How do students and teachers perceive effective teaching in Hong Kong?
thesisposted on 14.02.2011, 09:49 by Ka-yim Chan
The present study aimed to explore how the students and the teachers in Hong Kong conceptualised “effective teaching”. 106 Form three students and 3 teachers were asked to rank the significance of forty teaching traits and evaluate the teachers’ teaching performance. A focus group interview and individual interviews were conducted with the students and the teachers respectively. Classroom observations together with follow-up talks were also arranged for the teachers. It was found that both the participating groups had similar though not identical views on the effective aspects of teaching. They generally thought that an effective teacher should use various strategies to motivate students, involve all of the students in the lesson, use a variety of activities/ learning methods, give clear instructions and explanations, and keep students on task throughout the lesson. They also thought that an effective teacher should have a good relationship with his/ her students and make the best use of reinforcements. They agreed with most of the reviewed literature about teaching effectiveness except that they preferred the teacher-centred approaches to the student-centred approaches. This could be mainly due to the cultural differences. Although the teachers claimed that students should take care of their own learning, they did not actively try to encourage their students to do so in reality. For students, a majority group tended to be passive and rely a lot on their teachers while a minority group tended to be more proactive and learn more independently. Since the western theories might not be compatible with the eastern beliefs, it was suggested that teachers should test the theories before use. This could be encouraged by a more bottom-up educational system. It was also suggested that students and teachers should have a more active role to play in teacher evaluation. They should be given more chance to talk and share their perceptions of effective teaching. It is argued that this sharing of perceptions would enable greater consensus to emerge between teachers and students. Last but not least, it would be sensible for teachers to treat teaching as a combination of a science, a craft and an art so that they were better able to meet the expectations of different types of students.