Thanks to a $1-million donation from the Hong Kong-based Chan Kwok Wai Foundation, the Faculty of Education will undergo a major renovation of its former library space to create a new Learning Commons. As literacy, technology and learning continue to change at a rapid pace, this modern new space will house the latest technologies and a collection of printed and digital resources; as well as offer student teachers, educators and researchers collaborative working spaces.
Mrs. Frances Chan, of the Chan Kwok Wai Foundation, is a devoted friend of McGill’s Faculty of Education. Since 2009, she and her husband Mr. Kwok Wai Chan have been sponsoring Education students to travel to Hong Kong to undertake their final practicum at the elementary and secondary schools they support. This opportunity has provided McGill student-teachers an invaluable international field experience in teaching abroad and understanding critical connections between various approaches to teaching and learning.
“Our schools, The Pok Oi Hospital Chan Kwok Wai Primary School and The Pok Oi Hospital Chan Kai Memorial College, have been long-time partners of McGill University’s Faculty of Education,” said Mrs. and Mr. Chan. “We are firsthand witnesses of McGill Education students’ caliber and diligence, as well as the positive impact these McGill student-teachers have made towards our schools, our students, and the Hong Kong community at large. As true believers of the importance of education, we are very much delighted to be able to make an impact through our donation. Given McGill’s global leadership in education, we have absolutely no doubt that our social investment towards the university will benefit generations of student teachers, who, in return, will benefit the world and Hong Kong’s community for years to come.”
In recognition of this generous contribution the new facility will be named The Chan Kwok Wai and Fong Lam Hsu Library of Curriculum Resources. This project is planned to be completed in 2019.
“The project will allow the creation of a unique 21st century learning commons where students and faculty in Education can engage in creative and varied ways with a range of material and digital curriculum resources,” said Professor Alain Breuleux, Associate Dean of Infrastructure with the Faculty of Education.
Digital literacy and 21st century learning remain a point of pride for McGill’s Faculty of Education. The faculty retains a reputation among the nation’s best for educational research related to the educational, pedagogical, psychological and physical aspects of human development and potential.
“We are delighted to partner with Mrs. Chan in creating a new space for our students to learn, collaborate and explore how they can be the best teachers, leaders and researchers in the education system,” said Professor Dilson Rassier, Dean of Education at McGill. “Although this gift will be realized within the faculty’s building, our ties extend far beyond the campus. We are proud to carry on a long-standing relationship with Mrs. Chan and her family, united as we are by a shared vision of a thriving school system.”