Betty Chan Po-king

Yew Chung Education Foundation, Hong Kong SAR China

Dr. Betty Chan Po-king was elected the President of PECERA at its Annual Conference in July 2012. She previously served as the Vice President and Treasurer between 2004 and 2012, and was the Founding President of the PECERA Hong Kong Chapter since 2007. Dr Chan is Director of the Yew Chung Education Foundation, operating a network of international schools in Hong Kong, China, and Silicon Valley (USA), providing Early Childhood, Primary, and Secondary education. She received her B.Ed. and M.Ed from the University of Hawaii, specialising in Early Childhood Education, and was later awarded the AAUW Scholarship to begin her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the mentorship of Prof. Bernard Spodek. After returning home to Hong Kong to succeed her mother, the Founder of Yew Chung, she later completed her doctorate in 1985 at the Union Institute and University, under the supervision of Prof. Roy Fairfield and Prof. Sarah Smilansky. Dr Chan is a well-known leader in the field of Early Childhood Education in Hong Kong, having introduced concepts such as “learning through play” and “open classroom” in the 1970s. She became a member of the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation in 1973, and was Convenor and Chairperson of the UNICEF "Childhood in 21st Century" international conference in 1989. Later she focused her efforts on developing a new model of international education, uniting the best elements of the East and the West. She is the Chairperson of the Alliance for International Education (AIE) China Branch since 2008. She also served on various public government advisory committees in Hong Kong, e.g. the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) of the Education Bureau (2000-2007), Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) (2001-2007), etc. In recognition of her pioneering work in Early Childhood Education and consistent advocacy for excellence in all levels of education, Dr Chan was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, US in 2010, Honorary Fellowship from the Hong Kong Institute of Education, and an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Bath, UK in 2015.