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For Each and Everyone

For Each and Everyone: Catering for Individual Differences through Learning Studies

Lo Mun Ling
Pong Wing Yan
Pakey Chik Pui Man
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 188
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  • Book Info
    For Each and Everyone
    Book Description:

    This book describes a three-year research project which built on students' learning experience, and addresses the issue of individual differences in mainstream primary schools in Hong Kong. The Learning Study model described in this volume presents a view of learning which stems from a humanistic interest, and stresses on the possible "experiences" that the student has gone through in their learning process. This project went through cycles of action research in implementing, evaluating and modifying a lesson. A total of 29 Learning Studies were conducted and the results showed remarkable improvement in students' learning outcomes. Participant teachers also found the Learning Study model useful in their professional development.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-134-7
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Paul Morris

    Hong Kong, like many other societies, has given serious consideration to how teachers deal with the diverse range of talents and abilities of their pupils. This concern came to the fore with the shift from elitist to mass education systems, which resulted in a far larger population of students in school and longer periods of time spent in formal education.

    The Hong Kong government introduced an innovative means to help improve its schools’ capacity to deal with student diversity. In 2000, it commissioned and funded five different projects, each of which was to develop, implement and disseminate a different strategy...

  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xi)
    Lo Mun Ling
  5. Research Team Members
    (pp. xii-xii)
  6. 1 Predominant Explanations of Individual Differences and Methods of Handling These Differences
    (pp. 1-8)
    LO Mun Ling and PONG Wing Yan

    In 2000, the Curriculum Development Institute in Hong Kong initiated research with an aim to find ways to cater for individual differences in students attending mainstream schools in Hong Kong. Our research team, comprising twelve researchers and a consultant from Göteborg University, was one of five independent teams that worked on the project. The first task that we faced was to create a working definition of “individual differences,” with the understanding that the term might mean very different things to different people and as a result would lead to varying ways of addressing the issue. The initial discussion focused on...

  7. 2 Catering for Individual Differences: Building on Variation
    (pp. 9-26)
    LO Mun Ling and PONG Wing Yan

    Instead of seeing the learner as a set of stimulus-response reactions, a bundle of nerves, or a number on the score sheet of a test or an inventory, some educators believe that we should be looking at the issue from a more humanistic perspective that enables us to explain learning from the possible “experiences” that the student has gone through in the process of learning. This approach of studying learning, though still not favoured by most psychologists (probably due to the lack of experimental control), is increasingly favoured in the field of education. In this book, we present a view...

  8. 3 Making Use of Learning Studies to Cater for Individual Differences
    (pp. 27-40)
    LO Mun Ling, PONG Wing Yan and KO Po Yuk

    As elaborated in Chapter 2, in order to cater for individual differences, teachers must begin from the knowledge of the different ways pupils experience and understand the object(s) of learning. This knowledge or awareness is necessary for guiding the selection of relevant learning experiences as well as for structuring the teaching task, in order to bring about the intended learning outcomes. For teachers, we will not be able to prescribe a recipe for developing such a knowledge. However, based on our experience in working with many teachers at a micro level in developing “research lessons” in a large number of...

  9. 4 Learning Studies: Development and Impact
    (pp. 41-74)
    LO Mun Ling, Pakey CHIK Pui Man, KO Po Yuk, Allen LEUNG Yuk Lun, PONG Wing Yan, Priscilla LO-FU Yin Wah and Dorothy NG Fung Ping

    In this chapter, we begin with an overall description of the development of the project over the three academic years. This is then followed by a close examination of what we have achieved, according to the criteria we suggested in Chapter 2. The impact of the project on the development of the two project schools and the project’s dissemination activities within the teaching community is also described.

    The development of the project consisted of three phases, each taking one academic year to accomplish its goals.

    Phase I was a year of exploration and preparation. In this phase, we primarily aimed...

  10. 5 Two Learning Studies
    (pp. 75-116)
    LO Mun Ling, Priscilla LO-FU Yin Wah, Pakey CHIK Pui Man and PANG Ming Fai

    Two Learning Studies, one from each of the two partnership schools, are reported in this chapter. The Learning Study reports are mainly descriptive accounts which show the struggles and processes that the research team went through with the teachers in using the theory (explained in Chapter 2) to plan and implement their research lessons, in order to help students of various abilities learn more efficiently.

    The Learning Studies reported here, both of which were carried out in the third year of the project, serve as examples to illustrate what Learning Studies are like in practice.

    As teacher educators, we have...

  11. 6 The Effect of Learning Studies on Student Learning Outcomes
    (pp. 117-132)
    KWOK Wing Yin and Pakey CHIK Pui Man

    In Chapter 4, we illustrated with evidence from the three-year research project how Learning Study can help to enhance the quality of teaching and learning through developing teachers’ professionalism in improving the curriculum, pedagogy, and use of diagnostic assessment. We also described the development of learning studies in the two primary schools during the three years of the implementation of the research project (2000–03) and the rapid spread of the use of Learning Study to over 100 schools in both primary and secondary sectors in the subsequent academic year (2003–04). Such a wide acceptance and adoption of Learning...

  12. 7 Drawing Insights from the “Catering for Individual Differences: Building on Variation” Project
    (pp. 133-144)
    LO Mun Ling

    Have we been successful at developing a strategy to cater for individual differences? We believe that we have succeeded in pointing out a direction, even if we have not had sufficient success in solving the problem once and for all. Our work over the three years of the project confirms that critical differences exist between different students’ ways of seeing most of the things that they are expected to learn about in school. Above all, there are critical differences between the students’ intuitive understanding and the understanding that is embodied in the notations and concepts of schools, which have caused...

  13. 8 Conclusion: For Each and Everyone
    (pp. 145-150)
    LO Mun Ling and Ference MARTON

    In this book, we wanted to share the ideas underlying an attempt to cater for individual differences and ideas about the ways in which this attempt was realized.

    The phrase “catering for individual differences” refers to the observation that, when all students are taught in the same way, they learn different things and they master to different extents that which they are expected to learn. When they have to deal with the next aspect/area, they must rely on what they have learnt previously. So, the likelihood of ending up with differences between the students becomes increasingly large for each new...

  14. Appendix 1
    (pp. 151-158)
  15. Appendix 2
    (pp. 159-161)
  16. Appendix 3
    (pp. 162-163)
  17. Appendix 4
    (pp. 164-168)
  18. References
    (pp. 169-174)
  19. Index
    (pp. 175-176)