Turning rhetoric into practice: Implementing an inquiry-based curriculum Chinese learners

Sze Yin Shirley YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Chinese students in Hong Kong are often taken as traditional learners who rarely experience and gain from real student-centered learning (Yeung, 2004a, 2006). While teachers hold a 'quantitative' conception of learning and focus on transmitting declarative knowledge to students (Biggs & Watkins, 1995), students are found to be good at 'rote learning' (Biggs, 1996). Constructive learning models like inquiry remains to be quite distant to students in most Hong Kong's classrooms. Inquiry-based teaching perceives that learning could be explored by students. Given that a motivating learning environment is provided, students are active learners who can develop or construct own personal knowledge. Inquiring process of learning could help students to enhance thinking skills such as critical thinking. The paper explores into the possibility to implement the aforesaid ideal curriculum by an action-learning process. It analyzes the design, the implementation and some preliminary outcomes of an inquiry-based action research project conducted in two local primary schools - a traditional, elite Catholic school and a progressive, less privileged school. Findings would be compared against some inquiry points like: the critical thinking skills of students, the perceptions of teachers about inquiry approach, the effectiveness of action research as a curriculum implementation strategy, etc. Eventually, the present researcher wishes to investigate the possibility and hindrances, if any, of putting into practice a pedagogy with open, weak frame (Bernstein, 1977) within a community which educational tradition is used to be academic rationalist.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventRedesigning Pedagogy : Culture, Knowledge and Understanding - National Institute of Education, Singapore
Duration: 28 May 200730 May 2007


ConferenceRedesigning Pedagogy : Culture, Knowledge and Understanding


Yeung-Yeung, S. Y. S. (2007, May). Turning rhetoric into practice: Implementing an inquiry-based curriculum Chinese learners. Paper presented at Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference: Culture, Knowledge and Understanding, Singapore.


  • Curriculum in classroom
  • Critical thinking


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