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  • Journal Articles

    1. Taming cosmopolitanism: The limits of national and neoliberal civic education in two global cities
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 40(1), 98-111, 2020
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    This paper analyzes global education policy and curricular documents in Singapore and Hong Kong. Using a discursive approach, we characterize curricular aims through various cosmopolitan perspectives. We posit that although touted as Asian global cities, Singapore and Hong Kong are cases where neoliberal and nation-centric educational agendas have effectively rebranded cosmopolitanism and tamed its transformative potential. To develop this argument, we review theories and critiques of cosmopolitan forms of global citizenship education deemed necessary to prepare young people for complex global social conditions. We discuss cosmopolitan principles on identity, values, and deliberation and draw on critical cosmopolitanism and Asian forms of cosmopolitanism to provide a discursive framework for analyzing curricular intentions in the two cases. Copyright ©Routledge.
  • Journal Articles

    2. Perceived benefits of studying general education for undergraduate students in the self-financing institutions in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, (0), - , 2020
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    The Hong Kong Secondary Education system moved from the traditional “5 + 2 + 3” system to a new “3 + 3 + 4” structure in 2012 with emphasis on whole-person development. Under the new reform, students are required to undertake a block of new general education (GE) subjects apart from their disciplinary-specific education in their university curriculum. While prior studies mainly investigated the reform of GE and curriculum design, empirical studies on the perceived benefits of GE are sparse. The current study primarily aims to investigate the impact of GE on the generic skills of university students. A survey of 424 undergraduate students enrolled in a self-financing programme in four higher educational institutions in Hong Kong was conducted. The perceived benefits of GE were measured by seven variables, including communication, critical thinking and problem solving, team-work, leadership, lifelong learning and information management skills, ethics, and professional moral knowledge. This study can contribute to the understanding of the interrelationship between GE and the development of generic skills. Results will provide a guideline for educators and management when planning, developing, designing, and reviewing the general education curriculum.
    [Copyright of Asia Pacific Journal of Education is the property of Routledge.]
  • Journal Articles

    3. Pre-service EFL teachers' readiness in computer-assisted language learning and teaching
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, (0), - , 2020
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    Digital technology plays a crucial role in modern second/foreign language education. Enormous changes in technology and the growing emphasis on 21st century skills raise a concern about English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ competencies in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) more than ever. In response to the mounting concern, this study investigates pre-service EFL teachers’ readiness in the use of CALL in the Hong Kong context. It explores the experiences and self-efficacy of participants with respect to the evaluation of the current English teacher education curriculum for CALL at a university in Hong Kong and factors affecting the participants’ acceptance and willingness to use CALL. In-depth interviews were conducted with six pre-service EFL teachers to reveal the reality of the teachers’ attitudes, perceptions and experiences regarding the use of technology. Findings provide insights into the significance of language teacher education in CALL and ways for fostering pre-service EFL teachers’ knowledge and skills in the implementation of CALL. Practical implications are made for effective teacher training for CALL in EFL contexts.
    [Copyright of Asia Pacific Journal of Education is the property of Routledge.]
  • Journal Articles

    4. Applying blended synchronous teaching and learning for flexible learning in higher education: An action research study at a university in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, (0), - , 2020
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    Due to the challenges of all-round development, higher-education students are increasingly demanding more flexible learning that goes beyond the on-campus/online dichotomy. However, university students miss learning opportunities because of the conflict of time and space. Blended learning is an effective way to create more learning opportunities and support university students’ flexible learning, but its implementation varies across contexts. This study proposed an alternative blended teaching and learning approach to solve practical problems defined in the context of a traditional classroom in a university in Hong Kong when students pursue flexible learning and global learning. A three-round action research approach was used to improve the effects of blended synchronous teaching and learning. Data collection and analysis in each round showed that the students positively rated the implementation of blended learning according to their needs, the quality of the technologies adopted, and the benefits gained. This blended synchronous teaching and learning mode was structured based on the implementation of different actions in three rounds, bridging the gap between research and practice in blended synchronous learning.
    [Copyright of Asia Pacific Journal of Education is the property of Routledge.]
  • Journal Articles

    5. School-STEM professional collaboration to diversify stereotypes and increase interest in STEM careers among primary school students
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    Developing students’ interest in STEM careers in STEM education is important. This study explored the impacts of STEM instruction involving scientists or engineers on 224 Hong Kong students’ interests in STEM careers and their stereotypes about STEM professionals. The teachers who participated in professional development, namely “School-STEM professional collaboration”, implemented the STEM instruction with support from educational researchers and invited STEM experts. Throughout the STEM instruction, students were provided with STEM role models, and were engaged in authentic and hands-on activities to mimic the research work of invited STEM experts. Data were collected through pre- and post-surveys and were analysed using descriptive statistics, t tests, and ANOVAs. The results revealed increased interest in STEM careers, and more positive perceptions of STEM professionals among the students after the instruction. In addition, the impacts of the instruction were found to be influenced by gender-matching between students and STEM professionals. Girls were more likely to improve their interests and alter stereotypes with exposure to female role models. It can be concluded that the STEM instruction diversifying the stereotypes of STEM people can be beneficial to students. This study has implications for supporting more effective STEM education in primary schools. Copyright © 2020 National Institute of Education, Singapore.
  • Journal Articles

    6. Multiculturalism in Chinese history in Hong Kong: Constructing Chinese identity
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 39(2), 209-221, 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Routledge
    Teaching young people to understand and appreciate diversity is crucial in Hong Kong efforts for a just and inclusive multicultural society. History is the main place where the cultural identity and values of Hong Kong society have been reflected on, questioned, and problematized in the curriculum, as changes to this curriculum interface with larger social and political changes of the society. Although diversity is emphasized in Hong Kong history curricula, representations of ethnic minorities provided in education may not always be effective toward multicultural aims. This research explores how multicultural content is expressed in Hong Kong Chinese history textbooks. In particular, we focus on how relationships between Han and minority cultures are represented in the texts, using qualitative content analysis. Based on the analysis, we elaborate three main descriptive codes and themes: (1) only majority perspectives are provided, (2) cultural superiority of the dominant group (the Han), and (3) plural monoculturalism, where minority views are treated as threatened and/or as threatening in relation to the society as a whole. We argue that these codes are in contrast with a multicultural stance that aims to enhance social justice and equity in relation to diversity, through providing balanced perspectives, including positive ethnic minority recognition and support for just forms of pluralistic integration. Copyright © 2019 National Institute of Education, Singapore.
  • Journal Articles

    7. Decolonization, nationalism, and local identity: Rethinking cosmopolitanism in educational practice in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 40(1), 87-97, 2020
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    Cosmopolitanism and its application for education in western societies has been well examined. Yet cosmopolitanism in society and in education has not been systematically explored in many Asian societies. Facing a large number of people from diverse backgrounds, the society and its education system in Hong Kong are troubled by issues similar to those found in western postindustrial societies, related to cultural and national belonging and identity. Prejudice and racism towards ethnic minorities – particularly those from South Asia and Africa, is quite common. Additionally, animosity and hostility to mainland Chinese newcomers has increased and intensified in the context of Hong Kong’s “repoliticization” after its 1997 handover. This article aims to explore how cosmopolitanism is understood, valued, and approached in Hong Kong education. We start by exploring the role of decolonization and nationalization in political education in Hong Kong. We then discuss cosmopolitanism, and consider how it impacts particular social and educational issues in Hong Kong. We also provide an analysis of discourses on cosmopolitanism taken from Hong Kong General Studies and History textbooks, to identify challenges faced in facilitating cosmopolitan values, a balance of identities, and global citizenship in Hong Kong education. Copyright © 2020 National Institute of Education, Singapore.
  • Journal Articles

    8. Understanding the use of technology-enhanced learning spaces in Hong Kong: An exploratory study
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 39(3), 290-309, 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Routledge
    The applications of technology-enhanced learning spaces have become a topical subject of research, with many studies conducted on the impact of technology-enhanced learning spaces on students' learning; however, only a small number of these focus on how the spaces affect students' learning. This article will elaborate on how technology-enhanced learning spaces facilitate the learning of students and explain in detail the impact of such spaces on them. Interviews were conducted with 48 postgraduate students who had experienced learning in technology-enhanced learning spaces. The interview data were analysed using the grounded theory approach and a theoretical model was proposed for the process of student learning in technology-enhanced learning spaces. The results demonstrate that three factors: academic motivation, extension of time and space, and externalization and expression, can facilitate student engagement in learning in technology-enhanced learning spaces. In addition, student characteristics is an influential factor in student engagement, while pedagogies also determine the effectiveness of these spaces.
    [Copyright of Asia Pacific Journal of Education is the property of Routledge.]
  • Journal Articles

    9. Home-based parental involvement amongst Pakistani families in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Education, (0), - , 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Routledge
    Ethnic minority parents often appear to be less involved in school functions and activities than their culturally dominant counterparts. Their invisibility is usually assumed due to a lack of either interest or parental capacity to oversee their children's education. However, the simplistic equation between parental involvement in children's education and their participation in school is largely informed by middle-class cultural norms that ignore diversity. Data drawn from home visits and in-depth, semi-structured interviews amongst Pakistani parents and children in Hong Kong reveals that the involvement of these parents only seems less visible because it is largely based at home rather than in schools. The parental involvement of this ethnic minority is influenced by socio-economic and cultural factors that separate school from home, divide parental responsibilities by gender, and set expectations for children with primary reference to the parents' own experiences. These research findings on how such characteristics shape the outcomes of parental involvement can inform school practices to build more effective home-school collaboration and enhance children's academic achievement.
    [Copyright of Asia Pacific Journal of Education is the property of Routledge.]
  • Journal Articles

    10. Shadow education as a form of oppression: Conceptualizing experiences and reflections of secondary students in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    Private tutoring is one of the unintended outcomes of high-stakes testing and has become a widespread global phenomenon. It is called shadow education because it mimics the mainstream curriculum. From the critical perspective, this study investigated the role of private tutoring in a context of high-stakes testing through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. It explored 18 Secondary Six (Grade 12) students’ reflections on their learning experiences in private tutoring in Hong Kong for one year. Conceptualized with Freire’s Pedagogy of the oppressed, the findings reveal that while students are being oppressed in the washback of high-stakes testing under neoliberalism, shadow education further oppresses the students by (1) intensifying the “banking” concept of education, (2) teaching as the “authority”, (3) emphasizing performativity and (4) offering “false generosity”. The findings provide implications for potential educational change in contexts where education systems increasingly rely on accountability and selection through high-stakes testing. By problematizing the role of private tutoring through the conceptual lens of oppression, the study calls for research to take a closer look at the impact of shadow education on learners’ experiences in the current neoliberal era. Copyright © 2020 National Institute of Education, Singapore.
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