The social construction of classroom behavior in Hong Kong secondary schools

Ming Tak HUE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Teachers in Hong Kong as elsewhere express deep concern about classroom discipline. This paper looks at this area and reports the findings of a qualitative study into teachers’ and students’ social constructions of classroom behavior in six Hong Kong secondary schools. From the perspectives of interactionism and social constructivism, the study investigated their constructions of good behavior and indiscipline, and those classroom rules and practices that teachers currently used to manage indiscipline incidents. The research methods of classroom observation, focused-group interviews and unstructured interviews were employed. Eighteen classrooms were observed. Sixty teachers were interviewed. Eighteen focused group interviews for sixty students were conducted. The data were categorized and contrasted with the use of method adopted for grounded theory. Main themes generated from the data illuminated the social construction of classroom discipline, and confirmed the centrality and importance of the issue not only in the classroom but also in other contexts of schooling. The key finding has suggested that the classroom behavior cannot be separated from the school context where they are performed and have a close connection with the discipline at school-wide level. Implications for the promotion of positive discipline, the development of teacher training programmes and the curriculum design and teaching strategies will also be given.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Hue, M. T. (2005, October). The social construction of classroom behavior in Hong Kong secondary schools. Paper presented at the International Forum on Teacher Education: Teacher Education Reform, Teacher Professional Standards and School-based Teacher Development, Shanghai, China.


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