Dr Therese W.H. Shak was a lifelong learner and a lifelong educator. Born and raised in China, she has been involved in most major adult education developments in South-east China and the Hong Kong region. She was a founding member of the East Asia Forum for Adult Education. For many years, she directed Caritas Hong Kong's Adult Education Services. In her mid-50s, she returned to formal learning, earning her Doctoral degree in Adult and Higher Education at the University of British Columbia.
This book is a compilation and extension of her 1989 doctoral dissertation at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Two decades after its completion, she was able to extend the research to new cities, new schools and new respondents. She returned with the intention of converting the dissertation manuscript into a more readable text for more general audiences - especially readers in East and Southeast Asia.