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An exploration of the use of a 'Learning Study' in teaching evaporation and condensation in a Hong Kong primary school

Fu, Yin Wah Priscilla (2007) An exploration of the use of a 'Learning Study' in teaching evaporation and condensation in a Hong Kong primary school. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



In Hong Kong, primary science is taught as a component of General Studies, often by teachers who are not themselves science specialists. The need for in-service professional development within science is therefore a high priority. This study investigates one such attempt to add value to the teaching of science, thereby enhancing the participating teachers' practice and the pupils' learning. It considers one very detailed Learning Study case, focusing on the specific topic of condensation and evaporation, as it was conducted over a period of six months from 2002 to 2003. In that regard this study constitutes an instrumentalist form of case study, in which a single case is considered in great detail. At this meta-level of analysis the study seeks to establish how and to what extent a group of practicing teachers benefited from participating in the Learning Study, whether and what value was added to their professional knowledge. However, the researcher, coming from higher education, as a lecturer at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, participated in the actual process of conducting the Learning Study. As a result, she also underwent professional development and gained in more deeply understanding the problems facing the teachers when faced with this particular topic. This study thus provided the opportunity for the researcher to both engage in the Learning Study as a participant observer, and also stand back from it and view it as a reflective practitioner. Very many Learning Study projects have been conducted in Hong Kong primary and secondary schools over the past seven years or so, across the whole curriculum subject range. And many claims have been made for its efficacy. It has its own very detailed form of action research methodology and underlying theory. This study attempts to unpack the various strands of both the theory and practice of the Learning Study. Thus, in addition to assessing the ways in which the Learning Study helped to address the problems of teaching science within the Hong Kong primary curriculum context, it also shows real teachers, grappling on an every-day basis, with the problems that beset them in meeting the learning needs of their pupils, in their classrooms.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:31

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