The moral and civic mission of school education has been renewed around the world. Despite different historical contexts, many societies are increasingly concerned with how to cultivate in children and youth knowledge, identity, skills, values and dispositions vital to their development and achievement as citizens of a culturally diverse and rapidly changing society within globalization. Moral and civic learning, whether framed as citizenship education, value education or character education, has been instituted as an independent subject, a component of conventional subjects or a cross-curricular theme within the school curriculum. Yet, due to the limitations of classroom-based teaching and learning, schools have turned to experiential learning as a pedagogy that takes students beyond the classroom to imbibe civic competencies and moral values. This article aims to construct a theoretical framework for understanding the enactment of teacher agency in scaffolding student experiential learning. Different agential roles of teachers in student experiential learning pathways are identified. Observation on different scenarios on teacher practice and student learning found from four collaborative research projects on experiential learning done in Hong Kong reveals a set of individual, organizational and contextual factors that mediate teacher agency enactment. While identification with principles underlying experiential learning is a prerequisite to such enactment, a critical mass of colleagues under open school leadership is essential for sustainable practice. Misconception about how students learn and professional inertia tend to thwart teacher agency within a high-stake examination context that characterizes the education system of Hong Kong. Though with limited observation within a particular educational context, this framework can help structure future research on how student experiential learning occurs vis-à-vis teacher agency in action. Also, it can serve as a guide for thinking about the necessary support and capacity teachers need in scaffolding student learning in milieus other than the classroom.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|