Summary of the Preface
In April 2012, 16 members of the HKAHSS visited Weifang, a city in Shandong, with eagerness to learn about self-regulated learning (SRL). A few days later, we came home with loads of gains.
After returning to Hong Kong, we began to introduce SRL in our schools. A learning circle was formed among six participating schools to organize various learning activities for students, seminars for parents and workshops for teachers. Cross-school observation and evaluation of teachers’ lessons were initiated and visits to Mainland schools were organized. Within only one year, SRL has become a hit among schools within the learning circle and has attracted the attention of other schools.
In April 2013, HKAHSS visited Weifang again with a group of teachers passionate in teaching. A few days later, we returned to Hong Kong with a more concrete plan for further implementing SRL.
In this second visit, we focused on what makes SRL successful. Specifically we asked: How do the teachers of Weifang prepare their lessons? What are the keys to writing learning preparation and revision plans? How do they help their students form the habit of SRL? During our visit, apart from classroom observation, we also prepared and evaluated lessons together with local teachers and discussed with them the difficulties they encountered in promoting SRL and how they resolved them. We were also interested in Weifang students’ learning process. In particular, we would like to know: How do students spend two hours on self-study every evening under no supervision? How do they engage in self-reflections? How do they prepare for their lessons next day by following their teachers’ learning preparation plans? From what we saw and heard, we no longer wondered why these students were so outstanding in class.
Although the visit was short, we were able to gain useful understanding and insights. From our observation, we gathered that SRL is an effective but highly standardized mode of learning and teaching. The question is how can we improve its effectiveness by turning it from a standardized format to a more individualized mode? We may not have a good solution to it now, but we have no doubt that SRL is a very effective means to facilitating students’ learning.
This special report is the second publication of the HKAHSS on the same theme. In here we would like to express our gratitude and best wishes to those who have contributed their knowledge, skills and effort in education. We would also like to thank the schools, educators and government officials in Weifang and Guangzhou for making our visit fruitful and successful. Let us join hands together for the betterment of education for our students.