Building high school teachers’ capacity to use service-learning to nurture meaningful social engagement in young people in Hong Kong


Authors: Daniel TL Shek and Grace Ngai
Page Range: 3-13
Published in: International Journal of Chile Health and Human Development, 16#1 (2023)
ISSN: 1939-5965

Table of Contents


As the formal education system in Hong Kong is highly examination-oriented, students have difficulty finding real meaning in their study, particularly in the relevance of their academic study to meet the needs of the community. Besides, there are other developmental issues in young people in Hong Kong, including growing mental health issues and neglect of holistic adolescent development. To address these adolescent developmental issues, one strategy is to incorporate academic Service-Learning (SL) in the formal study of the students where students are motivated to apply what they have learned in their academic study to serve the community. Unfortunately, academic Service-Learning in high schools in Hong Kong is still in its infancy. One factor contributing to this unfortunate situation is that teachers do not have adequate training on SL. Hence, there is an urgent need to build up the capacity of high school teachers to incorporate Service-Learning as a meaningful pedagogy in their teaching. In this paper, we propose a conceptual model for building the capacity of high school teachers in Hong Kong to use SL as a means to promote holistic youth development. We argue that with enhanced capacity in teachers in using SL, there would be promotions of meaningful social engagement amongst high school students in Hong Kong. With the financial support of Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation and Keswick Foundation, we will implement this project in the next three years.

Keywords: Teacher capacity, service learning, social engagement, Hong Kong

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