Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


Fostering Students' Performance, Metacognition and Beliefs in Chinese Literacy Development through Cognitive Strategy Instruction: A Constructivist Approach

Loretta M. W. Ho, Carol K. K. Chan.

The old Secondary Chinese Language Curriculum in Hong Kong has long been criticized as content-based, fragmented, teacher-centred and exam-oriented, resulting in students adopting a surface learning approach which characterized as task-completion, rote learning, teacher dependent. Such phenomena proceed even after a New Curriculum that calls for the development of students into life-long learners has been launched and implemented by the government in September 2002. This paper argues that students' beliefs and performance in literacy development can be fostered through the incorporation of cognitive strategy instruction into the school curriculum using a constructivist approach.

The paper is based on a control-experimental study with two secondary one classes in Hong Kong. While the control class adopted the traditional curriculum and instruction, the experimental class was introduced cognitive strategy instruction using a constructivist approach. These include reading and writing strategies, peer collaboration, self-evaluation and self-reflection of work. Pre-post measurements of students' reading and writing performance were administered in both groups. To supplement, experimental class students' work was collected for qualitative analysis. Self-report written questionnaires on beliefs of reading and learning Chinese were also collected for analysis.

Results of both quantitative and qualitative analyses show that the introduction of cognitive strategy instruction using a constructivist approach has a significant positive impact on students' reading and writing performance, as well as their metacognitive development in different literacy aspects. Qualitative analysis of students' beliefs of reading and learning Chinese also shows promising results. The findings strongly argue the essence of cognitive strategy instruction in developing students into deep thinkers and life-long learners.


Loretta M. W. Ho  (China)
Research Project Coordinator
Faculty of Education, Faculty of Education
The University of Hong Kong The University of Hong Kong.

HO Man Wah, Loretta, BEd(Hons) (UK), MEd, PhD Candidate (HKU), is a Research Project Coordinator, and a Part-time Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. She is involved in a 3-year joint-university research project and the teacher training courses on learning psychology, counselling and special education needs. Her areas of research interest include: cognition and instruction, literacy development, student interaction, knowledge building and learning communities.

Carol K. K. Chan  (China)
Associate Professor

University of Hong Kong

CHAN Kwai Kuen, Carol, BA(Hons), Cert.Ed., (HKU), M.A., Ph.D (Toronto), is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. She is involved in teaching courses on educational and instructional psychology, learning and assessment, higher-order thinking, knowledge building. Her areas of research interest include: cognition and instruction, knowledge building, computer-supported collaborative learning, conceptual change, reading processes and learning communities.

  • Constructivism
  • Cognitive Strategy Instruction
  • Literacy Development
  • Student Beliefs
  • Metacognition
  • Reading Strategies
  • Writing Strategies
  • Self-evaluation and self-reflection
  • Secondary Education
Person as Subject
  • Secondary One students

(30 min Conference Paper, English)