2007．第35卷第1期（Vol. 35 No. 1）．pp. 3961
Fusion of Horizons: Implications for a Hermeneutical Learning Community Approach of Implementing Liberal Studies in Hong Kong
John Tak-Shing LAM（林德成）
Liberal Studies (LS) has recently been confirmed to be offered as an independent core subject in the local senior secondary school curriculum in 2009. There had been some controversy concerning its status as an independent core subject to be publicly examined in the coming proposed public examination in Secondary 6. This article argues that the new subject, pedagogically and epistemologically considered, should be implemented in a whole-school approach. Both from a curriculum development perspective and a philosophical perspective, the whole-school curriculum development approach is seen as more desirable, if not more feasible, when compared with an independent subject approach and a collaborative team teaching approach. The curriculum development perspective is drawn from the findings and advice given by Nias, Southworth, and Campbell (1992) in their study on whole-school curriculum development model and its advantages. They found that the success of a whole-school curriculum development approach hinges on four sets of conditions, namely institutional values, school’s structures, resources, and leadership. The philosophical perspective is premised on Gadamer’s (1989) notion of “fusion of horizons” and Bakhtin’s (1981) “heteroglossia,” both of which lay emphasis on the desirability of developing a community of multi-vocality, multi-faceted interpretation, and projection of multiple possibilities. The ultimate argument of this article is to suggest that LS should adopt a whole-school approach of curriculum development that incorporates the two notions of “fusion of horizons” and “heteroglossia” to transform the school into a hermeneutical learning community. It is because only in a hermeneutical learning community context can we generate the maximal conditions for collating and harnessing the wide array of LS-related teacher consciousness and competences among the whole school’s staff for the good of the teaching and learning of the subject.