This study aims to investigate teachers’ perspectives on elaboration learning in Hong Kong. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, elaboration learning refers to connecting new material to prior learning; exploring how knowledge learned in other contexts relates to new material; and students acquiring greater understanding than that obtained through simple memorization. The comparison of the current Advanced Supplementary Level Liberal Studies (to be faded out in 2012) and the New Senior Secondary (NSS) Liberal Studies (implemented beginning 2009) in Hong Kong shows that the latter subject has been highlighted with more emphasis on integrated learning within and beyond the subject. The PISA study, however, has revealed that Hong Kong students apply elaboration learning strategies far less frequently than students do in other countries. Encouraging students to effectively use elaboration learning strategies, therefore, is critical to integrated learning in the NSS Liberal Studies curriculum. This study explores how teachers conceptualize integrated and elaboration learning, and investigates the teaching approaches teachers adopt. Teachers’ challenges in facilitating the elaboration learning of students are also analyzed. Finally, the teachers’ concerns and professional development in facilitating elaboration learning are identified.
|Keywords:||Integrated Curriculum, Elaboration Learning, Liberal Studies|
Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China
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