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postgraduate thesis: How are values acquired in schools? : a case study on the culture of a secondary school in Hong Kong

TitleHow are values acquired in schools? : a case study on the culture of a secondary school in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chan, H. N. [陳海家]. (2013). How are values acquired in schools? : a case study on the culture of a secondary school in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5137972
AbstractConceivably there has never been a better time to talk about character and moral education than now, especially in light of the critical need to better serve our society, our nation, and our world. The development of any society or nation is measured on its moral values, and this study explores the values acquisition in a school. It attempts to answer the question: What values have students acquired from their schooling experiences, and what are elements of the school that had contributed to this process? This study aims to add to the fuller picture of values education in Hong Kong through a thick description of the culture of a local secondary school named Wah Yan College, Kowloon (WYK). To unearth the intricacies of student beliefs and practices, I have stayed in the field for a year to gain "native experience" of life at WYK. The direct contact and discussions with students and alumni had enabled me to untangle the web surrounding the meanings students attach to values as a concept. Through observation of the school life at the case school, I began to appreciate how students negotiate these meanings. The purpose of this study was to capture the unique world of a school, hence a variety of methods including interviews, observation, and document analysis were adopted. Values are acquired by students in a variety of ways at WYK. Students do not only learn in the classroom, but also beyond their classrooms through non-study activities, where they are encouraged, or even required, to make decisions on their own, with no repercussions. There are more than ninety student clubs and societies at WYK, which provide students opportunities to develop wide interests, activities and responsibilities, as well as their knowledge and skills, via their experiences in these non-study activities. This liberal way of values teaching enables students to become autonomous learners in learning a set of values rather than being a passive recipient of the values taught in school. Moreover, spending their formative years at WYK, students are cultivated with a sense of identity among themselves. A tradition is formed this way, special to WYK, from generation to generation. Values that are core to this family are not easily lost, even after students graduate. The characteristics of WYK habitus included: holism, consistency, and continuity. The values WYK upheld, and subsequently taught to and acquired by its students were conducted in a holistic fashion via different "subsequent experiences" - in the forms of lessons, gatherings and extra-curricular activities. This process of value acquisition through the activities and experiences of everyday life at WYK serves as a living example of habitus. While it followed the same pattern of many other habitus, one cannot expect the case of WYK to be replicated overnight. The elements of its habitus can be identified and the model be re-produced. They can be used by schools and educators alike who would like to breed the kinds of values they prefer.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectValues - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/194617

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Haichia, Nadia-
dc.contributor.author陳海家-
dc.date.accessioned2014-02-14T23:10:57Z-
dc.date.available2014-02-14T23:10:57Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationChan, H. N. [陳海家]. (2013). How are values acquired in schools? : a case study on the culture of a secondary school in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5137972-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/194617-
dc.description.abstractConceivably there has never been a better time to talk about character and moral education than now, especially in light of the critical need to better serve our society, our nation, and our world. The development of any society or nation is measured on its moral values, and this study explores the values acquisition in a school. It attempts to answer the question: What values have students acquired from their schooling experiences, and what are elements of the school that had contributed to this process? This study aims to add to the fuller picture of values education in Hong Kong through a thick description of the culture of a local secondary school named Wah Yan College, Kowloon (WYK). To unearth the intricacies of student beliefs and practices, I have stayed in the field for a year to gain "native experience" of life at WYK. The direct contact and discussions with students and alumni had enabled me to untangle the web surrounding the meanings students attach to values as a concept. Through observation of the school life at the case school, I began to appreciate how students negotiate these meanings. The purpose of this study was to capture the unique world of a school, hence a variety of methods including interviews, observation, and document analysis were adopted. Values are acquired by students in a variety of ways at WYK. Students do not only learn in the classroom, but also beyond their classrooms through non-study activities, where they are encouraged, or even required, to make decisions on their own, with no repercussions. There are more than ninety student clubs and societies at WYK, which provide students opportunities to develop wide interests, activities and responsibilities, as well as their knowledge and skills, via their experiences in these non-study activities. This liberal way of values teaching enables students to become autonomous learners in learning a set of values rather than being a passive recipient of the values taught in school. Moreover, spending their formative years at WYK, students are cultivated with a sense of identity among themselves. A tradition is formed this way, special to WYK, from generation to generation. Values that are core to this family are not easily lost, even after students graduate. The characteristics of WYK habitus included: holism, consistency, and continuity. The values WYK upheld, and subsequently taught to and acquired by its students were conducted in a holistic fashion via different "subsequent experiences" - in the forms of lessons, gatherings and extra-curricular activities. This process of value acquisition through the activities and experiences of everyday life at WYK serves as a living example of habitus. While it followed the same pattern of many other habitus, one cannot expect the case of WYK to be replicated overnight. The elements of its habitus can be identified and the model be re-produced. They can be used by schools and educators alike who would like to breed the kinds of values they prefer.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshValues - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleHow are values acquired in schools? : a case study on the culture of a secondary school in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5137972-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5137972-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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