Research Projects

Research Projects

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Research Projects

The vision of CELT is to become a major professional development centre in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region, taking a leading role in enhancing educatior capacity and teaching effective pedagogies. CELT aims to support schools, foster teacher professional development, and initiate new, cutting edge classroom practices to strive for learning and teaching excellence. To achieve these aims, one of our missions is to develop effective pedagogical theories, and disseminate good practices through quality research.  

Study on Challenges, Effective Policies and Best Practices of Ordinary Schools in Educating Students with Special Educational Needs in Hong Kong (2019-23)

The Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT) has been entrusted by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) to conduct a research project entitled “Study on Challenges, Effective Policies and Best Practices of Ordinary Schools in Educating Students with Special Educational Needs in Hong Kong” from 2019. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of the current integrated education (IE) in primary and secondary schools in depth and provide relevant policy suggestions for the future development of IE. The research findings were disseminated on 29 June, 2023.

The key findings revealed that majority of the school principals (81.6%), teachers (85.3%) and Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) (85.8%) surveyed agreed that the most difficult aspect of implementing IE was the tight teaching schedule/heavy teaching workload. Besides, over 70% of principals (70.2%) and SENCOs (70.9%) expressed that the administrative work brought about by IE was heavy, while 68.8% of the teachers surveyed considered the lack of manpower as the second difficulty in implementing IE. At present, students have to face different unified public assessments at different stages of learning, which not only affecting the learning outcomes of students with Special Education Needs (SEN), but also reflecting the inequality in the education system of Hong Kong. At the same time, the workload of the SENCOs has already exceeded their capacity, The small-class teaching approach and small-class pull-out co-teaching approach have been proved to be good exemplars in primary and secondary schools for implementing IE.

Based on the findings of the Study, a series of policy recommendations have been made under three domains: (1) Teaching and Learning, (2) Government Policy Measures Support, and (3) Professional Support and Home-School Cooperation. The major recommendations include:

  • Setting up a new post with the title “Curriculum Development Master/Mistress (Integrated Education)” in schools;
  • Promoting diversified or alternative assessment methods other than paper-and-pen assessment;
  • Strengthening the support for SENCOs and reducing their workload;
  • Increasing the flexibility in the use of the existing school resources and establishing permanent positions for professional support personnel;
  • Implementing small-class teaching and increasing the teacher-to-class ratio in every mainstream schools for supporting integrated education;
  • Improving teachers’ understanding and skills on Disability Discrimination Ordinance, Code of Practice on Education, and integrated education and strengthening university-school partnerships for continuous professional development;
  • Strengthening parent-school collaboration and public & parent education and providing more support to parents of students with SEN;
  • Strengthening support for students’ mental health and
  • Establishing diversified support models for students with SEN and establishing a service support network for students with SEN and non-Chinese speaking students and parents.

For more information about this research study, please refer to EOC website:

Project on Fostering interdisciplinary pedagogy for STEM Education in primary schools of Hong Kong (2019-22)

The Centre has successfully granted with the Central Reserve Allocation Committee (CRAC) commissioned project entitled “Fostering interdisciplinary pedagogy for STEM Education in primary schools of Hong Kong (2019-22)”. In recent years, more and more schools are implementing school-based STEM lessons and activities with some focus on an interdisciplinary approach to conduct integrated STEM education. By integrating various subject-content knowledge, and learning objectives, designing interdisciplinary curriculum coupled with the collaboration of teachers from different disciplines, students’ learning dimension and experience can be broadened. The project will be implemented in four phases. In the first phase of this project, a territory-wide primary school studies for needs analysis will be conducted to identify the current situation, implications and challenges of interdisciplinary STEM education in schools. The findings of Phase One will inform the training and support programme provided for project primary school teachers in Phase Two in which research recommendations will be suggested. In the third and fourth phases, an interdisciplinary pedagogy for STEM Education will be recommended for the local primary schools. For dissemination of the research findings, open lessons and seminars will be conducted and teaching materials will be designed for transferring the insight gained to schools, pre- and in-service teachers, with the ultimate goal of enhancing students' interest in STEM education and other learning areas in a comprehensive way, as well as a broad-based STEM literacy.

Self-regulated Learning Research Consortium (2017-18)

The resources provided by the Education Bureau for Quality School Improvement Projects have created capacity for schools in promoting various pedagogical innovations in learning and teaching. CELT has been playing a leading role in providing school support in improving teaching and learning effectiveness. With the aim of sharing relevant experiences to benefit SRL development in the region, Dr. Ko Po Yuk, Director of CELT, together with a research team of academics including Dr. XU Hui Xuan, Dr. YAN Zi, Dr. FONG Wai Tsz Ricci, Dr. YANG Lan, and Dr. HO Sai Mun, will work as a consortium in conducting the following four projects.

  1. A quasi-experimental study to investigate the effectiveness of self-assessment procedure using learning diaries in enhancing the quality of self-assessment and SRL abilities of students as well as its effects on students’ academic emotions. (Dr. YAN Zi)
  2. A large scale questionnaire survey for primary students to evaluate the role of achievement emotions in shaping students’ motivational processes, SRL abilities, and academic performance and achievement. It also aims to investigate the relationship of achievement emotions with family expectations of children’s performance, self-assessment perceptions and learning behaviours. (Dr. FONG Wai Tsz Ricci, Dr. YANG Lan)
  3. A multiple case study adopting a Learning Study approach in understanding teachers’ change of perceptions on SRL-based instructions and SRL learning. (Dr. Ko, Po Yuk, Dr. Xu Hui Xuan)
  4. A cross-region comparative study to compare the SRL practices in secondary schools in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Macao at school, classroom and individual levels. (Dr. HO Sai Mun)

The findings of the above studies will be published so as to enrich the existing SRL literature with authentic examples that contribute to the development of SRL theories and models for practical use. 

Study on Small Class Teaching in Macau Infant and Primary Education (2014-18)

The purpose of the study is to investigate the small class teaching practices in Macau preschools and primary schools. There are six phases in the study from 2014. At the end of the study, recommendations on enhancing learning and teaching in small class environment will be made to Macau Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ).

Fostering Communities of Practice for Effective Teaching and Learning (2015-17)

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) has successfully been granted with the EDB’s tender support service entitled “Fostering Communities of Practice to Enhance Small Class Teaching” to 120 local primary schools from August 2015 to August 2017.

The support service focuses on fostering communities of practice (CoP), through a series of thematic seminars, training workshops, sharing sessions and on-site supports within and across schools, to foster teachers’ competence in effectively transferring a selection of theories, namely  catering for learner diversity, self-regulated learning and e-learning, in classroom practice so as to enhance the teaching and learning effectiveness.  To examine the impact of communities of practice on teacher professional learning and student learning, the research project will study the relationship between the key variables of pedagogies and student achievement in different key innovations including: communities of practice, self-regulated learning, lesson study, and assessment.

Learning Study (2000-present)

Learning Study is a collaborative classroom action research with the aim of improving student learning. It features teachers’ collaboration in co-planning, implementing and reviewing a research lesson with Variation Theory developed by Ference Marton as the guiding principle of the pedagogical design. Over the past 15 years, our Learning Study project team, with the support from the Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) and the Quality Education Fund (QEF). has conducted more than 300 cases of Learning Studies with the frontline teachers from approximately 300 local primary, secondary and special schools. Furthermore, we have been organizing various training workshops, lesson observation and evaluation activities, experience sharing seminars, etc. for facilitating teachers’ professional development in Hong Kong.

International project on small class teaching: "Class size and effective teaching international network (2014-16)

An international project entitled “Class Size and Effective Teaching International Network (The Network)” is being conducted by Professor Lee Chi Kin John, Dr. Chan Kam Wing and Dr. Lai Kwok Chan in 2014-2016. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the Network brings together prominent researchers from institutions in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, East Asia and the United States, which are the countries of strategic importance in this field. The principal investigator of the Network is Professor Peter Blatchford of Institute of Education, University College London. The co-investigators (Network members) include the scholars of The East China Normal University, Shanghai, The Education University of Hong Kong, The University at Buffalo, The University of Cambridge, The University of Hong Kong and The University Pierre Mendes, France.