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Our Research

Research at the Faculty of Education informs theory, pedagogy/practice and policy. All academic staff are engaged in research; and this engagement is recognised in the Faculty’s stated aim to serve as an educational/research ‘nexus’ between China, Asia and the rest of the world. As a large, unitary Faculty, our research is described as interdisciplinary but with a strong basis in academic disciplines allied with education, pedagogy, professional development, and speech/hearing sciences. Research is organised via: Academic Units; within our 6 Research Centres and 3 Consortia; and as an individual focus. In addition, the Faculty hosts the Education Policy Unit. At any point in time there are a large number of on-going funded research projectsseminar series, international visitors and distinguished lectures. As researchers, we are actively engaged in local, regional and international collaborations. We maintain an active programme of funded/self-funded research studentships within our MPhil/PhD and EdD programmes.


Research News

  • Jan 29 2021 >
    The research team members

    Joint-university research finds residential experience beneficial to students’ whole person development MoreClose

    A virtual press conference on the joint-university research project entitled “Strengthening the Alignment of Residential Education and University Educational Aims” was held on January 29, 2021. The project is funded by the University Grants Committee and is the first in Hong Kong on the aims of university residential education.

     

    The research team is led by Dr Samuel Chu, Associate Professor, Academic Unit of Teacher Education and Learning Leadership, Faculty of Education, HKU, and joined by representatives from the Education University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University as co-investigators.

     

    The findings reveal that residential experience has positive impact on the participants’ academic, social and individual development. Based on the findings, the project team also provided several suggestions on multiple levels for moving residential education in Hong Kong forward.

     

    The three-year project started in 2017 with around 1,700 local and non-local students and alumni from four universities participating each year. The research team also organised numerous study tours for hall residents and hall education personnel to visit top universities in the world to share good practices of hall experience.

     

    To review the e-version of the press release and download relevant materials, please visit http://web.edu.hku.hk/press.

  • Jan 19 2021 >
    Professor Nancy Law and Dr Tan Cheng Yong

    Fourth press conference of “eCitizen Education 360” project reveals the key to online teaching and learning (T&L) preparedness during the New Normal MoreClose

    A virtual press conference on the fourth report from the “eCitizen Education 360” study was held on January 19, 2021 and was attended by more than 150 participants. The latest research results focus on how specific school leadership practices impact teachers’ preparedness for and effectiveness in online T&L.

    The findings demonstrate the pivotal role of multi-level school leadership in fostering a culture of trust, collaboration and openness for pedagogical innovation, an indispensable quality of effective schools under the New Normal.

    The project team also put forward several recommendations for schools to be better prepared under the New Normal, including external support for teacher professional learning and leadership development, participation in joint-school student-centred innovation projects, and the support to middle-level leaders in solving actual problems in the innovation process.  

    The research team was led by Professor Nancy Law, Deputy Director of the Centre of Information Technology in Education of the Faculty, and Dr Tan Cheng Yong, Associate Professor, the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education.

    For more details of the “eCitizen Education 360” Project, please visit https://ecitizen.hk/360. To review the e-version of the press release and download relevant materials, please visit http://web.edu.hku.hk/press.

  • Jan 11 2021 >
    Dr Chen Gaowei

    Major grant award for Dr Chen Gaowei MoreClose

    We are delighted to announce that an innovative project by Dr Chen Gaowei, Associate Professor in the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences, has been awarded a grant of over HK$3 million by the Innovation and Technology Bureau of the HKSAR Government.

    The project is entitled “A Visualization-enhanced Video-based e-Learning Platform (V2 e-Platform) for Teachers and Students”. The video-visualisation (V2) approach is an invention of Dr Chen’s which allows users to visualise and identify meaningful information in videos for learning purposes. The V2 e-platform will scale up this approach to transform educational videos into high-efficacy, low-cost resources for improving teaching and learning, ultimately benefitting a wide range of teachers and students at the local, regional and international levels.

    Dr Chen’s project is being funded by the Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living (FBL). The FBL is a scheme for funding innovation and technology projects which will make people's daily living more convenient, comfortable and safer, or address the needs of specific community groups.

    Our hearty congratulations to Dr Chen on his remarkable achievement!

  • Dec 23 2020 >
    Dr Shelley Tong

    Dr Shelley Tong receives the title of Research Grants Committee (RGC) Research Fellow MoreClose

    We are delighted to announce that Dr Shelley Tong, Associate Professor in the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences, is made an RGC Research Fellow.

    Dr Tong’s project is titled “Understanding Strengths and Deficits in Chinese Developmental Dyslexia: Toward an Integrated Strength Deficit-Based Intelligent Diagnosis and Intervention System”. It aims to revamp current deficit-based reading remediation programmes by developing an Integrated Dyslexic Interface Design that underscores and capitalises on the individual strengths of children with developmental dyslexia.

    The Research Fellow Scheme aims to provide sustained support and relief from teaching and administrative duties to exceptionally outstanding researchers at Associate Professor rank (or full Professor rank) at University Grants Committee-funded universities in Hong Kong, with a view to facilitating their full dedication to research and development and helping universities attract and retain research talent. As an awardee, Dr Tong will receive a fellowship grant at around HK$5.2 million over a period of 60 months. The fellowship will start in 2021.

    Many congratulations to Dr Tong!

  • Dec 8 2020 >
    Dr Susan Bridges

    Dr Susan Bridges joins international team of health professions educators on Johns Hopkins University (JHU) 2020 Discovery grant MoreClose

    We are excited to announce an international, cross-disciplinary research collaboration on health professions education made possible through a Johns Hopkins 2020 Discovery Award. Dr Susan Bridges, Associate Professor in the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education, joins the project team as an international collaborator.

    The Discovery Awards are given to interdisciplinary faculty teams across 11 units of JHU, aiming to solve complex problems and expanding the horizons of knowledge. The project, titled “From Jedi Knight to Jedi Master: Discovering the New Master of Health Professions Educator Leader” led by Dr Toni Ungaretti at JHU contributes to the discourse on framing the new “master” health professions educator leader concept – the identification of its attributes, and insight on approaches to cultivate it. It joins 40 successful proposals which stood out from 274 submissions.

    Dr Bridges is an international collaborator, together with Dr Anne McKee from Kings College London, UK, and will provide external expertise from a curriculum perspective.

    Many congratulations to the team!

  • Nov 24 2020 >
    Dr Susan Bridges

    Dr Susan Bridges collaborates on major Finnish research grant MoreClose

    We are delighted to announce a significant grant award for the research project titled “Reliable Knowledge for Health Care: Process and Practice of Shared Decision Making”, in which Dr Susan Bridges, Associate Professor in the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education, is an international partner. The project as a whole has received a grant of 3.7 million euros from the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland. In the sub-project in social scientific interaction analysis, Dr Bridges will collaborate as an external collaborator and scientific advisor in the planning and execution of interactional ethnography, and in theory development on information literacy. The sub-project has been funded with 1.2 million euros for the first three years. 

    The project is led by Professor Johanna Ruusuvuori, Head of the Unit of Social Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Finland. The other external collaborators are Professor Markus Reuber, Medical School, University of Sheffield, UK; Dr Rebecca Barns, Senior Research Fellow, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, UK; and Dr Merran Toerian, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of York, UK.

  • Nov 3 2020 >
    Professor Nancy Law holding the bulletin of

    Third press conference of “eCitizen Education 360” project organised MoreClose

    A virtual press conference on the third report from the “eCitizen Education 360” study was held on November 3, 2020. The latest research results focus on teachers’ online teaching experience during the school suspension period due to COVID-19. The findings shed light on how to help teachers better prepare for the new normal. The press conference was well-attended by around 110 participants.

    From the findings, it was concluded that teachers with “Progressive Innovators” qualities have significantly higher Online Learning and Teaching (L&T) Preparedness and self-efficacy, and all teachers have the potential to become a “Progressive Innovator”. In-depth collaboration on digital pedagogy can cultivate such teachers.

    Also, the capacity to adopt student-centred pedagogy and to design and implement online interactive learning are key to enhancing teachers’ Online L&T Preparedness. Teachers also found that fostering students’ critical thinking and creative capacities, and using data to support the assessment and feedback are much more challenging than producing teaching videos and using videoconferencing tools.

    The project team put forward several recommendations on multiple levels. On the policy and system level, professional network among teachers and schools should be expanded. On the school leadership level, the e-learning coordination teams’ professional development roles and functions should be established and/or strengthened. Finally, on the individual teacher level, teachers should leverage the learning opportunities offered by various networks to strength personal professional confidence and competence.

    The research team was led by Professor Nancy Law, Deputy Director of the Centre of Information Technology in Education of the Faculty, and Dr Tan Cheng Yong, Associate Professor, the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education.

    For more details of the “eCitizen Education 360” Project and the bulletin, please visit https://ecitizen.hk/360. To review the e-version of the press release, and download photos, presentation file and further reference materials, please visit http://web.edu.hku.hk/press.

  • Sep 5 2020 >
    Ms Lee Ka Wing, Katherine

    Our PhD candidate is the 1st runner-up in the HKU Visualise Your Thesis (VYT) Competition MoreClose

    We are delighted to announce that Ms Lee Ka Wing, Katherine, a third-year PhD student from our Faculty is the 1st runner-up in this year’s VYT Competition and has won the Viewers’ Choice Award. The VYT competition is an annual event organised by the Knowledge Exchange Office, HKU, with support from the Graduate School.

    The VYT Competition challenges graduate researchers to present their research in a 60-second, eye-catching digital display. Using a pre-supplied template, research postgraduate students are tasked with developing a striking looped presentation to encapsulate their research projects in short, engaging, digital narratives. It is open to all HKU MPhil and PhD students whose candidature has been confirmed.

    Katherine’s video is titled “Exploring University Students’ Self-efficacy in Leadership Skills”. In her study, she explores how university students develop their self-efficacy beliefs with regards to leadership skills. She looks at the nature and impact of different experiences that influence students' perceptions and confidence in their own leadership abilities.  

    The champion, 1st runner-up and 2nd runner-up are determined by the judging panel, while the Viewers’ Choice Award goes to the candidate receiving the most “likes” on YouTube by the deadline of August 25, 2020. Katherine’s video has gathered over 3,000 views and 900 likes. Please visit https://youtu.be/E8dRglYkSpA to watch her video.

    Katherine is supervised by Dr Cecilia Chan, Associate Professor in the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Teacher Education and Learning Leadership. “This is an exciting piece of news for both of us! I am very proud of Katherine’s achievement,” remarked Dr Chan.

    Congratulations to Katherine on her achievement!

  • Aug 25 2020 >
    Professor Nancy Law holding the bulletin of

    HKU Faculty of Education organises virtual press conference on the second report of “eCitizen Education 360” study MoreClose

    A virtual press conference on the second batch of research findings from “eCitizen Education 360” was held on August 25, 2020. The latest discovery includes a multi-level model on how schools’ e-learning policy and implementation affects their IT/e-learning coordination teams’ size, composition and performance, which in terms affect teachers’ support and ultimately students’ learning. The press conference was well-attended by around 120 participants.

    From the key findings, it was concluded that teachers’ preparedness for online teaching were positively correlated with students’ online learning experience and outcomes. E-learning implementation strategy was also influential on teachers’ preparation and student experiences and outcomes on several dimensions. Altogether, school’s online teaching preparedness was pivotal to students with lower socioeconomic status.

    The study calls for a composite, robust e-learning coordination team for student-centred decision-making and action alignment, strengthening the learning management system for all stakeholders and provision of more teaching- and assessment-related teacher professional development.

    The research team was led by Professor Nancy Law, Deputy Director of the Centre of Information Technology in Education of the Faculty, and Dr Tan Cheng Yong, Associate Professor, the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education.

    For more details of the “eCitizen Education 360” Project and the bulletin, please visit https://ecitizen.hk/360. To review the e-version of the press release, and download photos, presentation file and further reference materials, please visit http://web.edu.hku.hk/press.

  • Aug 17 2020 >
    Dr Gaowei Chen

    Dr Gaowei Chen awarded Faculty Early Career Research Output Award 2020 MoreClose

    We are pleased to announce that Dr Gaowei Chen, Assistant Professor, Academic Unit of Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences was awarded this year’s Faculty Early Career Research Output Award.

    His publication is titled A visual learning analytics (VLA) approach to video-based teacher professional development: Impact on teachers’ beliefs, self-efficacy, and classroom talk practice.

    The award accords recognition to and honours the publication or creation of outstanding research output by early career researchers. Assistant Professors, Research Assistant Professors and Post-doctoral Fellows are eligible for the award.

    Many congratulations to Dr Chen!

  • Jul 20 2020 >

    HKU Faculty of Education organises a virtual press conference on the study of “eCitizen Education 360” MoreClose

    The Faculty held a virtual press conference on the initial findings from an ongoing study entitled “eCitizen Education 360” on July 20, 2020. The study aims to collate the experience and needs of schools, teachers, students and parents in the transition to a full-fledged online learning experience during school suspension and their needs thereafter, with a view to taking joint school and community actions to shape quality learning and teaching to prepare for the new normal of many uncertainties. The press conference was well-attended by around 80 participants from the press and the education community.

    From the key findings, it was concluded that the effort jointly made by schools and parents to sustain learning was paid off, yet the cumulative negative effects due to socioeconomic and digital divides on disadvantaged students need attention. The study also calls for comprehensive measures to enhance online learning preparedness, which will be crucial to effective online learning transition.

    Data were collected from over 1,200 teachers, 1,300 parents and 6,000 students from primary, secondary and special schools during school resumption from June to July 2020. The bulletin containing the findings was also published, which is the first of a series of six bulletins to be released.

    The research team was led by Professor Nancy Law, Deputy Director of the Centre of Information Technology in Education of the Faculty, and Dr Tan Cheng Yong, the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education.

    For more details of the “eCitizen Education 360” Project and the bulletin, please visit https://ecitizen.hk/360. To review the e-version of the press release, and download photos and presentation file, please visit http://web.edu.hku.hk/press.

  • Jul 15 2020 >

    Achievements in the General Research Fund (GRF) and Early Career Scheme (ECS) (2020/21 Exercise) MoreClose

    The Research Grants Council (RGC) has announced the results for the GRF and ECS exercises for 2020/21. In the latest competition, the Faculty performed very well with an overall success rate of 39% (similar to the level achieved in 2019/20), with 10 out of 29 applications accepted for GRF and 3 out of 4 for ECS.

     

    When the successful GRF application of a colleague from the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) is also taken into account, the success rate rises further to 41%. In the Education sub-panel specifically, even in the face of keen competition, HKU achieved the highest success rate for GRF (32%) and ECS (100%) among all UGC-funded institutions which have submitted applications.

     

    The lists of successful GRF and ECS projects are as follows:

     

    GRF

    Dr Cecilia Chan, Associate Professor, Academic Unit of Teacher Education and Learning Leadership (TELL)

    Assessing generic skills in a specific STEM discipline in higher education

     

    Dr Kennedy Chan, Assistant Professor, TELL

    Investigating the development of responsive teaching ability in pre-service science teachers: A video-based teaching intervention

     

    Professor Jimmy de la Torre, Professor, Academic Unit of Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences (CDIS)

    Optimizing the Diagnostic Value and Practicability of a Cognitive Diagnosis Modeling Framework for Multiple-choice Tests: Model Extensions and Practical Implementations

     

    Dr Dennis Fung, Associate Professor, TELL

    The Impact of Small-Class Teaching in Hong Kong Primary Schools: An Exploration of Teaching Strategies to Effect a Paradigm Shift in the Chinese Classroom

     

    Dr Timothy Hew, Associate Dean (Research Higher Degrees); Associate Professor, CDIS

    Toward the effective use of gamification in higher education: Evaluating a theory-driven GAFCC framework using design-based research

     

    Dr Liz Jackson, Associate Professor, Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education (SCAPE)

    Representation of ethnic and religious minorities in textbooks: Multicultural education in Mainland China, Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong

     

    Dr Tai Chung Pui, Assistant Professor, SCAPE

    Reconstructing the pronunciation of Tangut characters: on the basis of 12th and 13th centuries manuscripts

     

    Dr Shelley Tong, Associate Professor, CDIS

    Improving Autistic Children’s Mind and Text Reading through Executive Function and Pragmatic Language Comprehension: A Longitudinal, Randomized Controlled Trial

     

    Dr Anita Wong, Associate Professor, CDIS

    Effects of enhanced input in the learning of syntactic constructions in children with Developmental Language Disorder 

     

    Dr Xiao Zhang, Associate Professor, CDIS

    Pattern Understanding as Precursor and Outcome of Children’s Cognitive Development

     

    Dr Tracy Zou, Assistant Professor, CETL

    Investigating and enhancing undergraduate research experiences in the curriculum through teacher-student collaborative inquiries

     

    ECS

    Dr Cheong Choo Mui, Assistant Professor, TELL

    The Effect of Literacy Skills, Task Representation and Strategy Use on Secondary School Students’ Integrated Writing Performance

     

    Dr Peter Cobb, Assistant Professor, CDIS

    Archaeology of the Ancient Near East: Investigating Past Human Activity and Mobility in Armenia with Fieldwork and Digital Methods

     

    Dr Nutsa Kobakhidze, Assistant Professor, SCAPE

    Local Anxieties, Global Ambitions: Social Class Impact on Parental Demand for Shadow Education in Hong Kong 

     

    Congratulations to all our colleagues who have been successful in this year's exercises!

  • Jul 8 2020 >

    Our PhD graduate wins the 2020 ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award MoreClose

    We are glad to announce that Dr Hussein Haruna, our PhD graduate, has won the 2020 ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award. The award is bestowed by The Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), an international association for those in the field of information science and technology established in 1937.

     

    The award recognises outstanding recent doctoral candidates whose research contributes significantly to an understanding of some aspect of information science. It is intended to encourage participation of new PhDs in the activities of a professional association by providing a forum for the presentation of their research and assisting them with some travel support.

     

    Dr Haruna was selected as this year’s winner from among a pool of outstanding candidates who were judged based on the following criteria: 1) importance of the topic to theory development and/or practical applications in information science; 2) soundness of methodology; 3) organisation and clarity of the presentation; and 4) quality of data (when applicable). His dissertation, titled “Improving Sexual Health Education for Adolescent Students Using Game-Based Learning and Gamification”, can be accessed through the HKU library here.

     

    Dr Haruna was primarily supervised by Dr Hu Xiao, Associate Professor in the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences, and co-supervised by Dr Samuel Chu, Associate Professor in the Academic Unit of Teacher Education and Learning Leadership. Dr Haruna is currently Post-Doctoral Researcher (Educational Research & Innovation) at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. He will receive his award at the 2020 meeting of the ASIS&T, a flagship meeting in the field of Information Science, which will be held virtually from October 25-29, 2020.

    Many congratulations to Dr Haruna on his great achievement!

  • Jul 6 2020 >

    Faculty Research Awards 2019-20 MoreClose

    We are delighted to announce the results of the Faculty Research Awards 2019-20.

    Among all the exceptional nominations, Dr Jim Chan, Assistant Professor in the Academic Unit of Teacher Education and Learning Leadership, was selected for the Faculty Outstanding Young Researcher Award, which recognises the outstanding research accomplishments of young academic and research staff.

    Dr Timothy Hew, Associate Dean (Research Higher Degrees), won the Faculty Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award for the highly effective supervisory guidance he provides to his research postgraduate students.

    Congratulations to Dr Chan and Dr Hew!

  • May 23 2020 >

    Another Faculty of Education PhD student wins Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Research Scholar Award 2020-21 MoreClose

    We are pleased to announce that Mr Lin Cong, Jason, a PhD student in the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education, has been selected for a Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Research Scholar Award 2020-21. Jason is the second student from our Faculty who has gained the award this year: a remarkable achievement given the keen competition.

    The award is offered by the Research Grants Council, in collaboration with the US Consulate-General in Hong Kong, and is funded by the RGC in partnership with private donors. As a Fulbright-RGC Visiting Student Scholar, Jason will conduct research on multiculturalism and Chinese identity formation in Chinese societies, and issues of the Chinese diaspora in the United States regarding their Chineseness. He will be placed at Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA for 10 months starting in 2021, with the grant funded by the RGC.

    Please join us in congratulating Jason on his marvellous achievement!

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