Rethinking the pedagogy of teaching

Po Yuk KO, Shuying Sean LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


This paper examines dominant views in Hong Kong with regard to the pedagogy of teaching and proposes a new perspective. The alternative view employs the Theory of Variation, which has its theoretical foundations in the phenomenographic approach to learning proposed by Marton and Booth (1997). The theory argues that learning takes place when the learner discerns “something” in a new and meaningful way. This theory argues that problems in learning lie in the failure in discerning the critical aspects for a particular way of seeing a phenomenon, or certain aspect of reality, i.e. the object of learning. Therefore, instead of attributing poor learning outcomes to the student’s innate incompetence, which teachers may be able to do little about, teaches should focus on changing students’ way of seeing what is/are intended for the learning, or developing an object of learning. The paper compares this conceptual framework with some other influential theories including the behavioristic, cognitive and constructivist learning theories. It also analyses how this approach to teaching and learning is able to enhance student learning, teacher professional development and school improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2005
EventRedesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice - National Institute of Education, Singapore
Duration: 30 May 200501 Jun 2005


ConferenceRedesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice


Ko, P. Y., & Li, S. (2005, May). Rethinking the pedagogy of teaching. Symposium conducted at Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference: Research, Policy, Practice, Singapore.


  • Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning


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