarterly, Celebrations, and Faith, Reason and Earth History.

  1. The curriculum will adopt an exploratory approach, which requires students to research published and online historical records and multi-media materials of relevant topics. Students are free to accept or reject the values presented to them.
  2. The Textbook Committee will recruit a group of experienced Adventist teachers to assist in writing the curriculum. These teachers will work as a team to discuss the topics and look for relevant material to enrich the curriculum.

By working together in producing the curriculum, it is hoped that a community of practice will be created and this community will become the backbone of religion teaching in the mission schools in Hong Kong.

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