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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: Divisions; within our 6 Research Centres and 2 Consortia; and as an individual focus. In addition, the Faculty hosts the Education Policy Unit.  The Laboratory of Neuroscience for Education is an interdisciplinary unit that crosscuts the traditional boundaries among education, cognitive neuroscience, and other scientific disciplines. 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 4 2019 >

    Recipient of a University Outstanding Researcher Award 2017-18 MoreClose

    Congratulations to Professor Nirmala Rao who has been awarded a University Outstanding Researcher Award for 2017-18. 

    The award is made by the University Research Committee to recognise individuals for their outstanding research accomplishments. The certificate will be presented at the annual award presentation ceremony on March 25, 2019 (Monday). Please attend to offer congratulations to Professor Nirmala Rao and other awardees at the ceremony.


  • Jul 6 2018 >

    Achievements in General Research Fund and Early Career Scheme of Research Grants Council (2018/19 Exercise) MoreClose

    The Research Grants Council (RGC) has announced the results for the General Research Fund (GRF) and Early Career Scheme (ECS) exercises for 2018/19. Our Faculty performed very well with an overall success rate of 42% (as compared with 20% in 2017/18), with 11 out of 28 applications accepted for GRF and four out of eight for ECS respectively. When the two successful GRF applications of the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) colleagues are also taken into account, the success rate rises further to 45%, representing a 25% increase over last year. In the Education sub-panel specifically, HKU achieved the highest success rate for GRF (50%) and ECS (43%), even in the face of increasingly keen competition.

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


    Dr Gaowei Chen              

    Analytics-supported collaborative observation of videos: The effect on student engagement and achievement in mathematics


    Professor Jimmy de la Torre      

    Methodological developments to enhance diagnostic modeling and scoring of multicategory skills


    Dr Dennis Fung

    Drawing and talking science with the aid of collaborative mind mapping in Hong Kong primary schools


    Dr Xiao Hu         

    Leveraging background music for learning: An interdisciplinary approach


    Professor Frederick Leung          

    Education equity in Hong Kong: Secondary analysis of the factors that contribute to Hong Kong students’ mathematics performance in Trends in the International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015


    Dr Chun Lai        

    The relationship between learners’ out-of-class autonomous technology-enhanced language learning and their vocabulary knowledge


    Dr Yuen-yi Lo    

    Investigating the role of language in CLIL assessments through examining teachers’ and students’ cognitive processes


    Professor Bradley McPherson  

    Oto-acoustic emissions in young adults: Effects of blood group


    Dr Cheng-yong Tan        

    What is the contribution of school leadership to student learning? A thematic review and meta-analytic study


    Dr Shelley Tong               

    From mind reading to text reading: What are the roles of executive function and pragmatic language comprehension?


    Professor Lena Wong   

    Development of a Mandarin speech perception battery


    Dr Luke Fryer (CETL)

    Diversity of university engagement across Greater China


    Dr Tracy Zou (CETL)

    Professional development at a meso-level: Conceptual development and impact analysis



    Dr Jisun Jung     

    Factors involved in master's degree pursuit in Hong Kong


    Dr Man-kit Lee 

    Unravelling the impact of giving and receiving peer feedback on second language writers’ social cognitive motivation, self-regulatory strategic processing and writing performance


    Dr Guang Ouyang           

    How does non-invasively measured neural activity reflect the learning process and ability?


    Dr Chung-pui Tai             

    Cross-boundary hegemony over schooling: Republican China-registered secondary schools in British Hong Kong, 1928-1949


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

  • Jul 3 2018 >
    Dr Tan recieved Educational Review - Article of the Year Award 2017

    Educational Review - Article of the Year Award 2017 MoreClose

    Please join us in congratulating Dr Tan Cheng Yong on his article "Conceptual diversity, moderators, and theoretical issues in quantitative studies of cultural capital theory", is selected as Article of the Year 2017 by Educational Review.

    Educational Review is a leading journal for generic educational research and scholarship. For over half a century it has offered authoritative reviews of current national and international issues in schooling and education. It publishes peer-reviewed papers from international contributors which report research across a range of education fields including curriculum, inclusive and special education, educational psychology, policy, management and international and comparative education. It offers an Article of the Year Award for the best piece of research published in the journal within a given year.

    Dr Tan’s article reviewed quantitative empirical studies examining the relationship between cultural capital and student achievement. For details of the article, please visit: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2017.1288085

  • Jun 6 2018 >
    International Handbook of the Learning Sciences

    Our scholars have contributed to the recently published International Handbook of the Learning Sciences MoreClose

    As a pioneering collection in the international field of the learning sciences, the International Handbook of the Learning Sciences involved contributions from more than 100 prominent scholars from 17 countries in four continents. In an interdisciplinary field, the book consists of more than 50 chapters and provides a compendium of past, current, and emerging theoretical and empirical directions for learning sciences research.

    The book captures the research work of Faculty scholars. The chapters: “Knowledge Building: Theory, Design, and Analysis”, authored by Professor Carol Chan and Dr Jan van Aalst, and “Interactional Ethnography” authored by Dr Susan Bridges, and Professor Judith Green of the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, are included in the handbook. Professor Nancy Law was a reviewer for the book.

    Professor Law, in her review, commented, “The book captures theoretical advances beyond the established perspectives to address learning at the neural, institutional, and network levels. The wide-ranging innovations in learning environments and research methods make it a valuable resource for established scholars, early-career researchers, and educators interested in research-informed policy and/or practice.”

    The Faculty is proud to contribute to this definitive volume of international learning sciences scholarship and we are committed to maintain high academic and research standards in the field.

    Dr Susan Bridge (right) and Professor Cindy Hmelo-Silver, who is one of the editors of the International Handbook of The Learning Sciences.

  • Apr 26 2018 >
    Mr William Choi Tsun Man

    Our PhD Student has been awarded a Croucher Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research MoreClose

    We are very pleased to announce that Mr William Choi Tsun Man, a PhD student in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences of the Faculty of Education, has been awarded a Croucher Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research.

    The award offered by the Croucher Foundation Ltd. was set up to enable applicants who are permanent residents of Hong Kong to undertake full-time research in natural sciences, medicine or technology in approved academic institutions outside Hong Kong.

    William was also awarded a Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Scholarship in 2017 and has been continuing work, begun in the Faculty, on psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic aspects of lexical tone perception at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA since September 2017. He will be submitting his thesis this month.

    Further information about the Croucher Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research can be found at: https://croucher.org.hk/funding/study_awards/postdoctoral_fellowships

    Many congratulations on his outstanding achievements!  

  • Apr 20 2018 >
    Miss Keisha Siriboe and Dr Gary Harfitt

    Recipients of an AERA Outstanding Publication Award 2018 MoreClose

    On April 16, 2018, Miss Keisha Siriboe, our PhD student, and Dr Gary Harfitt received an Outstanding Publication Award 2018 from the Narrative Research Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) during the AERA Annual Meeting in New York, USA.

    The Outstanding Publication Award was established to recognize national and international scholars whose research publication contributes to narrative research in terms of the research design and research methodology.

    Their article entitled, A Parental perspective of school and familial curriculum making: a narrative inquiry of early childhood education planning in Hong Kong, was selected by the Outstanding Publication Award committee for its excellent contribution to narrative research, and it is clear how it contributes not just to research in general, but to the specialist field. The paper is drawn from Miss Siriboe's doctoral research and it is the first paper that she has had accepted by a refereed authority. A signal achievement for a first publication.

    Congratulations to Miss Siriboe and Dr Harfitt!

    Miss Keisha Siriboe (centre) and Dr Gary Harfitt (left) received the award at the Narrative Research SIG Business Meeting.

    Miss Keisha Siriboe (centre) and Dr Gary Harfitt (left) received the award at the Narrative Research SIG Business Meeting.

  • Apr 10 2018 >
    Dr Samuel Chu

    Dr Samuel Chu becomes an incoming editor of the re-launched Emerald Publishing Journal - Information and Learning Sciences MoreClose

    We are glad to share with you the news that Dr Samuel Kai Wah Chu will be the incoming editor of the re-launched Emerald Publishing Journal - Information and Learning Sciences, with effect from Volume 120, 2019. He will co-edit with Dr Rebecca Reynolds of The State University of New Jersey, USA.

    The journal builds upon the growing recognition of the ways in which active and innovative research that explicitly draws upon the intellectual heritage of both Information Science and the Learning Sciences stands to enrich people’s understanding of phenomena involving inquiry, learning, and system design.

    The journal will re-launch with an inauguration issue in January 2019, followed by a special issue on "Learning to Code, Coding to Learn: Youth and Computational Thinking" in March 2019. Open issues and further special issues will follow. For more information on this re-launched journal, please visit http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=ILS

    Congratulations to Dr Chu!

  • Mar 1 2018 >
    QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018

    No. 7 in the world again - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 MoreClose

    We are glad to share with you that our Faculty is ranked seventh globally in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings by Subject 2018, released on February 28, 2018. 

    The Faculty has consistently performed well in world rankings. In the Times Higher Education (THE) University Subject Ranking for Education 2018, we were ranked as world number four. In the QS University Subject Ranking, the Faculty was ranked sixth globally for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016, and seventh in 2017. We are glad to maintain our position among the top Education faculties in this latest QS ranking, joining the league of 1) University College London, 2) Harvard University, 3) Stanford University, 4) The University of Cambridge, 5) University of Oxford, and 6) The University of Melbourne.

    QS uses four criteria for its ranking system – Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Citations per paper, and H-index, which measures both the productivity and impact of a scholar’s publications. The relative weightings of these criteria vary slightly from discipline to discipline. For Education, the weightings are 50% Academic Reputation, 10% Employer Reputation, 20% Citations, and 20% H-index. The ratings reflect academic peers' and employers' opinions of the Faculty, and also the achievements of academic staff in research (citations and impact). The Faculty has obtained a high indicative score of 87.3, with a very strong performance for all four criteria demonstrating our all-round achievements.

    Professor A. Lin Goodwin, Dean of the Faculty, said: “My colleagues and I are extremely pleased with our QS University Subject Ranking of 7. We see it as an important indicator of the quality of our teaching and research, as well as the quality of our students. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts, even while we are also humbled and further motivated by this accomplishment to keep striving for excellence.”

    For the full set of rankings for Education, please refer to http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2018/education-training.

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