Implementation of problem-based learning in the senior secondary Liberal Studies curriculum in Hong Kong

Kaur, K.C., 2022. Implementation of problem-based learning in the senior secondary Liberal Studies curriculum in Hong Kong. EdD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Over the last decade, there has been an increasing interest in curriculum innovation and education reform in Hong Kong (HK). Since the introduction of Problem Based Learning (PBL), many educators have adopted a PBL approach as the educational and philosophical basis of their curriculum. PBL is a student-centred approach that emphasises collaborative learning, self-directed learning (SDL) and problem solving. Several studies have shown that PBL is an important educational approach for integrating the curriculum and engaging students in learning. However, there is a great deal of concern regarding PBL in HK and the potential advantages of this over a more Traditional Teaching Method (TTM).

This research study implemented PBL as a pedagogic approach within the Liberal Studies (LS) curriculum to explore if it could help to engage students in learning, enhance collaboration, SDL, problem solving and how teachers engaged with PBL as a teaching pedagogy. A case study mixed-method approach was employed to gather data from three PBL and one TTM class. The study was undertaken in two phases. Phase I was a qualitative approach in which students and teachers were invited for semi-structured interviews, students' focus group and additional field notes were gathered. Phase II was quantitative in which students and teachers were invited to complete a questionnaire. Following data analysis, three themes emerged, namely: (1) Student Engagement under PBL, (2) Students’ concerns under PBL and (3) Teachers' concerns under PBL. A key finding from the study demonstrated that the PBL approach encourages student engagement and SDL. However, the findings from the study also showed that actively engaging in the lesson is not the only measure for student engagement. The data from this research study revealed that PBL learners acquired more LS knowledge than students learning under TTM.

Furthermore, the findings also showed that PBL increases the workload of LS teachers. This research study can help teachers to reflect and discover the concept of PBL as a teaching approach and how it affects students' engagement. In conclusion, the findings of this study support applying PBL as a pedagogic approach to enhance student engagement. It is evident from this study that further research is needed in other subjects, cultures, and lesson observations to understand students' behaviour to further develop our knowledge and understanding in this area.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Kaur, K.C.
Date: May 2022
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the intellectual property rights owner.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Institute of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Sep 2022 13:47
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 11:20

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