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postgraduate thesis: A study of variation theory to enhance students' genre awareness and learning of genre features

TitleA study of variation theory to enhance students' genre awareness and learning of genre features
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
To, K. [杜國權]. (2015). A study of variation theory to enhance students' genre awareness and learning of genre features. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5543998
AbstractReading is an important capability to assist in learning. When students are promoted to higher levels at primary school, they have to read more informative texts instead of narrative texts. A number of studies have indicated that many primary school students have difficulty comprehending informative texts. The ways in which teachers structure lesson content and students experience the lesson are important in helping students understand informative texts in terms of genres and genre features. To help students take on the challenges arising from reading informative texts, teachers play a vital role in bringing students to encounter critical aspects of understanding informative texts and make it more possible for students’ discernment happen. In the light of this, this study aims to investigate how structures of lessons and patterns of variation and invariance affect the learning outcomes of students’ understanding of genres and the genre features of informative texts, and even their future learning. This study features a design-based approach to two rounds of trial lessons. Phenomenography and variation theory are adopted as the theoretical framework. In the first round of trial lessons, there were 38 students from a primary 6 class divided into 2 groups. One group was given a lesson which was structured both sequentially and hierarchically. The lesson for the other group was, however, framed in a hierarchical structure only. The former lesson emphasized the use of similar examples while the latter focused on the use of different examples to teach students the meaning of genre features of informative texts. In the second round, there were 39 students from a primary 5 class also divided into 2 groups. Although the structures of the lessons for the two groups were similar to those in the first round, the object of learning was to enhance students’ understanding of informative texts and the delayed post-test was conducted only in this round. The students in both rounds of trial lessons, who were from the same school, were taught by the same teacher. The data was analysed and triangulated with the post-lesson interview data and verbatim lesson record. The students’ different learning outcomes stemmed from the different structures of the lessons and the adoption of the patterns of variation and invariance. The students who had more opportunities to encounter the patterns of variation and invariance serving as contrasts tended to perform better than those who did not. The appropriate teaching arrangements enhanced students’ understanding of genre awareness and genre features, and contributed to generation of learning. The findings of this study support variation theory as a powerful pedagogical tool for improving students’ understanding of informative texts and enabling students to generate new learning after teacher instruction. One implication of the findings for teachers is that appropriate teaching arrangements, including the structure of a lesson and patterns of variation and invariance, are of paramount importance. As a result of such arrangements, students are more likely to develop a powerful way of reading informative texts. Teachers are instrumental in preparing the necessary conditions of learning.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectReading comprehension - Study and teaching (Primary) - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/212616

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTo, Kwok-kuen-
dc.contributor.author杜國權-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-23T23:10:50Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-23T23:10:50Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationTo, K. [杜國權]. (2015). A study of variation theory to enhance students' genre awareness and learning of genre features. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5543998-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/212616-
dc.description.abstractReading is an important capability to assist in learning. When students are promoted to higher levels at primary school, they have to read more informative texts instead of narrative texts. A number of studies have indicated that many primary school students have difficulty comprehending informative texts. The ways in which teachers structure lesson content and students experience the lesson are important in helping students understand informative texts in terms of genres and genre features. To help students take on the challenges arising from reading informative texts, teachers play a vital role in bringing students to encounter critical aspects of understanding informative texts and make it more possible for students’ discernment happen. In the light of this, this study aims to investigate how structures of lessons and patterns of variation and invariance affect the learning outcomes of students’ understanding of genres and the genre features of informative texts, and even their future learning. This study features a design-based approach to two rounds of trial lessons. Phenomenography and variation theory are adopted as the theoretical framework. In the first round of trial lessons, there were 38 students from a primary 6 class divided into 2 groups. One group was given a lesson which was structured both sequentially and hierarchically. The lesson for the other group was, however, framed in a hierarchical structure only. The former lesson emphasized the use of similar examples while the latter focused on the use of different examples to teach students the meaning of genre features of informative texts. In the second round, there were 39 students from a primary 5 class also divided into 2 groups. Although the structures of the lessons for the two groups were similar to those in the first round, the object of learning was to enhance students’ understanding of informative texts and the delayed post-test was conducted only in this round. The students in both rounds of trial lessons, who were from the same school, were taught by the same teacher. The data was analysed and triangulated with the post-lesson interview data and verbatim lesson record. The students’ different learning outcomes stemmed from the different structures of the lessons and the adoption of the patterns of variation and invariance. The students who had more opportunities to encounter the patterns of variation and invariance serving as contrasts tended to perform better than those who did not. The appropriate teaching arrangements enhanced students’ understanding of genre awareness and genre features, and contributed to generation of learning. The findings of this study support variation theory as a powerful pedagogical tool for improving students’ understanding of informative texts and enabling students to generate new learning after teacher instruction. One implication of the findings for teachers is that appropriate teaching arrangements, including the structure of a lesson and patterns of variation and invariance, are of paramount importance. As a result of such arrangements, students are more likely to develop a powerful way of reading informative texts. Teachers are instrumental in preparing the necessary conditions of learning.-
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.subject.lcshReading comprehension - Study and teaching (Primary) - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleA study of variation theory to enhance students' genre awareness and learning of genre features-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5543998-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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