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Postgraduate Thesis: Constructivist learning and enlightenment learning: case study of how student learn Buddhist concepts in aHong Kong secondary school
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TitleConstructivist learning and enlightenment learning: case study of how student learn Buddhist concepts in aHong Kong secondary school
 
AuthorsChan, Wai-yin.
陳偉賢.
 
Issue Date2012
 
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
AbstractIn lay terms, Chinese people often refer to the term “wu 悟” (enlightenment) during learning, but it is not clear what kinds of learning are involved. Reviewing the very long historical development of learning theories, traces of learning pertinent to “enlightenment” are but rare. The Buddhist scriptures contain vast amounts of information showing that enlightenment happens in daily life, but mostly it is interpreted as a very profound state of experience. The subject of Buddhist Studies has been taught in secondary schools in Hong Kong for almost 50 years but rigorous evaluation about the curriculum is not found. Some Buddhist concepts involving a process of enlightenment are taught. This provides an ideal platform to study how students learn these concepts, to uncover an alternative type of learning and also its connection with contemporary learning theories. Rigorous qualitative research was conducted in a case school. A total of 42 Form 5 students, four teachers, and a textbook author were interviewed. Both individual and group semi-structured interviews were employed. In a pilot study, nirv??a was chosen as a key Buddhist concept because the criteria of maximum data complexity, multiple data analysis and involvement of a process of enlightenment were fulfilled. The perceptions of students about the three levels of nirv??a, namely, conceptual, living, and final nirv??a were recorded. The analysis of perceptions includes classification of data, and identification of patterns by tracing teachers’ opinions and the content of textbooks. This leads, eventually, to a search for matched learning theory(ies) to capture the patterns. The findings reveal that most students learn nirv??a by way of constructivist learning. They can understand conceptual nirv??a, but fail to distinguish living nirv??a and final nirv??a and other relevant Buddhist concepts in another way, which coincides with enlightenment learning, as formulated from Buddhist scriptures. Thus this indicates that students learn Buddhist concepts by means of two types of learning: constructivist learning and enlightenment learning. The two types of learning are discussed by referring to Buddhist and learning literature, and the students’ data. The results indicate that they are connected and in sequence, first constructivist learning and then enlightenment learning. The contributions encompass: successfully opening a new window for multi-disciplinary studies of learning; broadening the scope of Buddhist studies; and contributing to affective learning theories. This study also has implications for the reform of Buddhist education in school. In conclusion, students learn Buddhist concepts in two ways: constructivist learning and enlightenment learning, which are connected and in sequence.
 
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
 
SubjectBuddhism - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong.
 
Dept/ProgramBuddhist Studies
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.authorChan, Wai-yin.
 
dc.contributor.author陳偉賢.
 
dc.date.hkucongregation2012
 
dc.date.issued2012
 
dc.description.abstractIn lay terms, Chinese people often refer to the term “wu 悟” (enlightenment) during learning, but it is not clear what kinds of learning are involved. Reviewing the very long historical development of learning theories, traces of learning pertinent to “enlightenment” are but rare. The Buddhist scriptures contain vast amounts of information showing that enlightenment happens in daily life, but mostly it is interpreted as a very profound state of experience. The subject of Buddhist Studies has been taught in secondary schools in Hong Kong for almost 50 years but rigorous evaluation about the curriculum is not found. Some Buddhist concepts involving a process of enlightenment are taught. This provides an ideal platform to study how students learn these concepts, to uncover an alternative type of learning and also its connection with contemporary learning theories. Rigorous qualitative research was conducted in a case school. A total of 42 Form 5 students, four teachers, and a textbook author were interviewed. Both individual and group semi-structured interviews were employed. In a pilot study, nirv??a was chosen as a key Buddhist concept because the criteria of maximum data complexity, multiple data analysis and involvement of a process of enlightenment were fulfilled. The perceptions of students about the three levels of nirv??a, namely, conceptual, living, and final nirv??a were recorded. The analysis of perceptions includes classification of data, and identification of patterns by tracing teachers’ opinions and the content of textbooks. This leads, eventually, to a search for matched learning theory(ies) to capture the patterns. The findings reveal that most students learn nirv??a by way of constructivist learning. They can understand conceptual nirv??a, but fail to distinguish living nirv??a and final nirv??a and other relevant Buddhist concepts in another way, which coincides with enlightenment learning, as formulated from Buddhist scriptures. Thus this indicates that students learn Buddhist concepts by means of two types of learning: constructivist learning and enlightenment learning. The two types of learning are discussed by referring to Buddhist and learning literature, and the students’ data. The results indicate that they are connected and in sequence, first constructivist learning and then enlightenment learning. The contributions encompass: successfully opening a new window for multi-disciplinary studies of learning; broadening the scope of Buddhist studies; and contributing to affective learning theories. This study also has implications for the reform of Buddhist education in school. In conclusion, students learn Buddhist concepts in two ways: constructivist learning and enlightenment learning, which are connected and in sequence.
 
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version
 
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBuddhist Studies
 
dc.description.thesisleveldoctoral
 
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy
 
dc.identifier.hkulb4819931
 
dc.languageeng
 
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)
 
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.
 
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
 
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B4819931X
 
dc.subject.lcshBuddhism - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong.
 
dc.titleConstructivist learning and enlightenment learning: case study of how student learn Buddhist concepts in aHong Kong secondary school
 
dc.typePG_Thesis
 
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<date.issued>2012</date.issued>
<description.abstract>&#65279;In lay terms, Chinese people often refer to the term &#8220;wu &#24735;&#8221; (enlightenment) during learning, but it is not clear what kinds of learning are involved. Reviewing the very long historical development of learning theories, traces of learning pertinent to &#8220;enlightenment&#8221; are but rare. The Buddhist scriptures contain vast amounts of information showing that enlightenment happens in daily life, but mostly it is interpreted as a very profound state of experience.



The subject of Buddhist Studies has been taught in secondary schools in Hong Kong for almost 50 years but rigorous evaluation about the curriculum is not found. Some Buddhist concepts involving a process of enlightenment are taught. This provides an ideal platform to study how students learn these concepts, to uncover an alternative type of learning and also its connection with contemporary learning theories.



Rigorous qualitative research was conducted in a case school. A total of 42 Form 5 students, four teachers, and a textbook author were interviewed. Both individual and group semi-structured interviews were employed. In a pilot study, nirv??a was chosen as a key Buddhist concept because the criteria of maximum data complexity, multiple data analysis and involvement of a process of enlightenment were fulfilled.



The perceptions of students about the three levels of nirv??a, namely, conceptual, living, and final nirv??a were recorded. The analysis of perceptions includes classification of data, and identification of patterns by tracing teachers&#8217; opinions and the content of textbooks. This leads, eventually, to a search for matched learning theory(ies) to capture the patterns.



The findings reveal that most students learn nirv??a by way of constructivist learning. They can understand conceptual nirv??a, but fail to distinguish living nirv??a and final nirv??a and other relevant Buddhist concepts in another way, which coincides with enlightenment learning, as formulated from Buddhist scriptures. Thus this indicates that students learn Buddhist concepts by means of two types of learning: constructivist learning and enlightenment learning.



The two types of learning are discussed by referring to Buddhist and learning literature, and the students&#8217; data. The results indicate that they are connected and in sequence, first constructivist learning and then enlightenment learning. The contributions encompass: successfully opening a new window for multi-disciplinary studies of learning; broadening the scope of Buddhist studies; and contributing to affective learning theories. This study also has implications for the reform of Buddhist education in school.



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<title>Constructivist learning and enlightenment learning: case study of how student learn Buddhist concepts in aHong Kong secondary school</title>
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