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Selected Research Project
Project Title Exploring Cultural Diversity in Chinese Classrooms: Can Assessment Environments Cater for the Needs of Ethnic Minority Students in Hong Kong?
Principal Investigator Professor Kerry Kennedy
Area of Research Project
Teaching and Learning
Project Period
From 1/2010 To 12/2012
  1. To investigate the extent to which assessment policies and practices in Hong Kong's schools and classrooms meet the needs of ethnic minority students
  2. To identify the effect of cultural and social norms on student assessment environments and that of these norms on different ethnic minority students
  3. To develop a local and culturally sensitive theory of student assessment that underpins equitable assessment processes catering to the needs of all students
Methods Used
  • Document analysis was used to review system and school level policies
  • Interviews were conducted with policy makers, teachers and students
  • Surveys were used to gather information from students about their conceptions of assessment and motivational factors in classrooms that influenced their learning.
Summary of Findings

The research team have identified:

  • Policy and classroom contexts related to cultural diversity at the school and system levels
  • Models of teachers' and students' conceptions of assessment in multicultural contexts
  • Students’ conceptions of classroom assessment environments

Working together with schools, this project has :

  • Identified system- and school-level policy approaches that support ethnic minority students
  • Evaluated the means by which classrooms can be developed to enhance the learning of ethnic minority students
  • Increased understanding of how assessment influences ethnic minority students' attitudes toward learning
  • Provided the opportunity to use integrated research findings to develop better learning environments for ethnic minority students
Selected Publications Related to the Study
  1. K. Kennedy. (2011). The ‘no loser’ principle  in Hong Kong’s education reform: Does it apply to ethnic minority students? Invited Key Note Address, C&I Conference 2011, Curriculum Matters: Policy, Implementation and Sustainability, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong SAR, 19 November..
  2. M. Bhowmik & K. Kennedy. (2012). ‘No Child Left Behind': Does It Apply to Ethnic Minority Students in Hong Kong?. Annual Conference of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong., University of Hong Kong, 25 February.
  3. Hue, M.T.(2012). Teachers’ conceptualization of a ‘new’ rationale for cultural responsiveness and diversity management in Hong Kong secondary schools. Paper presented in CAERDA, Vancouver, Canada, on 12th April.
  4. Kennedy, K. J. (2012). ‘Partial’ Citizenship: Social Rights and Ethnic Minority Students in Hong Kong. Paper presented at Eighth International CitizED Conference, 24th - 26th May 2012, University of York, England.
  5. Kennedy, K. J. (2012). Ethnic minority students in Hong Kong: Motivation for learning in a multicultural society. Paper presented at the Comparative Education Society of Asia 2012 Conference, July 8-11, 2012 Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Thailand
  6. Hue, M.T. & Kennedy, K (2012). Creation of culturally responsive classrooms: Teachers’ conceptualization of a new rationale for cultural responsiveness and management of diversity in Hong Kong secondary schools. Intercultural Education, 23 (2), 119-132.
Biography of Principal Investigator

Professor Kerry Kennedy is the Chair Professor of Curriculum Studies and holds concurrent appointments as Dean of the Faculty of Education Studiers and Associate Vice President (Quality Assurance). He is currently Co-director of the Centre for Governance and Citizenship. Prior to joining the Institute, he was the Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) of the University of Canberra in Australia. He completed his undergraduate studies and initial professional training at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He has a Master of Education degree from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Letters degree in History from the University of New England. He completed his MA and Ph.D. at Stanford University. While at the Institute, he has won two Public Policy Research grants, three General Research Fund grants, and one Quality Education Fund grant. Prior to coming to Hong Kong, he won two research grants from the Australian Research Council. His research interests are curriculum policy and theory, especially citizenship education. He published Changing Schools for Changing Times - New Directions for the School Curriculum in Hong Kong (Chinese University Press, 2005), which has now been translated to Chinese (解讀香港教育:香港學校課程的新趨勢 - Chinese University Press, 2011). He co-authored Changing Schools in Asia: Schools for the Knowledge Society (Routledge, 2010). Two other successful books he co-authored, Curriculum Construction and Celebrating Student Achievement—Assessment and Reporting (Pearson Education Australia), are now in their fourth editions.

Funding Source
General Research Fund