University of Leicester
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Co-operative learning in Hong Kong , primary curriculum : attitudes of teachers

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:43 authored by Kam Wing Chan
The Education Commission, the education policy maker in Hong Kong, is proposing a radical change in the education system in order to keep pace with the times and respond to the needs of learners. The aims of education for the 21st Century focus mostly on enabling every person to develop critical thinking, as well as building self-confidence and a team spirit, so that s/he is capable of life-long learning. Research shows that co-operative learning develops higher-order thinking skills (Matthews et al., 1995), enhances motivation and improves interpersonal relations (Slavin et al., 1991). However, it would be premature at this stage to adopt co-operative learning in the Hong Kong classrooms without considering the various factors, such as teachers' attitudes and cultural variations, which affect the suitability and feasibility of implementation.;The aims of this study are to investigate the Hong Kong primary teachers' attitudes to co-operative group work and their pupils' attitudes towards working collaboratively. The attitudes of teachers were measured by using a questionnaire survey, followed by interviews and observations on a selected sample who had participated in an intervention programme on co-operative learning, for assessing their change in attitudes. Their pupils' attitudes were assessed by a projective test, the results of which were triangulated by interviews.;It was found that co-operative group work was not a popular instructional practice in Hong Kong, which could be explained by factors including time constraints, pupils' ability and discipline, teachers' conceptions of learning and influence of school and parents. The results suggested a positive correlation between the teachers' attitudes to co-operative group work and their pupils' attitudes towards working collaboratively. The influence of the cultural factor on co-operative learning has yet to be investigated in future research.


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University of Leicester

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  • Doctoral

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  • EdD



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