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Title: The Hong Kong "culture of learning" : origins and effects
Authors: Glenwright, Philip D. L.
Award date: 2000
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This exploratory study attempts to provide a novel and overarching perspective on the teaching and learning situation in Hong Kong, a territory with a high degree of autonomy sandwiched between Chinese and Western influences. To do so, it employs the key concepts of 'cultures of learning' (Cortazzi and Jin 1996a) and 'cultural synergy' (Jin and Cortazzi 1995). After introducing current conceptions of culture and their growing significance for language teaching and learning (Chapter one), the thesis reviews the literature on the Chinese and British 'cultures of learning' and predicts their likely impact on Hong Kong (Chapter two). The Hong Kong educational context itself is then described (Chapter three). Next, the research questions are set out and the multi-method research methodology, involving both qualitative and quantitative data, is presented and justified (Chapter four). The salient features of the Hong Kong 'culture of learning', their likely cultural origins and their effects on curricular and language teaching reforms and classroom practice are then researched through a detailed documentary analysis of official and scholarly publications. The degree of cultural sensitivity with which externally motivated change has been introduced is also assessed in 'cultural synergy' terms. Insights provided by this new perspective are then complemented and strengthened through a content analysis of both In-service assignment extracts and sample In-service lesson plans. Finally, quantitative evidence from a questionnaire survey, whose sentence stems derive largely from the preceding thesis text, is presented (Chapter five). The combined data permit a conceptualisation of the Hong Kong 'culture of learning' and indicate the minimal attention paid to 'cultural synergy', particularly by government agencies. Government sponsored reforms tend, therefore, to remain formally adopted rather than practically implemented and culturally more familiar language teaching methodologies persist largely unchanged. The personal, professional and academic significance of the research is then discussed (Chapter six).
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: EdD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Education
Leicester Theses

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