A Beautiful Road for Edutainment 寓教於樂—社企人的教育心語
Edith Chan is working in Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVHK). You may call her a “Social Entrepreneur”. SVHK is an inter-purpose organization which focuses on inventing, incubating and investing in social start-ups that address urban social challenges in Hong Kong through sustainable and innovation business solutions. SVHK aims at inspiring the culture of social innovation in Hong Kong. Many well-known projects such as Green Monday, Diamond Club, RunOurCity are ventured by them. For Edith herself, she is responsible for the educational project in PlayTao, like Foreverland and Dreamland projects. Edith hopes to seek an equal learning opportunity and environment for the underprivileged. It is her dream to motivate people to use their heart to feel the world around them, to use their mind to think positively, to use their body to act and to use their creativity and passion to solve problems.
Edith holds a bachelor degree in biologyand a master degree in multimedia and entertainment technology, and another master degree in applied psychology. Starting as a science major, why would she turn to education? How did she get motivated, and what were the turning point(s) for her?
Exploring her potential
Edith is an outgoing person with many hobbies. She likes volunteer work. She remembered vividly that she taught the elderly how to use computer when she was in secondary school. “ Whenever the participants feel satisfied or learn new things, I will be joyful.” In her undergraduate years, she joined a variety of activities like the leadership club, orientation camp and biology club. Not only did she meet many friends of diverse background, she could also understand herself more – She enjoys communicating with others and working as a team.
“ I love CU!” During the interview, she mentioned repeatedly how she liked CUHK and her sense of belonging to the school. “My experience in CU allowed me to understand myself more and to develop my ability and interest” said Edith.”
When it comes to the most influential activity to Edith, it will be the “Chinese Student Internship Scheme” held by United College. She worked as an intern in the IT department in an insurance company in Guangzhou. A major task was to design an intranet for the company. Although Edith had experience in IT, intranet was a novel idea at that time. She put lots of effort in learning, developing and perfecting the design. The manager appreciated her attitude and her design. As a student intern, she was askedto teach their colleges how to use the new system and softwares. “I am more confident and find my interest from this experience. — I am happy and willing to share my knowledge to others.” Upon graduation, she worked in an online education platform, designing English and Mathematics learning software for schools. She hopes that students can learn and play through these software.
Edutainment: enjoy learning and broaden horizons
Edutainment is one of Edith’s major teaching principles. She has kept this in mind all the times when when she started her new career in PlayTao. Along with the belief of edutainment, she encourages students to balance study and leisure, and to change the society gradually from their baby steps. She remembered when two two second-grade students came to her and said the school toilets were very dirty. How would you respond to that? Instead of telling the girls to endure (and suffer), Edith encouraged them to find a way to improve. To Edith’s delight, the students had a thoughtful discussion themselves. Then they bought a bunch of janitorial supplies, cleaned all toilets in school and put up posters to remind fellow students to cherish public space. This is really what education is about. In addition to changing the society, Edith hopes to broaden students’ horizons by inviting world-renowned artists to share their experiences. She also brings students to art exhibitions. “The world is large, sky is the limit. I hope students are not bound by their living space. They shall be hopeful of their bright futures.”
Although Edith stands firm in her faith, others may not agree with her ideas. Some teachers and parents had explicit doubts on edutainment, believing that students should only focus on studying. Some schools did refuse to add playing time in tutorial classes. Instead of giving up, Edith tried to find a way out. She explained her beliefs to teachers and parents. She hoped students can broaden their horizons, know more about current affairs, play leisurely with classmates to develop good communication skills. All these activities are vital to the all-round development of students, who would definitely find their talents and values in the process. Edith’s teaching goal led to solid results from her classes, which in turn gained her more support from schools.
Life is never short of obstacles. In her enjoyable path of edutainment, some children simply do not appreciate Edith’s efforts. She had a student with special educational needs. He had trouble keeping his focus and and refused to work on his homeworks, let alone finishing them on time. Edith then applied her psychological theories learnt from textbooks to frame a suitable learning plan for the kid. First, she divided his homework into a few tasks. The boy would get a lego block as an incentive after finishing a task. The method worked beautifully and motivatedthe boy to finish all the homeworks, to the surprise of his teachers and parents. The lego blocks he got were enough to build a lovely lego airship for himself. Edith is always contented with successful outcomes. “Difficulties are challenges. Once you overcome these little barriers, you will grow into a robust tree.” To Edith, difficulties are healthy challenges that make her stronger and braver.
Having faith in yourself
Apart from education, Edith has myriads of interests. She calls herself a “slash person”, which means volunteering gigs outside of their normal day jobs. She has been a docent, Zentangle tutor, and volunteered in many fields. These works have something in common: to get along and share knowledge with others. “I always have the sincere hope that people can discover their own talents,” said Edith. Everyone is gifted. We may not have brilliant minds, or pliable limbs, but our talents are yet to discover. This is why Edith promotes edutainment so attentively. She wishes students can discover and fully utilize their talents. “Everyone should find an interest that he or she loves to the moon and back!” said Edith. When we believe in our own feelings, and go with it persistently, we can create a bright stage for ourselves in our life.
Edith 貫徹自己的教育理想，但其他人可能有不同的教育理念，例如有學校和家長以學業為重，「寓教於樂」的目標為次，不想在課後支援班混雜遊樂時間。Edith 沒有灰心，反而積極尋求解決方法。她多次向學校和家長解釋自己的理念，爭取試行的空間，希望學生在應付學業的同時，也可以輕鬆地增廣見聞、了解時事、並透過遊戲培養社交能力。她相信，學生可以發現自己的長處及價值，找到自己的舞台。隨著試行活動得到成果，學校亦逐漸給她發揮空間，實踐教學理念。
 斜槓族，亦作Slash族、彈性就業人士，指年輕人不再滿足於專一職業的工作模式，而選擇有多重職業及身份的生活。當社會上一個人的事業可從其工作上的活動辨認其僱傭或專業，斜槓族取的是一種多重事業的路向 (取自維基百科) 。
Student Reporters: Lam Tat Hin (IBBA/2), Wong Hong Ting (IBBA/2), Chow Shuk Wa (HIST/3) and Lam Mei Suet (IBBA/2)