Teaching global citizenship education with empathy model and experiential learning: Case study of action research on developing empathy in a Hong Kong secondary school

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This study investigates how a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s secondary school teacher developed and implemented global citizenship education by adapting a spiral teaching model of empathy, experiential learning and classroom-based inquiry learning activities in two teaching cycles. One key aim of Hong Kong’s education reform is to prepare students for challenges in a globalization age. This case study used action research on two different cohorts of about 36 students in two school years’ teaching cycles (2013–2014 and 2014–2015). The students were taught by a secondary school teacher with an aim of cultivating their empathy through experiential learning in authentic contexts. The author participated as a researcher who observed and facilitated the evaluation. The learning topic is ‘understanding poverty’ in this interdisciplinary junior secondary PSHE subject. The findings reveal that through an adaptation of empathy learning model, even junior secondary school students can develop perspective-taking empathy with experiential learning and classroom-based inquiry learning activities. Also, whereas the first teaching cycle started with experiencing different contexts of poverty before having classroom inquiry learning activities, the second teaching cycle started with exposing students to multiple quantitative and narrative descriptions of poverty and to investigate stories of those affected by poverty before having experiential learning of different contexts of poverty. There was a higher level of empathy by those students who were exposed to prior background and conceptual understanding before engaging in authentic learning. But the two cohorts of students could achieve the learning objectives of seeing through others’ perspectives, making imagined connections between their lives and the lives of others who are less fortunate, linking the local and the global by analyzing how the global economic restructuring affects the local lives, and fostering their willingness to take actions to help those less privileged. The findings offer implications for understanding how to implement a teaching model of empathy with experiential learning. Copyright © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducating for the 21st century: Perspectives, policies and practices from around the world
EditorsSuzanne CHOO, Deb SAWCH, Alison VILLANUEVA, Ruth VINZ
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer
Pages303-325
ISBN (Print)9789811016714, 9789811016738
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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empathy
action research
Hong Kong
secondary school
citizenship
Teaching
learning
education
poverty
student
secondary school teacher
classroom
learning objective
Singapore
restructuring
globalization
narrative
reform

Citation

Chong, E. K. M. (2017). Teaching global citizenship education with empathy model and experiential learning: Case study of action research on developing empathy in a Hong Kong secondary school. In S. Choo, D. Sawch, A. Villanueva, & R. Vinz (Eds.), Educating for the 21st century: Perspectives, policies and practices from around the world (pp. 303-325). Singapore: Springer.