Relationships among school missions, developmental programs and the spiritual well-being of students and teachers in three Hong Kong secondary schools

Man Kit Roland YEUNG

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses

Abstract

This thesis explores multiple relationships among school missions, developmental programs, and the spiritual well-being of students and teachers at 5 Hong Kong secondary schools in which only 3 schools namely an Anglican school (School A), a nonreligious school (School B), and a Catholic school (School E) were selected for further case study according to their quantitative results and school management approval.
A mixed methods approach was applied to examine these relationships. A quantitative instrument, the Spiritual Health and Life Orientation Measure, was adopted to assess the spiritual well-being of 2,125 students and 96 teachers. Statistical results revealed that students from School E showed the most highest level of spiritual well-being, followed by School A and then School B, with significant differences observed among the three schools. Teachers’ spiritual well-being were also ranked in the same order of School E, School A and School B but the differences were not significant.
A qualitative investigation involved a textual analysis of school documents including the guidelines of school sponsoring bodies and the schools’ mission statements (first-order documents), as well as their school development plans and annual plans (second-order documents). Individual interviews with principals and teachers (n = 21), focus group interviews with senior students (n = 31), and school visits for ethos observations were conducted to identify daily practices and real interactions indicating the influence of developmental programs, teachers’ values, and the schools’ mission statements on the nurturing of the students’ spiritual well-being.
The content of developmental programs was found to be closely related to the content of the schools’ mission statements and the values of the schools’ sponsoring bodies. Positive relationships were observed between the number of developmental programs at the schools and the students’ level of spiritual well-being. For all 3 schools, both the students and teachers scored higher in the Communal and Personal domains of spiritual well-being than in the Environmental and Transcendental domains.
In School A, the principal’s strong Anglican identity and the school’s structured developmental programs presented clear Christian values in schooling. In School B, emphasis on national identity in the form of “love China, love Hong Kong”, and on student academic learning were demonstrated in the concerns of the students and teachers. Finally, in School E, the “second home” family-oriented qualities of the school environment and the flexible mindsets of teachers were mentioned as good ways for nurturing students’ spiritual well-being. Whole school integrated approach was commonly described for nurturing the students’ overall development, especially at Schools A and E, as evidenced in their policies and collaboration activities among teaching professionals.
Burnout and spiritual dissonance were reported by the teachers at School B, and these were attributed to the high workload, competitive atmosphere, and difficulty with time management between teaching subjects, nurturing students, and attending to school administrative duties. The 3 leading means for improving the spiritual health of teachers were being happy, relaxation or time out, and family support; and those for students were being happy, relaxation or time out, and music. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2017.

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