2020.第48卷第1期(Vol. 48 No. 1).pp. 23–46



On Humanist Science General Education: Ideas and Issues

梁卓恒、李明(Cheuk-Hang LEUNG & Ming LI)





This article explicates a new attempt of using classics as the basis for the General Education curriculum of a university. Through reviewing the General Education model adopted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong after the 2012 new education reform, we evaluate the aims of the curriculum and designs of “In Dialogue with Nature” — a newly launched science classics General Education course. The article, from a normative perspective, analyzes the course’s justifications and curriculum designs required by a core-text curriculum. It does not only respond to relevant controversies of choosing specific branch of knowledge and the selection of classics, but more importantly reflect the cultural literacy and ideal personality aspired by a university through the design of the core curriculum. Thus, the science classics course neither aims at transferring hard-core scientific knowledge to General Education course, nor engages in teaching popular science. Rather, it enables students to understand the co-existential relationship between humans, nature and knowledge through studying classics, in order to reflect on issues such as the characteristics and limitations of scientific inquiries, the ethical dilemma of modern technologies, as well as the cultural dimension of natural knowledge, and so on. Through evaluating the aims and design of curriculum, this article illustrates how this course could bridge the knowledge in science classics with human conditions, thereby equipping students with a sense of scientific literacy that empowers them to engage in the cultural critique about social and value changes arising from the course of scientific inquiry.

Keywords: General Education; core curriculum; core texts; science classics education; cultural dimension of natural knowledge