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Division of Learning, Development and Diversity

Introduction

The Division of Learning, Development and Diversity (LDD) is widely known as a scholar hub that houses members with strong research publication records. LDD division members have research expertise in cognition and instruction, developmental psychology, differential psychology, early childhood education, educational psychology, gifted education, school guidance and counseling, research methods, and special education. As principal investigators and/or co-investigators of projects that are supported by competitive research grants from HKU, the HKSAR Government, and international funding agencies, division members are constantly engaged in rigorous research activities that help enhance the teaching and learning process. The results of these studies can be applied in classrooms and other settings, thereby contributing to the promotion of knowledge exchange. LDD division members also actively contribute to local and international educational communities by serving on key governing bodies and by engaging in various forms of professional services.

Teaching

The LDD division is strongly committed to its mission of preparing educational leaders for tomorrow’s world. The division integrates educational psychology, career and educational guidance, student diversity, and research methods to offer core modules in undergraduate programmes through problem-based learning. The LDD division is also well-known for its Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) majors in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. The division offers an innovative course on educational psychology for all PGDE students in small groups and via problem-centred and computer-supported learning that emphasizes the integration of theory into practice. Teaching and Development Grants are obtained by several members of the division to improve the teaching quality in the Faculty. Some of the members have also published their studies in teaching innovation.

Since the 1980s, the LDD division has been offering Master of Education (MEd) specialisms, such as Special and Inclusive Education, Psychological Studies in Education, Educational Guidance and Counseling, and Early Childhood Education. The division’s graduates have either assumed important posts in their respective professions or obtained (or are pursuing) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Education (EdD) in Hong Kong or in other countries. Two additional MEd specialisms have been recently designed and taught in the division, namely, Gifted Education and Talent Development and Designing Powerful Learning Environment (in collaboration with the Division of Information and Technology Studies). The division also offers several elective undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

LDD division members significantly contribute to the doctoral education of the Faculty. They are currently supervising 28 PhD students and 19 EdD students and constitute the major force in providing quantitative research methods training to doctoral students. In addition, LDD division members play an important role in the teaching of newly initiated courses on Transferable Skills that are offered in the Graduate School of the University.

 

LDD Research

Research

The LDD division has a strong research orientation. LDD division members have published their research in reputable international refereed journals and have collaborated with prestigious publishing companies. Their publications have also been widely cited.

Supported by internal and external grants, LDD division members have been actively involved in international and cross-disciplinary research projects. Aside from producing significant research outputs, LDD division members are often invited to deliver keynote speeches at major international conferences and events as well as to serve as visiting scholars/professors in world-famous universities. LDD division members have also been highly recognized locally, regionally, and globally for their achievements.

Driven by their aim toward excellence, LDD division members have vigorously investigated human learning, development, and performance in various cultures from multiple perspectives, namely, anthropological, educational, psychological, and sociological perspectives. Their research populations span a wide spectrum, including kindergarten, primary, secondary, and university students, pre-service and in-service educators, university scholars, and school/university senior managers, parents, and business personnel.

LDD division members have been engaged in a wide range of research areas, including computer-supported collaborative knowledge building, fostering positive changes in epistemological beliefs, talent development in schools, cultural capital, learning and achievement of students, Chinese language and literacy acquisition and early childhood education and development, school readiness of young children, knowledge and skills building among early childhood teachers, autism, development of positive behaviors, literacy acquisition, developmental dyslexia, promoting effective group work in classrooms, discourse analysis and learning processes in classrooms, positive youth development, intellectual styles in academic and non-academic settings, organizational commitment, educational measurement, and psychometrics.

Community Engagement

In addition to cultivating future leaders and engaging in world-class research, LDD division members engage themselves in local and international communities.

In Hong Kong, several LDD division members provide consultancy services and serve as members in key governing bodies in the education arena. Examples include Professor Carol Chan who served as Board Director and a member of the Steering Committee of Education City for the Review of the 334 New Academic Structure, Dr. Hui Li who served on the Free Kindergarten Education Committee of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, and Dr. Mantak Yuen who served as a member of the Hong Kong Association for Parents of Gifted Education. Some division members serve the Hong Kong academic community by organizing seminars and workshops for students, teachers, and senior managers in educational institutions of all levels. Many members serve as reviewers of competitive research grant applications, curriculum, and academic programmes. They also serve the Hong Kong community by actively participating in discussions on educational policies through local and international media outlets.

LDD division members also contribute widely to the international scholarly community by serving in international professional committees (e.g., the World Executive Committee of OMEP - World Organization of Early Childhood Education and the Steering Committee for the Lancet Series on Early Child Development – see the page of Professor Nirmala Rao), delivering invited/planetary/keynote academic speeches, serving as honorary professors in other reputable higher educational institutions, and serving as Associate Editors and/or editorial board members of highly influential SSCI journals.

 

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