Doctoral Students


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Students

Name Proposed Title

Interdisciplinary Music Curriculum in Hong Kong Conservatory: A Case Study in Hong Kong

Principal Supervisor: Prof. LEUNG, Bo Wah

LEE, King Cheung Calvin

Perception of Hong Kong Instrumental Teachers on their Evaluation: Multiple Case Studies

Principal Supervisor: Prof. LEUNG, Bo Wah

POON, Tsz Wai Pearly

Sing by Ear: A Motivation Study in Popular Music Education in Hong Kong

Principal Supervisor: Dr. CHEN, Chi Wai Jason

Doctor of Education (EdD) Students

Name Proposed Title
CHOU, Sin Yu  Folk Pedagogy of Preschool Music Education in Hong Kong and Japan
LO, Kit Mei Jammie  Human-Centred Design Instrument (HCDI): Creative thinking and Transdisciplinary learning in STEAM Education
LO, Po Yan A Case Study on the Artistic Citizenship development of HK Youth through Community Music Participation
TZENG,Yi Hsin  A study of the experience of Taiwanese lesbians viewing and interpreting paintings with female figure images
GUAN, Tao  Nurturing Ethnic Identity Through Music:A Study of Inter-Culture Music Courses in Yanyuan County of Tibetan-Yi Corridor


Completed Doctoral Students


DU, Junge Sheryl (PhD Graduate, 2019)

Dissertation title: Cultural sustainability with arts management, minority cultural education and tourism: A study of Miao intangible cultural heritage in Xijiang, China

Culture is a key element in the sustainable development of a region. Ensuring cultural sustainability is essential to achieve sustainable, generation-to-generation benefits from development, which is fundamental to maintaining cultural diversity, inheriting history, and providing cultural resources as cultural capital from an economic perspective. Since many governments exploit cultural tourism for social and economic development, problems with cultural sustainability in ethnic minority
areas have increasingly emerged.

The Miao group in Xijiang, China, is the target of this research. As in other ethnic villages, Xijiang adopted cultural tourism as an influential strategy to fuel economic development. This approach has been accompanied by growing concerns regarding how to protect and promote Miao culture or balance the use of Miao ethnicity as both a tourist attraction and a source of ethnic pride to achieve sustainable tourism development. However, the approach emphasizes the development of tourism and cultural commodities and is less considerate of the cultural sustainability, arts management, and ethnic cultural education of the Miao. A mixed methods case study approach was employed to answer the research question. The study follows a convergent parallel design that combines a quantitative
survey with qualitative methods (i.e. observation, interview, focus group, documentary analysis, and documentary photography) to ensure triangulation and complementarity.

The findings of the study from 2011 to 2016 demonstrate tensions between the constructs of Hanization versus ethnic identity, cultural preservation versus tourism development, and authenticity versus profit generation, all of which directly affect the cultural sustainability of regions. In Xijiang, Hanization challenges the cultural sustainability of Miao. Han capitalism has the dominant market share in Xijiang. Moreover, Hanization is reflected in school and community education. The residents of Xijiang exhibited a weak sense of cultural sustainability. From the perspective of policy makers, cultural sustainability refers to the preservation of cultural heritage, and the government has recognized the effective protection of Miao intangible cultural heritage as the premise of economic development. In fact, efforts for cultural preservation have been flawed. The development of Xijiang is profit oriented, and Miao cultural products have been questioned as inauthentic. Furthermore, attracting tourists and generating profits, as opposed to pursuing cultural sustainability, have become the determining factors in cultural programming, planning, and management practices.

This thesis develops a conceptual framework for achieving a balance between the preservation of cultural heritage and the development of cultural tourism, which implicates the equilibrium between the authenticity of cultural products and the pursuit of economic benefits. The report identifies four stakeholders in the cultural ecosystem: government officials and managers; local communities, including Miao indigenous people, immigrant entrepreneurs, and immigrant artists; tourists; and scholars. The thesis provides recommendations for featuring cultural sustainability in policymaking for arts and education. It also advises the formulation of a cultural tourism strategy for policy makers and arts managers to ultimately achieve sustainable development in Xijiang’s cultural ecosystem.



Lee Cheng (PhD Graduate, 2013)

I entered EdUHK (known as HKIEd at that time) in 2010 as a master’s student, and successfully transferred to the doctoral degree programme a year later as one of the Institute’s first cohort of PhD students. Taking advantage of my diversified background in different fields, my dissertation examined the interdisciplinary environment constituted by the areas of software development, software business, and music education, and investigated how the practitioners ecologically connect and interact to mutually benefit each other. A qualitative-dominated approach was adopted and involved semi-structured interviews with software engineering educators, music software developers, music software retailers, music teachers, and experts within the domain of music technology. A model was developed to provide a meta-view of the interdisciplinary environment, with recommendations on how individuals could fill in the communicational gaps to improve operations. The dissertation has led to some international conference presentations, SSCI journal publications, and the development of a mobile application software. The doctoral programme in EdUHK is characterised by its flexibility, which allows students to learn from different experts and scholars with an Education+ focus; this has enabled me to develop my research capacity and professionalism alongside my research interests. I am currently serving as a Lecturer at EdUHK.


Zheng Yuan (PhD Graduate, 2017)

Dissertation title: Creativity in Piano Performance Pedagogy: A Chinese Perspective



TSE, Wing Yee Serina (EdD Graduate, 2019)
Dissertation title: The effects of extra-curricular music participation on pre-school children’s social skills



AU, Kam Yuen Jacky (EdD Graduate, 2019)
Dissertation title: An Investigation of the Perceived Values of Hong Kong School Music Ensembles: perspectives of major stakeholders in primary schools.

While learning a musical instrument is not the main focus of the music curriculum in Hong Kong primary schools, many schools organize a great variety of music ensembles and these participate in local and international competitions. With no concrete guidelines issued by the Hong Kong government, it is essential to investigate how these music ensembles operate, why they are supported so well, and why they are in such high demand. The aim of the study is to investigate the perceived values surrounding Hong Kong primary school music ensembles from the perspectives of major stakeholders, such as school principals, music teachers, freelance ensemble directors, students, and parents. Based on the main research question, the following structured research questions have been developed: (1) What are the beliefs surrounding the primary school music ensembles from the perspectives of major stakeholders like the school principals, teachers, freelance ensemble directors, parents and students? (2) How do these beliefs interact or conflict among the major stakeholders? (3) How do these interactions form meaningful learning contexts for students? This study employs Expectancy-value theory and Schwartz’s theory of basic values and it is divided into two phases. Phase I consists of ten semi-structured interviews with major stakeholders from different schools. Phase II consists of two individual case studies with three stages; (1) questionnaire studies of students and parents, (2) selected ensemble rehearsal observations, and (3) individual and group interviews with major stakeholders. Findings indicate that most of the stakeholders valued the importance on cultivating students’ intrinsic values for their enjoyment in music. While viewed as developing the musical values of the students, ensemble skills are also highly regarded by major stakeholders for other reasons as well. Some of them value the development of non-musical values like self-discipline, responsibility, and cooperation. Music ensemble competitions are found to be supported by the students and parents. Some of them value the personal achievements gained by taking part in ensemble competitions. Moreover, winning a prize at a music ensemble competition tends to have a positive impact on a school’s brand. However, this study reveals that conflicts between the schools and the parents are always present due to misunderstandings surrounding the philosophies of music education in the school context. This study identifies that different primary schools in Hong Kong develop their music ensembles based on their culture, uniqueness, and limitations. Based on the research findings, this study recognizes the importance of school limitations and provides suggestions for maximizing the interactions among major stakeholders’ beliefs to form learning contexts for the students. Moreover, it reveals that student values surrounding music ensembles are highly dependent on the context of the school and the perceptions of their parents. This study provides significant insight into why primary school music ensembles are so well supported and in such high demand, as well as filling a current research gap concerning primary school music ensembles in Hong Kong.

Kam-Yuen is a former undergraduate student of EdUHK (formerly known as HKIEd), a full-time music teacher in St. Paul’s Co-educational College Primary School, a freelance ensemble director and clarinet tutor. During his EdD journey, he presented his work at international conferences, such as the APSMER 2015 (Hong Kong) and APSMER 2017 (Melaka). Kam-Yuen can be reached at



Han Ruochen, Donna (EdD Graduate, 2016)


I spent five enjoyable years at The Education University of Hong Kong, completing both my master’s degree and my doctorate in the process. Primarily because both my research techniques and visions for perceiving educational issues were formed as a result of undertaking the MA and EdD programmes, I regard this period as the starting point of my academic life. During the four years of my doctoral study (2012-2016) I participated in many conferences and symposiums, both locally and internationally. With the help of my supervisor, Professor Leung Bo-Wah, I published one paper in a conference proceeding and one paper in the International Journal of Music Education. My doctoral thesis explored the effectiveness of the Hong Kong Senior Secondary Music Curriculum (HKDSE Music) in developing students’ creativity against the background of Hong Kong’s education reforms. The findings indicated that HKDSE Music was only offered by a few Hong Kong senior secondary schools; both the teachers involved in offering HKDSE Music lessons and those students who selected Music as one of their elective courses displayed a negative attitude towards the effectiveness of the course in terms of its ability to develop individuals’ creativity. Part of my thesis will soon be published in a Chinese journal entitled Teacher Education Forum. Since January 2017 I have been employed as a Lecturer in the College of Music and Dance at Guangzhou University.


He Yang, Sunnie (EdD Graduate, 2017)


Based on my particular interests in tertiary arts education, arts entrepreneurship / management education, and arts curriculum development, I entered the Doctor of Education (EdD) programme in 2011. Prior to enrolling I completed my master’s (in music education) at the State University of New York, Fredonia, after which I was employed for two years as a Lecturer at Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai. My dissertation, which was about the needed entrepreneurial competencies in the Arts, investigated how such a framework might be mapped against the current situation within the tertiary sector. The findings provided an in-depth understanding of current practices, in the process supporting the idea that there is a great need for fostering such education. The study was presented at the 2nd BIBAC conference in Cambridge University, UK, and at the 14th AIMAC conference in Peking University, China. I am currently working as a Lecturer at EdUHK.



LEE, Wing Yin Sarah (EdD Graduate, 2019)

Dissertation title: Developing social and emotional learning in young children in Hong Kong churches: Incorporating nonformal learning in Song Leading sections

There are over a thousand Protestant churches set up in Hong Kong; every church organizes regular religious activities for children on a weekly basis, including Children’s Sunday Service. The Song Leading section, as one of the sections in the Service, aims to nurture children with positive attitudes and well-being through the medium of music-making and singing. However, the effectiveness in achieving this aim is uncertain, because Song Leading sections are run by voluntary adults, who come from different backgrounds and have varying levels of musical or teaching experience. In addition, there is no evidence-based research available that investigates the ways in which music has been utilized in Song Leading sections and, specifically, whether the process of song leading has been effectively benefitting children’s growth as a result.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which Song Leading sections in Hong Kong Protestant churches may serve as a potential nonformal music learning platform for facilitating two- to four-year-old children’s social and emotional learning experience, and what possible approaches to improving song leaders’ skills in the area would be effective. The concept of social and emotional abilities has been considered via the lens of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management and responsible decision-making.

This research consists of two studies employing a mixed-method approach with thematic analysis throughout. Study 1 identifies the characteristics of current Song Leading sections in churches, and explores the process of music-making in relation to participants’ experience of social and emotional learning within the context. I have invited Children’s Sunday Services of three churches to participate in this study over four cycles of visits each. Data have been collected through a questionnaire survey, interviews, focus groups and observations. Study 2 investigates possible approaches for song leaders in facilitating children’s social and emotional learning experience. Two song leaders are selected to participate in the action research study over four cycles each, which include the processes of planning, implementation, observation and evaluation.

Findings have identified the Song Leading section as a potential nonformal music learning platform to offer social and emotional learning opportunities for children based on its setting, which provides a process-oriented, interactive, autonomous and active participatory experience. Moreover, song leaders hold the key role in creating and ensuring an appropriate learning environment. Identified approaches include the incorporation of warm-up activities, energetic physical movements, opportunities for children’s individual response, demonstration of capabilities and interaction with others, the use of instant classroom management and making song leading plans that are relevant to children’s interest. Implications include consideration of incorporating components to facilitate children’s social and emotional learning experience in Song Leading sections and other long-term nonformal music learning events within the community, and the need to organize training sessions in order to increase song leaders’ awareness and ability as regards enhancing children’s social and emotional abilities. Future research is suggested towards the continual identification of additional nonformal music learning venues as potential platforms for facilitating children’s social and emotional learning experience.


Lee Yu Kiu, Raymond (EdD Graduate, 2017)


I started my doctoral degree journey in 2009 and defended my thesis in December 2016. My dissertation, entitled ‘Teachers’ Beliefs, Confidence and Practice and Students’ Achievement and Performance in Cultivating Critical Thinking in Primary Music Education in Hong Kong’, aimed to examine the current situation and explore how critical thinking skills can be effectively developed. A questionnaire, interviews and class observations were used to collect the relevant data. Based on these, an in-depth, multi-dimensional analysis was employed, the findings providing a basis for discussing both the difficulties serving to impede the effectiveness of implementation together with some recommendations for overcoming them. My study was presented at APSMER 2017 in Melaka.


Richard G. Whitbread (EdD Graduate, 2016)


My EdD ‘journey’ began in March 2011 and concluded in November 2016, when I had the privilege of being among the first cohort to graduate from the newly-titled Education University of Hong Kong; in between, I presented my initial thesis proposal in December 2013 and successfully undertook the defence in September last year. Drawing on an ecological perspective characterised by a focus on the layers of interconnectedness and interrelatedness among the various stakeholders, my study (entitled ‘Cultural and Arts Education Policies in Hong Kong: Two Wings of the Same Bird?’) investigated the extent to which the cultural and arts education sectors within Hong Kong are working together in ways that can result in mutually-beneficial synergies. The findings revealed that while evidence exists of a variety of intra- and inter-sectoral partnerships, this is not being matched by a strategic vision at a policymaking level that clearly demonstrates how such collaborations might lead to a fully developed, manageable and sustainable ecology. Prior to embarking on the EdD I graduated from the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts’ (CCA) Master of Education (MEd) programme, while since completing my studies I have been employed as a Post-doctoral Fellow – working here obviously seems to suit me!


Su Yan (EdD Graduate, 2016)


I entered the EdD programme in 2013. Having already completed dual graduate programmes in the U.S.A. and China, I was drawn to strengthening my understanding of research methodology. My dissertation was entitled ‘University Teachers’ Beliefs and Pedagogies to Engage Students’ Affective Response during Music Listening and Teaching in Mainland China and Hong Kong’. The findings revealed that while those pedagogies used in music higher education paid more attention to cognitive (as opposed to affective) responses, most teachers agreed that affective responses play an important role in listening. Among the various suggestions proposed by interviewees and teachers were strategies for affective music listening. Thanks to EdUHK’s wonderful academic community, I greatly enjoyed every step of my doctoral studies. Since graduation, I have been teaching at the Zhejiang International Studies University in Hangzhou City.