Dr XU, Hui Xuan   徐慧璇
Associate Head / Assistant Professor
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Phone No: (852) 2948 6501
Fax No: (852) 2948 7563
Email: hxxu@eduhk.hk
(852) 2948 6501
(852) 2948 7563
10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong
Scopus ID
57194400218, 56322680600
Research Interest

university general education curriculum development

academic service-learning

service-learning and adolescent personal development

Personal Profile

Xu Hui Xuan, Assistant Professor of the department of Curriculum and Instruction of the The Education University of Hong Kong. She holds a doctorate from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and her research interests are mainly on curriculum design, general education curriculum development, service-learning.

Research Interest

university general education curriculum development

academic service-learning

service-learning and adolescent personal development

Selected Output

Scholarly Books, Monographs and Chapters
Research book or monograph (author)
黃顯華、霍秉坤、徐慧璇 (2014)。 現代學習與教學論:性質、關係和研究。北京,中國: 人民教育出版社
Chapter in an edited book (author)
Xu, H. (2020). (forthcoming). How university students enhance social and emotional learning through experiential learning activities: A qualitative study. R.W. Fong & L. Yang (eds)., Social and Emotional Development for Diverse Learners (**-**). Singapore: Springer
Xu, H. (2018). K-12 service-based learning in three Chinese societies. In K. J. Kennedy & J. C.K. Lee (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of schools and schooling in Asia (102-109). New York: Routledge
Xu, H., & Chan, K. S. J. (2017). Developing undergraduates’ self-management and self-awareness through service-learning. In S. C. Kong, T. L. Wong, M. Yang, C. F. Chow, & K. H. Tse (Eds.), Emerging practices in scholarship of learning and teaching in higher education in a digital technology era (171-187). Singapore: Springer
Xu, H. (2015). Education reform: Internalization and sustainability. In T. S. Lam, H. Xu, C. K. Lee, K. S. J. Chan, X. H. Huang, & S. Zhang (Eds.), School Curriculum Change: Wisdom and Challenges (67-81). Hong Kong: Academic and Professional Book Center
Lai, K. H., & Xu, H. (2012). Learning outcomes of general education courses with service-learning component: A case for academic and student affairs collaboration in Hong Kong. J. Xing, P.S. Ng, & C. Cheng (Eds.), General Education and the Development of Global Citizenship in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China: Not Merely Icing on the Cake (188-217). London, UK: Routledge
Edited book (editor)
Lam, T. S., Xu, H., Lee, C. K., Chan, K. S. J., Huang, X. H., & Zhang, S. (Eds.) (2015). School Curriculum Change: Wisdom and Challenges. Hong Kong: Academic and Professional Book Center

Journal Publications
Publication in refereed journal
Xu, H. (2020). Using homework tutoring to promote self-regulated learning in deprived pupils: a case study in Hong Kong. Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education. DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2020.1817967, **, 1-13
Xu, H.,& Lee, J. C. K. (2019). Exploring the contextual influences on adolescent career identity formation: A qualitative study of Hong Kong secondary students. Journal of Career Development, 46(3), 219-234
Xu, H. & Ko, P. Y. (2019). Enhancing teachers' knowledge of how to promote self-regulated learning in primary school students: A case study in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education , 80, 106-114
Chan, J. C. S., Xu, H.,& Liu, S (2018). Enhancing students’ interpersonal capabilities through service-learning: A Hong Kong case. Journal of Youth Studies , 42, 91-104
Ko Po Yuk, Xu Hui Xuan (2018)。 Tensions of Self-regulated Learning in Classroom Practice – A Case Study of Hong KongCurriculum & Instruction Quarterly21-2,33-58
Huixuan Xu, Min Yang (2018). Development of adolescent moral and civic identity through community service (https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558417698570). Journal of Adolescent Research, 33(2), 247-272
徐慧璇 (2018)。 香港高校通识教育课程变革高校发展与评估34 (155),50-59
Lee, J.C.K., Chan, N.C., Xu, H.X., & Chun, D.W.S. (2017). Students’ and teachers’ perceptions of creativity, communication and problem-solving in the school curriculum: Hong Kong perspective. Educational Practice and Theory, 39(1), 31-51
霍秉坤、徐慧璇和黃顯華 (2014)。 《大學教師教學學術的成長階段及發展策略》清華大學教育研究第134期,頁56-63
Xu, H. (2014). Community service’s impact on adolescent identity formation——Case study of three secondary schools in Hong Kong. Journal of Youth Studies , 17, 115-128
Xu, H. (2014). Impact of Exposure to Service-Learning on Adolescent Identity. Education Research Monthly, 264, 69-74
徐慧璇 (2014). 通識教育課程發展不同階段之課程領導與管理. 大學通識, 8, 107-120
Xu, H. & Chan, J. K. S. (2013). Challenges encountered by pre-service teachers in their implementaion of issue-based approach: Case studies of Liberal Studies teachers in Hong Kong (in Chinese). . Educational Research Journal, 27 (1 & 2), 149-180
Xu, H. (2013). Pedagogies those foster undergraduate students’ intercultural sensitivity development: A case study in Hong Kong . Alternation:International Journal for the Study of Southern African Literature and Languages, 10, 148-171
Fok, P.K., Xu, H., & Wong, H.W. (2013). The concept and nurture of student self-regulated learning. Global Education, 41, 18-25
Xu, H. (2013). The application of issues-centered approach in social studies in the United States: Concept, teaching models and challenges for teachers. Studies in Foreign Education, 40, 11-19
Xu, H. (2013). Appling narrative strategy in general education teaching—— A case study of an intercultural course. Fu Dan Education Forum, 11, 43-48
Xu, H. (2012). From an Introductory course to a Thinking course—— Case study on a faculty's experience of developing a general education course. Journal of General and Liberal Education , 7, 117-152
Xu, H. (2011). Faculty members' general education curriculum orientation: Three cases in a comprehensive reserach university. Journal of Curriculum Studies (Taiwan), 6(1), 81-112
Xu, H. (2010). The design of General Studies in Great Britain and its implications. Studies in Foreign Education, 37(2), 72-77
林智中、徐慧璇 (2009)。 師範大學的通識教育目的何在?─以香港教育學院為例當代教育與文化1(6),57-62
Publication in policy or professional journal
徐慧璇 (2012)。 大學通識教育課程的領導與管理通識在線38,32-34
Xu, H. (2010). When specialization education meets with general education—Book review on General Education: Difficulties and Hopes. University General Education Bulletin, 6, 223-231
Xu, H. (2009). Assessment of student learning in a general education program: A review on the experience in American. University General Education Bulletin, 5, 69-98
Publication in non-refereed journal
Lam, C. C., & Xu, H. (2009). What should be covered in General Education at a normal university----The case study of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.. Contemporary Education and Culture, 1(6), 57-62

Conference Papers
Invited conference paper
Xu, H. X. (2017, 3). General Education in Hong Kong Higher Education: General Education Curriculum Reform since 2012. the Chinese Association for Quality Education 2017 Annual Conference and 7th Forum on Quality Education, Nanjing, China
Chan, J.K.S. & Xu, H. (2016, 6). Developing undergraduate students' interpersonal capacities through co-curricular service-learning. Paper presented at C & I Departmental Conference 2015/16 , Hong Kong
Xu, H. X. (2015, 11). Controversies and future of school-based assessment in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 17th Cross-Strait Regional Conference on Curriculum Theory, Hong Kong
Wong, H. W., Fok, P. K., & Xu, H.X. (2014, 8). Learning and Teaching: Nature, relation, and research. The 16th Cross-Strait Regional Conference on Curriculum Theory, Changchun, China
Xu, H. X. (2014, 8). Impacts of different types of service upon personal development of secondary school students.. The 16th Cross-Strait Regional Conference on Curriculum Theory, ChangChun, China
Xu, Hui Xuan (2011, 11). The roles of university general education curriculum leaders and their impacts. University Quality Educaiton Forum, Beijing
Xu, H. X. (2009, 11). Review of Yuan Pei Program at Peking University. Paper presented at the Workshop on Liberal Arts Education in Chinese Universities, Zhuhai, China
Xu, H. X. (2009, 6). Assessment of student learning in a general education program - Difficulties and methods. Paper presented at the "3+3+4" Symposium on General Education, Hong Kong
Xu, H. X. (2009, 6). Incorporation of service-learning component into general education curriculum. Paper presented at the Service-Learning Forum, One of Programmes of Seminars on Student Affairs in Universities in Hubei Province, Hong Kong
Lam, C. C., & Xu, H. X. (2008, 12). What should be covered in general education?. Paper presented at the "334" Symposium on Partnering for Excellence in Education, Hong Kong
Refereed conference paper
Xu, H. (2021, 9). Civic identity of late adolescents in the context of social movement in Hong Kong: A narrative study on Mainland Chinese students. European Conference on Educational Research 2021 , Geneva
Xu H. X., Leung, K. W, Leung. H. M. , Huang. J. H., Wu, Z. H. (2021, 7). Cross-institutional Service-Learning for Deprived Students: Online Homework Tutoring under Covid-19 Pandemic. International Symposium and Expo on Service-Learning & Socially Responsible Global Citizenship 2021 , Hong Kong
Xu, H. (2021, 5). Change of career identity of Chinese late adolescents in the context of social movement. Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) 2021 Annual Conference, Canada
Xu, H., Leung, K .W., Leung, H. M. (2020, 12). Examining the nature of two relationships in a service–learning partnership: A case study in Hong Kong. The Staff Symposium on Service-Learning, Hong Kong
Xu, H. (2020, 8). Promoting pre-service teachers’ social and emotional competencies through service learning: a qualitative study in Hong Kong. Annual Conference of the Association for Teacher Education in Europe , Bath, UK
Yang, M., Yang, L., Xu, H.X., Lee, T.T.H., Han, C., & Song, B. (2019, 12). Reconsidering Students’ Experience of Peer Assessment Practices. Paper presented at Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE) Conference, Brisbane, Australia
Xu, H. (2019, 7). Examining the nature of two relationships in a service–learning project: A qualitative study in Hong Kong. Oxford Education Research Symposium, Oxford, UK
Xu, H. (2019, 7). Promoting Self-regulated Learning in Primary School Students Through After-school Tutoring: A Case Study in Hong Kong. The European Conference on Education, London, UK
Grace Ngai, Daniel T. L. Shek, Kevin Yue, Huixuan Xu, and Robin Stanley Snell (2019, 1). Cross-institutional Capacity Building for Service-Learning in Hong Kong Higher Education Institutions. The Third International Conference on Service-Learning , Hong Kong
XU, H. X. & Leung K.W. (2019, 1). What matters in service-learning? From Faculty’s perspective . The 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning, Hong Kong
Yang, M., Christina Han, C., Yang, L., Xu, H. X., & Lee, T. H. (2018, 7). Peer feedback via mobile devices: Is it useful? Is it trustworthy? Is it safe?. Higher Education Academy Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK
Xu, H. (2017, 7). How service-learning foster undergraduates’ personal growth. 2017 Annual Conference of the Chinese Higher Education Development Network, Shanghai
Xu, H.X.,& Liu, S. S. (2017, 3). Unpacking the pattern of identity statuses of Hong Kong secondary school students and its relationship with community service engagement.. the 2017 Annual Conference of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Xu, H.X. (2016, 9). A Study on Hong Kong Undergraduates’ Intercultural Competence Development through International Service-Learning. the 16th International Research Conference on Service Learning and Community Engagement, New Orleans, the United States
Xu, H. X. & Chan, J. K. S (2016, 4). Developing undergraduates’ self-awareness and social-awareness through service-learning: Opportunities and challenges. Paper presented at the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong Annual Conference, Hong Kong
Xu, H.X. (2014, 11). Developing undergraduates' intercultural competence through teaching cases – perceptions from students. The Asia Pacific Educational Research Association International Conference 2014, Hong Kong
Xu, H.X. (2012, 12). Pre-service teachers’ knowledge of teaching in an integrated curriculum - A case study of Liberal Studies Subject in Hong Kong. the 3rd East Asian International Conference on Teacher Education Research, Shang Hai, China
Xu, H.X. (2012, 11). The impact of service learning on adolescent’s identity development: Case studies on the implementation of Other Learning Experience in Hong Kong. the 14th Cross-Strait Regional Conference on Curriculum Theory, Guang Zhou, China
Xu, H.X. (2012, 11). Undergraduate students’ perceptions of the impact of teaching strategies – Case study on an intercultural comparison course in general education. the 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, Madrid, Spain
Xu, Hui Xuan (2012, 5). Appling Narrative Strategy in General Education Teaching —— a Case Study of an Intercultural Comparison Course. Innovations in University Teaching and Learning: Perspectives on the Scholarship of Teaching, Shang Hai
Xu, Hui Xuan (2012, 2). Reconsider the nature and methods of comparative curriculum through examining the curriculum orientation of university service learning in Hong Kong and Singapore. The Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong Annual Conference 2012, Hong Kong
Xu, Hui Xuan (2010, 10). Cognitive learning outcomes of service-learning courses and program characteristics those matter----A pilot study.. the 10th International Research Conference on Service Learning and Community Engagement, Indianapolis
Other conference paper
Xu, H.X. (2014, 6). Type of service and high school students’ personal development. Global Curriculum & Instruction Network (GCIN) Conference , Hong Kong
Xu, Hui Xuan (2010, 12). Reciprocity between student learning and the community being served-----a study on the impacts of service learning pedagogy at a teacher education institution. the 2nd East Asian International Conference on Teacher Education Research, Hong Kong
Xu, H. X. (2009, 6). Can reflection alone facilitate student integrate academic knowledge and service activities in an academic learning course?. Paper presented at the 6th Pan-Asian Initiative on Service-Learning, 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Service-Learning, Hong Kong
Xu, H. X. (2009, 6). The idea of general education and its curriculum development in the United Stated in the 20th century. Paper presented at the Education and Heritage Conference, Hong Kong

Creative and Literary Works, Consulting Reports and Case Studies
Consulting or contract research report
Fok, P. K., Coniam, D., Yu, W. M. F., Chan, K. S. J., Ko, P. Y., Xu, H. X., Ng H. Y. V., Li, S. J., Kwok, W. F. W., Ng, S. Y. H. (2015). Provision of Services for Studying Students' Performance in Thinking Skills as Observed from the HKDSE Examination Candidate Scripts (Executive report). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Education
Fok, P. K., Coniam, D., Yu, W. M. F., Chan, K. S. J., Ko, P. Y., Xu, H. X., Ng H. Y. V., Li, S. J., Kwok, W. F. W., Ng, S. Y. H. (2015). Provision of Services for Studying Students' Performance in Thinking Skills as Observed from the HKDSE Examination Candidate Scripts (Final Report). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Education
Fok, P. K., Coniam, D., Yu, W. M. F., Chan, K. S. J., Ko, P. Y., Xu, H. X., Ng, H. Y. V., Li, S. J., Kwok, W. F. W., Ng, S. Y. H. (2015). Provision of Services for Studying Students' Performance in Thinking Skills as Observed from the HKDSE Examination Candidate Scripts (Interim report). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Education


Harnessing the Power of Assessment to Support Pre-service Teachers' Learning and Professional Development Through an Innovative Blended Learning Approach (A+BLe)
Educators in higher education encounter lots of difficulties in maintaining high academic standards and high quality attributes in today's classes with a large number of students with diverse needs. It remains a challenging task for teachers to, on one side, well organize the teaching/learning content so that all students are more likely to actively participate in the learning process, and on the other side, to well assess students’ use of their higher-order/self-directed learning processes (e.g., self-assessment, peer-assessment, use of formative feedback from teachers) to achieve academic success and high quality attributes upon graduation. There is a compelling need to provide a rigorous blended learning approach that can link teaching, both online and offline learning and assessment practices (self-assessment, peer-assessment, and teacher-assessment) in a visible, achievable and sustainable way. The A+BLe approach is expected to also encourage students to not only undertake the learning activities actively, but also tell students and teachers how well the objectives of teaching and learning have been achieved. Based on these concerns, this project aims to provide an innovative and creative blended learning approach (A+BLe) to link teaching, learning, and assessment practices in a visible and systematic way to promote EdUHK students’ multiple learning outcomes that are essential for their professional development.
Project Start Year: 2020, Principal Investigator(s): YANG, Lan 楊蘭 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Investigator)
Who am I? Narrative Identity of Chinese Late Adolescents in the Context of Social Movements
Two issues relating to young people have come up in the recent social movements in Hong Kong since June 2019: (1) a high percentage of participants in the recent social movements are young people and (2) the differentiation exists between Hong Kong local students and students who are originally from Mainland China. It is timely to explore the causes why such a large amount of young people have proactively engaged in the social movements. The investigation into how late adolescents who have grown up in different social and political systems and how they have responded to the recent political issues will also help understand the causes of the dissension in society and suggest possible intervention programmes to repair the tears in society and promote social integration.

The proposed study will address these two issues through the lens of identity formation from a social psychological perspective, by drawing on samples from late adolescents (aged around 18-22) including Hong Kong local students and Mainland Chinese students. Specific focus will be on how late adolescents construe their civic and career identity through narrating the experience in the recent social movements in Hong Kong. An estimated 120 Chinese students who are pursuing undergraduate study in Hong Kong will be invited to participate in the research. “Rising to the occasion” narratives will be elicited through a writing prompt (around 500 words) and a follow-up interview (lasting around 40
minutes). A short questionnaire will be distributed to the participants before the beginning of the interviews to collect their demographic information and their engagement in the recent social movements.

It is anticipated that this qualitative study will provide an in-depth understanding of how young people with different developmental characteristics and cultural backgrounds understand the political issues and have responded to the social movements in Hong Kong. This knowledge will help understand the causes of the recent social movements, provide
implications for education policy that supports late adolescents’ identity formation, and explore possible interventions to foster a healthy and successful identity achievement in late adolescents, which then in the long term, it is hoped, may help repair the current tears in the fabric of society.

Project Start Year: 2020, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Relationship between the Implementation of Junior Secondary Chinese History Curriculum and the Cultivation of Students' Civic Consciousness: Voices from Teachers and Students
While a vital part of basic education involves the cultivation of students' civic consciousness, it is also an important goal as specified in the curriculum documents in various countries. The curriculum outline after Hong Kong's return to China in 1997 also clearly states that education should shoulder the responsibility to foster students' national identity and patriotism. Survey reports, however, have repeatedly revealed a decline in youth's national identification with China in recent years. The current social chaos, triggered by the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill saw many youths – even Junior Secondary School students – going to the front line, a situation which totally changed their image of being politically apathetic. Society as a whole needs to reflect on the root cause of this chaos. In public opinion, education is the first to be blamed for failing to foster students’ positive values towards Chinese identity, especially the subject of Chinese History, which upholds in its nature such ideological values as nation building and patriotism. This is the reason why so much attention arises in society every time there is any change to either the content or the pedagogy of this subject.
The proposed study aims to explore the relationship between the teaching and learning of Chinese History and the cultivation of students’ civic consciousness. Through questionnaire surveys, focus group interviews with Form 1-4 students (who have taken Chinese History as a subject) and in-depth interviews with Chinese History teachers, the study will examine the methods and strategies used in Chinese History classes in detail and how these methods/strategies promote or impede the cultivation of students’ civic consciousness. By listening to their voices, it is anticipated that the study will indicate ways in which Chinese History may be better implemented with the goal of cultivating students’ civic consciousness.

Project Start Year: 2020, Principal Investigator(s): FOK, Ping Kwan 霍秉坤 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Investigator)
Exploring Causal Relationships between Community Service Engagement and Identity Development in Adolescents in Two Chinese Societies: A Longitudinal Study
My GRF proposal, titled “Exploring Causal Relationships between Community Service Engagement and Identity Development in Adolescents in Two Chinese Societies: A Longitudinal Study”, was scored 3.5 in 2019/20 exercise. Given this, the EdUHK support me to conduct a pilot study and/or make preparation on development of the GRF proposal that I submitted in 2019/20 exercise.
This funding is being used to conduct two pilot studies to test the instruments of the proposed study:1. To test the Chinese version of DIDS in a pilot study; 2. To test the prompt and interview protocols to be used in the"rising to the occasion" narratives in a pilot study

Project Start Year: 2019, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Cross-institutional Capacity Building for Service-Learning in Hong Kong Higher Education Institutions
We propose a cross-institutional project with the objective of supporting and promoting service-learning (SL) in Hong Kong universities, which has been found by research as a high-impact educational practice to nurture holistic student development, especially in the intangible aspects of social responsibility.
Although SL has been integrated into many Hong Kong universities to some degree (either in the form of a curricular graduation requirement or a community service hours requirement), there are still some major challenges in its implementation. Academic SL that integrates academic learning with community service is relatively new to most faculty and there is still much misunderstanding among staff about its nature and methodologies. Most of the teachers who are involved in SL have not received any systematic training in SL pedagogy. While Hong Kong undoubtedly has its “stars” in SL, this expertise is mainly confined to isolated pockets. There is limited collaboration or sharing of expertise among the institutions. This has a negative impact on student learning experience, which is especially serious in SL, since it incorporates experiential and reflective aspects that make teaching these courses a bigger challenge than conventional classroom-based teaching. Studies we have conducted suggest that ill-conceived and implemented SL programmes may cause harm, both to the service recipients as well as to the students.
We therefore propose a multifaceted approach that will fill in the gaps and build up capacity in SL in Hong Kong universities. Our core deliverable is a mixed-mode staff development programme for teachers. To support teachers in offering SL classes, we propose to develop also an eLearning module for students, a bank of assessment tools, and a database of exemplars of good SL practices for reference. To share expertise among the institutions, and to promote further inter-institutional collaboration, we will initiate cross-institutional SL projects/subjects. To promote an evidence-based, critically reflective approach to teaching, we propose a programme to support colleagues in action research projects that will lead to improvement in their SL subjects. Finally, we will create a cross-institutional Community of Practice that will sustain and spread these efforts among colleagues, and foster increased inter-institutional collaboration.
We believe that this project will result in increased capacity in SL and increased inter-institutional collaboration in Hong Kong’s higher education institutions, learning to more rigorous SL subjects or projects that will help develop our students into productive and socially responsible members of society. It will also help establish Hong Kong’s emerging position as a leader in SL in Asia.

Project Start Year: 2017, Principal Investigator(s): Grace NGAI (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Principal Investigator)
Developing Peer- and Self-assessment Strategies for the Enhancement of Student Learning Outcomes
This project will seek to enhance student learning outcomes by developing peer-and self-assessment (PASA) strategies and training resources. PASA are student-led assessment practices in which students provide peer- and self-feedback to enhance learning (Harris, Brown, & Harnett, 2015). Hattie and Timperley’s (2007) Model of Feedback Levels will inform the development of PASA strategies and training resources. The PASA strategies will involve the use of feedback prompts for training students in giving peer- and self-feedback, and the engagement of students in recurring cycles of PASA practices, which will be facilitated by the use of learning technologies. Outcomes from the project will encompass pedagogical and scholarship of learning and teaching outcomes.
Project Start Year: 2017, Principal Investigator(s): YANG, Min 楊敏 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Investigator)
Unraveling the role of community service in adolescent identity formation
Researchers have argued that community service play a significant role in facilitating
adolescent identity formation (Youniss & Yates, 1997; Kroger, 2007), with identity formation being regarded as a major development issue confronting adolescents (Erikson, 1968). Much research has been conducted to report the positive impact of community service in adolescent identity formation (Hardy et al., 2010); what remains unknown, however, is which community service program factors provide concrete opportunities for adolescents to develop an increased understanding of their membership in society and how they interplay with each other. The proposed study seeks to fill this research gap.

Within a number of theoretical models that describe and explain the process of identity
formation (Schwartz, Lukckx & Vignoles, 2011), Marcia’s (1966) identity status model has inspired the field for almost five decades (Schwartz, et al., 2013). Given that the model provides a systematic description of how adolescent identity changes over time, Marcia’s identity status model is applied in the proposed study to capture a sample of Hong Kong secondary school students’ identity change. Marcia defines identity status in two dimensions, exploration and commitment. According to how far adolescents explore or commit in certain stances of values or social ideology, four identity statuses are defined, achievement, moratorium, foreclosure, and diffusion. The association between students’ identity status change and participants’ community service involvement will be examined firstly in the current study. In addition, the current project will use “Service-Learning Quality Indicators” (SLQI), which have been developed from and is paralleled with the eight K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice (National Youth Leadership Council, 2008), to examine the quality of community service programs. The K-12 standards consist of duration and intensity, meaningful service, link to curriculum, reflection, diversity, youth voice, partnerships, and progress monitoring.

A mixed methods design will be employed to investigate how adolescent identity status
changes within the context of community service. Quantitative methods will be used to test quality factors in community service programs that allow adolescents to understand their membership in society. The Modified EOMEIS in the form of pretest/posttest will be administered to assess participants’ identity status change within a one-year time-span. The Youth Inventory of Involvement (YII) and SLQI will be administered post-project to assess the participants’ community service involvement and their evaluation of service program quality respectively. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted to describe and explain how eight K-12 service-learning standards interplay to facilitate adolescent identity formation in the context of school-based community service programs. Forty eight students from six secondary schools will be selected through purposive sampling, with qualitative data collected mainly from individual interviews.

Project Start Year: 2016, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Enhancing core competences of undergraduates through service-learning: Effects of different service-learning models
Starting from 2014-15, students of HKIEd have been and will be required to complete a 3-credit Co-curricular and Service Learning (CSL) Course, in which students will be involved in service-based activities. Service learning (SL), as a form of experiential learning, is a challenging pedagogy for faculty members because faculties have to restructure the traditional credit-bearing courses, liaise with community agencies and NGOs, arrange service activities that help students connect service with academic content, etc., all of which are out of the “comfortable zone” of traditional university teaching. In order to provide quality CSL courses for students’ selection, it is timely important to provide empirical evidence of how to effectively design and implement CSL courses and encourage faculty members to be engaged in quality CSL course teaching.

The proposed project will focus on investigating the impacts of different CSL models upon undergraduates’ core competences and academic achievement. Core competences include positive personality, positive work attitude, collaboration and teamwork, and interpersonal skills. Three models will be investigated: faculty-lead CSL courses, cross-unit or cross-department CSL courses (eg, faculty-SAO collaboration), and CSL courses that are run by non-academic units (eg. pilot SHELL course run by SAO). Three types of interventions, (1) a set of reflection strategies, (2) activities that engage students in generating ideas, in the decision-making process, and in the evaluation of the quality of service experience, and (3) meaningful service (direct contact with service recipients who are in obvious state of need) will be employed to promote student learning.

A mixed methods design will be employed to investigate how undergraduates’ personality, work attitude, collaboration and interpersonal competences change within the context of service learning. A pre-post survey will be employed to track students’ development in the four core competences and the Service-Learning Quality Indicators (SLQI) will be administered post-project to assess participants’ evaluation of service program quality respectively. Focus groups for students and individual interviews for course lecturers will be conducted to understand what elements in CSL courses foster undergraduates’ development in the desired areas after the end of the courses.

The expected outcomes of the project include the following outputs: (1) a resource book for designing and developing service learning for undergraduates (for faculties’ use); (2) a guide to enhance academic learning and personal growth in service learning (for students’ use); (3) a report on the impacts of CSL courses upon undergraduates’ personal development and academic achievement; (4) two conference papers and two journal articles.

It is anticipated that the project will provide teaching and learning materials for faculties and students’ further reference. The findings from the project, for instance, impacts of different service learning models, may contribute to the knowledge base about service learning.

Project Start Year: 2015, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Investigating undergraduate students’ development of intercultural sensitivity in service-learning – A pilot study
The proposed study sets out to investigate the association between service-learning and undergraduate students’ intercultural sensitivity development. Theorists have argued the important relationship between service-learning and intercultural sensitivity development (Butin, 2010; Deardorff & Edwards, 2013), however, empirical research has reported mixed results. Several studies found that service-learning promoted individuals to the ethnorelative stages of intercultural sensitivity (Fitch, 2004, 2005), nonetheless, Westrick (2004) reported that participants regressed to ethnocentric stages in the exposure of certain types of service-learning. One likely explanation is that whether the certain types of service-learning and certain factors that may facilitate individuals’ intercultural sensitivity development have been incorporated into the design and implementation of service-learning courses and programs. The current study will contribute to the knowledge about how service-learning impact upon intercultural sensitivity by investigating the development of intercultural sensitivity of a sample of undergraduate students in the HKIEd over a one-semester time-span. In addition, research participants’ evaluation of quality factors of service-learning courses and programs in two types of service-learning courses will be examined.

A mixed-methods design will be employed in the current study. Student participants’ intercultural sensitivity stages will be tested pre-post project by using Intercultural Development Inventory and students from two types of service-learning courses will be compared; five subscales that are selected from the survey of “Service-Learning Quality Indicators” (SLQI; Billig, 2009) with supplementing items that reflect the features of the CSL courses will be used to measure participants’ evaluation of service-learning program quality. A sample of 400 undergraduate will be secured. Semi-structured interviews with 20 individual students will be conducted after the end of the courses.

It is anticipated that the proposed study will provide empirical evidence about the impact of service-learning upon undergraduate’s intercultural sensitivity development. Implications on the service-learning program development in higher education in Hong Kong will be provided.

Project Start Year: 2014, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Provision of Services for Studying Students' Performance in Thinking Skills as Observed from the HKDSE Examination Candidate Scripts
The implementation of the 3-year senior secondary academic structure commenced at Secondary 4 in September 2009. The first 3-year curriculum and assessment cycle was completed in 2012 with the first cohort of students taking the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Examination.
The medium-term review of the New Academic Structure has begun. Timely data collection on curriculum implementation in schools is essential for further review of the curriculum and assessment of Senior Secondary subjects. A study on the impact of the Senior Secondary curriculum on students’ attainment of multiple perspectives, mastery of critical thinking and appreciation of values as observed from the 2012 and 2013 HKDSE Examination to inform the implementation and further review of the Senior Secondary curriculum and assessment is required.

Project Start Year: 2014, Principal Investigator(s): FOK, Ping Kwan 霍秉坤 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Investigator)
Impact Study on Students' Learning of Chinese History Elements through Different Curriculum Modes at Junior Secondary Level (Revised)
With reference to Learning to Learn: Life-long Learning and Whole-Person Development (2001) and Personal, Social and Humanities Education Key Learning Area Curriculum Guide (Primary 1-Secondary 3) (2002), students in all types of local junior secondary schools will study Chinese history and culture. In general, there are three main types of curriculum modes in delivering relevant learning elements: (i) the majority of the local secondary schools are offering Chinese History as an independent separate subject at junior secondary level (“Chinese History”); (ii) a number of schools offer History and Culture that uses Chinese history as the main thread of study and incorporate world history into it via a chronological and comparative approach (“History and Culture”); and (iii) some other schools organize historically significant elements of Chinese history via a thematic approach within an integrated subject and the subject is usually entitled as Integrated Humanities (“Integrated Humanities”). The objectives of this research are:
• To investigate the impact of the three curriculum modes on students’ learning of Chinese history elements at junior secondary level.
• To fathom students’ self-efficacy, interest in and motivation to learn elements of Chinese history through questionnaire survey and in-depth group interviews, and test students’ basic knowledge of Chinese history elements as well as their application of related historical perspectives and methodologies.
• To compare and analyse the different emphases of the three curriculum modes in terms of breadth and depth of Chinese history elements as well as the historical perspectives and methodologies being introduced, based on document analysis and interviews with responsible teachers from schools offering History and Culture or Integrated Humanities.
• To assess student performance through lesson observation and analysis of their classwork, homework, test and examination performance.

Project Start Year: 2014, Principal Investigator(s): FOK, Ping Kwan 霍秉坤 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Principal Investigator)
Emerging adults’ identity development through community service: A pilot study
The proposed study aims at exploring the influence of participating in community service on the identity development of emerging adults. Undergraduate who are committed in community service will be invited to share their understanding of the meaning of engaging in community service. Identity status theory will serve as the framework to identify the development of undergraduate’s identity and in-depth individual interview will be conducted to capture the defining characteristics of community service experience that facilitate the identity development. The proposed study may expand our knowledge about the association between community service and emerging adults’ identity development and provide suggestions on the design of community service program.
Project Start Year: 2014, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Enhancing Students' Learning Through Co-curricular Design and Service Learning in Hong Kong Higher Education
Since 2011, co-curricular learning as part of the total learning experiences in the new 335 curriculum of the Hong Kong Institute of Education has been implemented for enhancing students’ knowledge and skills. The innovative design of the co-curricular courses consists of the use of service learning as the pedagogical strategy for enhancing students’ active participation and the transfer of knowledge and skills from classroom setting to practical real contexts. This is indeed a kind of new learning which is found complementary to the traditional subject disciplinary knowledge acquisition and will serve the purpose of fulfilling the learning needs of students. The aim of this project is to explore how students’ learning outcomes can be enhanced through co-curricular design embracing the pedagogical use of service learning in a Hong Kong higher education context. Three co-curricular courses are selected for conducting the innovation in this project. Evaluation measures including qualitative and quantitative tools which are adopted for collecting feedbacks from students and supervisors.The outcome of the project is expected to have significant impacts on students in the new 335 curriculum.
Project Start Year: 2014, Principal Investigator(s): CHAN, Kin Sang, Jacqueline 陳健生 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Principal Investigator)
Nurturing Critical Thinking Dispositions (CTD) of students in tertiary education: Teaching and assessment
Critical thinking is regarded as an important attribute for school learning and lifelong career. Indeed, the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) strategic plan 2013-16 stresses to nurture students to become a critical thinker through innovative curriculum design and campus activities. However, Chinese learners are labeled as passive learners who lack critical thinking skills and weak in critical thinking dispositions. Moreover, little research about critical thinking has been conducted on pre-service teachers in our institute. This project aims to inquire the critical thinking dispositions (CTD) of students in our institute. In precise, we shall assess the CTD of our students by administering the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI). Then, we shall use critical thinking cases as teaching materials in selected courses. These cases are expected to help nurturing student CTD. Finally, we shall interview students (n=10% of total students) to understand their perception about CTD in these learning experiences and invite them to fill in the CCTDI again. This study is expected to have long term impacts in two aspects. First, the study shall validate the CCTDI for Chinese higher education students. We expect to contribute to the assessment of student CTD in the future. Second, the study develops critical thinking cases as teaching materials that help to nurture student CTD. To conclude, this study will help to understand and nurture student CTD in our institute.
Project Start Year: 2014, Principal Investigator(s): FOK, Ping Kwan 霍秉坤 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Investigator)
Developing Reflective Teaching and Learning Strategies in General Education Courses
The present study aims to investigate and develop reflective teaching and learning strategies in promoting General Education in the university context. It will help establish a data base of useful literature on effective teaching and learning strategies in general, but for the teaching of GE courses in specific. In the first stage of development, team members participating in this project will be responsible for designing and developing teaching materials for undergraduate students in several selected GE courses. In the second stage, students will be invited to participate in pre-post interviews. Class observations will also be conducted. The pre-course interview will focus on students’ perceptions of reflection about teaching and learning strategies, and the post-interview will be about students’ self report of their learning outcomes, influential factors, and satisfaction with the reflective strategies used.

On completion of the study, there will be useful exemplars developed and to be shared in the teaching of GE courses. Implications for future GE course development will be made for teaching similar courses in the sector of higher education.

The results of the study will also contribute to exploring on how a reflective culture of teaching and learning can be adopted in tertiary institutes in Hong Kong.

Project Start Year: 2012, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Enhancing the relationship of teaching and learning: What is the knowledege base of teaching and how can it facititate learning?
The relation of teaching and learning rests on how theories can be linked to practice. Very often, teaching theories emerge and vary in quite a number of ways and they do not readily respond to what students need to know. With this in mind, Shulman and his associates at Stanford University have worked on a practical way of approaching subject matter, school curriculum and pedagogy with an emphasis of “pedagogical content knowledge” (see Grossman, Wilson and Shulman, 1989; Wilson, Shulman and Richert, 1987) which has groomed during the last two decades. In substance, Shulman highlighted four sources of knowledge base of teaching: (1) scholarship in content disciplines, (2) the materials and settings of the institutionalized educational process (for example, curricula, textbooks, school organizations and finance, and the structure of the teaching profession), (3) research on teaching, social and cultural phenomena that affect what teachers can do, and (4) the wisdom of practice itself (Shulman, 1987). In this study, Shulman’s framework is adapted and used for developing the knowledge base of teaching in the newly implemented 335 curriculum which requires new teaching and learning. Theory and practice will be linked by academics’ input of the new curriculum in the in-service and pre-service courses and followed by student teachers’ application of their knowledge in their school contexts during teaching practice. Through in-depth investigations, the study aims to develop a useful pool of cases of how teachers will transform their knowledge in real contexts.
Project Start Year: 2011, Principal Investigator(s): CHAN, Kin Sang Jacqueline 陳健生 (XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇 as Co-Investigator)
The Impact of Exposure to Service Learning on Adolescent Identity Development ---- Study on Secondary School Students’ Other Learning Experience in Hong Kong
Service learning, as a form of experience education has been explicitly promoted since 1980s in the US. In the Hong Kong context, over 90% primary and secondary schools in the past ten years have offered service learning experience for their students with a variety of approaches (Fok, 2009). In addition, service learning is increasingly salience since it is designed as a required learning experience of the Other Learning Experience in New Senior Secondary Education in Hong Kong. Given that service learning is seen as an important education area, a deep investigation on the features and achievement of secondary school students who are in the age of adolescence, would be timely important.

The current study will explore how does service learning experience affect adolescent’s identity development and identify effective service learning program characteristics . Three research questions, what is identity status of adolescence who has participated in service learning, how does the adolescent develop his or her identity during the experience of service learning, and how do service learning program characteristics have impact on the development of the adolescent’s identity, will be tackled through in-depth investigation.

The researcher adopts a qualitative approach to look into the features of the adolescent’s identity. Interview and focus group are major instruments to be used to collect data, interview will be conducted to get views from chairpersons and relevant teachers in schools to get clear pictures of program characteristics, while focus group will be designed to solicit views from students, including their perceptions, interpretations, and meanings of service learning experiences, description of their behavior, value and belief conflicts encountered, and commitments formulated related to identity formation during service learning if any. In addition to interview and focus group, relevant documents will be collected as well, for instance, service learning lesson plan, student reflection report, learning journal, etc.

Upon the completion of the study, the following objectives are expected to be achieved, describing the identity status of Hong Kong adolescence in the context of service learning, exploring the development of identity status of the adolescent in the context of service learning, and identifying program characteristics those are influencing, such as missions of agencies, reflection, duration and intensity, faculty involvement, and placement arrangement. Theoretical reflection on the contextual factors of identity development of the adolescent, practical suggestions on the design of service learning program, and implications on the educational policy of Other Learning Experience will be discussed.

Project Start Year: 2011, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Student Civic Engagement in Service Learning - A Pilot Study on The Senior Secondary School Students' Other Learning Experience in Hong Kong
Service learning in this project will be studied under the context of Hong Kong school curriculum reform since 2001, in particular the NSS curriculum reform and Other Learning Experience as one component of it. Student civic engagement will be the focus of the investigation, and key issues on civic engagement, for instance, learning from others, self, and environment to develop informed perspectives on social issues, valuing diversity and building bridges across difference, behaving and working through political process, participating actively in public life, public problem solving, and community service, assuming leadership and membership roles in organizations, promoting social justice locally and globally (Jacoby, 2009) , will be studied in this project.

The following three research questions are to be addressed in this study. What are types of service learning program being offered and how are schools implementing service learning program? How are students involved in service learning activities? How do students perceive and evaluate their civic engagement in service learning with reference to different types of service learning program?

Qualitative method will be adopted in this pilot study, and focus group and individual interview are to be conducted to solicit views from school teachers and students respectively. Five schools are planned to be selected as research participants, and two individual interviews with relevant teacher(s) and at least two focus groups with 8 students in each group will be conducted in every sample school.

The project is expected not only to enrich the theoretical understanding of the conception of civic engagement and service learning, but also to evaluate the implementation of the service learning in Other Learning Experience, which will provide implications and suggestions on the OLE policy in Hong Kong.

Project Start Year: 2011, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Developing Resources for Effective Teaching and Learning in Academic Service-Learning Courses
Academic service-learning, different from internships, volunteer activities, or social practice, intends to bridge the gap between abstract theoretical knowledge and life and the social world. Both academic learning and service actions enhance each other in the end. Academic service-learning has begun to take shape in some countries and regions, such as the U. S., Great Britain and Taiwan; however, teaching practices and research into effective design and teaching strategies remain underdeveloped in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, in recent years, more and more Hong Kong post-secondary institutions have started introducing service-learning components into their academic programmes and courses. During 2008-09, for instance, HKIEd offered three pilot academic service-learning courses in the general education domain.

In order to promote academic service-learning at HKIEd, we are proposing the establishment of a database and resource bank on local and Asian countries’ practices and current research on academic service-learning courses. The purpose of this database, developed through a literature review, will be to develop resources for teaching practice in courses that incorporate service-learning components, inform the organization of a series of service-learning related faculty development at HKIEd, and identify research themes and future research directions on academic service-learning in the Hong Kong context.

The project not only aligns with the Institute’s encouragement of “students’whole person development and holistic learning”, “students’ social and intellectual engagement”, and their “caring for the community and humanity,” it also represents a timely endeavor in the face of the curriculum development in Kindergarten, primary and secondary education in Hong Kong.

In short, the 12-month-long project is expected to provide a comprehensive review of practice and research in the field of academic service-learning. These will undoubtedly benefit the teaching and research of our colleagues and students in the future.

Project Start Year: 2010, Principal Investigator(s): XU, Hui Xuan 徐慧璇
Prizes and awards

President's Award for Outstanding Performance in Knowledge Transfer 2016/17 (Team Award)

Date of receipt: /5/2017, Conferred by: EdUHK