KLA Survey 2004 - Survey Report - Summary of Major Findings
Summary of Major Findings
Similar to the findings in the first survey, a high percentage of school heads and teachers agreed or strongly agreed with the seven learning goals. School heads’ responses were generally more positive than those of the KLA/subject heads, and the KLA/subject heads’ responses were more positive than those of KLA/subject teachers.
In this second survey, about 95% of school heads and 76% - 92% of KLA/subject heads and teachers including teacher-librarians in primary schools indicated that they subscribed to the seven learning goals. The secondary school respondents indicated similar views. About 98% of school heads and 72% - 94% of KLA/subject groups and teacher-librarians in secondary schools agreed or strongly agreed with the seven learning goals.
As shown in the first survey, a great majority of the KLA/subject groups supported the aims of their KLA/subject curriculum. The KLA/subject heads’ responses were generally more positive than those of the KLA/subject teachers.
In the second survey, the percentages for the primary school respondents were in the range 82% - 97% and that for the secondary school respondents in the range 76% - 98%.
Basic Education Curriculum Guide (BECG) and KLA/subject Curriculum Guides
Regarding the use of the Basic Education Curriculum Guide, over 75% of the primary and secondary school heads had used the guide for planning a whole-school curriculum. According to the responses from school heads, over 90% of primary school heads and over 80% of secondary school heads had read the 11 booklets of the BECG. When asked about the helpfulness of the booklets, their views varied from booklet to booklet. Of those who had read the booklets, in general, over 80% primary school heads and over 60% of secondary school heads perceived the booklets helpful. The booklet on the “Four Key Tasks” were perceived most helpful while the booklet “Interfaces at Various Levels of Schooling” was found least helpful.
A majority of KLA/subject groups and teacher-librarians reported that they had read the BECG. The percentage of secondary Chinese, Mathematics, PSHE, and Science and Technology teachers who had read the BECG was comparatively lower (about 36%-49%). A greater majority of KLA/subject groups had read the Curriculum Guides relevant to their KLA/subject. Among those who had read the Guides, the majority had found the documents helpful in implementing the curriculum reform. In general, teachers who had read the curriculum guide tended to feel confident and competent in implementing the reform.
As reported by school heads, about 70% of the primary schools and about 80% of secondary schools had assigned staff to coordinate the planning of the Chinese Language Education, English Language Education and Mathematics Education curricula, while around 53-66% of the primary schools and around 50% had assigned staff to coordinate the planning of other KLA/subject curricula to ensure consistency and continuity between the interfaces at different stages of schooling.
Among the primary schools sampled, about three quarters had been allocated the PSM(CD) to coordinate whole-school curriculum development either in 2002/03 or 2003/04. School heads placed a high value on support from PSM(CD). The survey results revealed that a vast majority of school heads felt that the PSM(CD) had made some or a great contribution in the promotion of a professional exchange culture, and in the areas of whole-school curriculum planning, assessment policy and its implementation, and improving learning and teaching in schools.
School Days and Lesson Time Allocation
There was greater conformity with the recommendations over the provision of school days per year, compared with last year. Almost all primary schools and about nine-tenths of all secondary schools met the standard provision of 190 days as set out in the BECG. The mean number of school days provided in the school year (2003/04) was 200.6 (SD = 12.9) for primary schools and 190.5 (SD = 7.8) for secondary schools. With regard to the lesson time recommended in the BECG (see Appendix B), primary schools on average placed a higher emphasis on English Language Education and Mathematics Education, but a lower emphasis on the rest of the curriculum; while secondary schools on average placed a higher emphasis on English Language Education and Mathematics Education, but a lower emphasis on Secondary 1 – 2 Science Education, Technology Education, Arts Education and Physical Education.
Strategic Planning and School-based Curriculum Development
A great proportion (over 85%) of primary schools had formulated five-year short-term strategies for whole-school development, and had developed a whole-school assessment and homework policy, and a school-based curriculum to better suit their students’ needs. In contrast, about 62% of secondary schools had formulated five-year short-term strategies for whole school development, and about 85% had developed a whole-school assessment and homework policy, and 90% a school-based curriculum to better suit their students’ needs. Of these schools, a majority (over 80%) reported that the measures were effective in enhancing student learning.
Four Key Tasks
Over 90% of primary schools and 80% of secondary schools had used the Four Key Tasks, namely Moral and Civic Education, Reading to Learn, Project Learning and Using Information technology for Interactive Learning as entry point to promote effective learning and teaching. Many schools integrated two or more of the Key Tasks as entry points for implementing curriculum reform. A majority of these schools had found them helpful in enhancing student learning.
Five Essential Learning Experience
A majority of schools had provided for every student moral and civic education (93% for primary, 91% for secondary), intellectual development (88% for primary, 91% for secondary), physical and aesthetic development (85% for both primary and secondary) and community service (64% for primary, 74% for secondary) to bring about better whole person development. About two-fifths of the secondary schools had provided career-related experiences. The question about career-related experience was not included in the survey for primary schools as this experience may not be provided because of the nine-year compulsory education.
Changes at Student, School Head and School Levels
School heads were asked whether improvements at student, school head and school levels had been perceived when compared with the previous school year (2002/03). Over half of the school heads indicated that there had been notable improvements in:
· Student level: the 3Cs (communication skills, creativity and critical thinking skills); learning interest; overall learning performance; respecting others; learning motivation; and responsibility
· School head level: professional development; collaboration with teachers; confidence in leading school curriculum development; competence in leading school curriculum development; and leadership competence
· School level: parents’ recognition of curriculum reform; relationship between school and parents; relationship between teachers and students; school as a learning community; deployment of school resources; team culture among the teaching staff; relationship between school and teachers; and teachers’ enthusiasm in teaching
It is however worth noting that over 60% schools felt that “teachers’ workload” had increased in their schools.
School-based Curriculum Planning
Around 40–45% of primary school Chinese, English, Mathematics and General Studies heads and somewhat fewer Arts Education (30%) and Physical Education heads (38%) reported that they had already begun to develop their school-based curriculum. The secondary school results were slightly different. Around 43–52% of secondary school heads of Chinese, English and Mathematics; and about 30% of heads of PSHE, Science, Technology, Arts Education and Physical Education had begun to develop their school-based curriculum.
Provision of School Library Service
About 83% of primary school teacher-librarian and 89% of their secondary counterparts felt that they had developed and provided effective and convenient library services and a variety of media information, as well as enhancing the information technology skills of students and teachers.
Catering for Learner Diversity
A majority of KLA/subject heads and teachers in primary schools (about 74% - 90%) indicated that they had used strategies to cater for learner diversity. The respective percentages in secondary schools were higher (about 77% - 99%). Of those who had used the strategies, over 60% of the primary school Chinese, Mathematics, Arts, Physical Education and General Studies heads and teachers, and somewhat fewer English heads (around 50%) and English teachers (around 60%) perceived the strategies used quite or very effective in enhancing student learning. The secondary school results were slightly different. Of those who had used the strategies, about 60% of Science heads and over 60% of other KLA/subject heads and teachers perceived the strategies used quite or very effective.
Developing Generic Skills, Positive Values and Attitudes
About 83% - 92% of KLA/subject heads and teachers in primary schools and about 78% - 94% of KLA/subject heads and teachers in secondary schools indicated that they had taken steps to develop students’ generic skills and positive values and attitudes. Among them, over 60% of primary school heads and teachers felt that the strategies used were quite or very effective. The secondary school results were slightly different. Of those who had used the strategies, about 49% of secondary Mathematics heads, 59% of secondary English teachers while over 60% of other KLA heads and teachers perceived the strategies used quite or very effective.
In general, the feelings of confidence and competence were highly associated. The measures in which KLA/subject heads, teachers and teacher-librarians felt least confident were those in which they felt least competent.
Results show that the KLA/subject heads and teachers were generally confident and competent in implementing various reform measures. However, a considerable number of respondents felt themselves to be lacking in competence to implement the following:
In primary schools
· Coordinating the development of the school curriculum, and of the learning, teaching and assessment policies of the KLA
· Making full use of community resources to enhance curriculum development
· Planning a school-based curriculum to facilitate continuity across Kindergarten and Primary One
· Planning a school-based curriculum to facilitate continuity across Primary Six and Secondary One
In secondary schools
· Using effective strategies to cater for learner diversity
· Making full use of community resources to enhance curriculum development
· Encouraging students to read a wide variety of materials to enhance curriculum development
· Providing students with opportunities to reflect on moral and civic values and attitudes through learning activities
· Adapting the school-based curriculum to facilitate a smooth transition from Primary Six to Secondary One
Those who felt confident and competent in implementing the curriculum reform in their schools tended to see significant benefits in their students. Results show that KLA/subject heads and teachers who feel confident and competent in implementing the curriculum reform are more likely to put reform strategies into practice and to recognize their benefits.
Most school heads reported that they were in need or great need of professional development in the following two aspects:
· assessment for learning and diversified modes of assessment
· improving school-based curriculum through an annual curriculum review
A majority, ranging from 55–91% of KLA/subject heads, teachers and teacher-librarians felt that they were in need of professional development in the following six aspects:
· understanding of the curriculum
· knowledge of the KLA/subject/librarianship
· curriculum planning and organization
· learning and teaching strategies
· strategies and ways to promote assessment for learning
· review of the school’s curriculum/school library services
In general, more primary school KLA/subject heads than teachers indicated a need or a great need for professional development. The secondary school group data did not follow this pattern.
Seminars and workshops, collaborative lesson planning, peer observation, sharing with colleagues, and principal networks were preferred professional activities. Most respondents reported that they had participated in these activities since the 2002/03 school year. In their open-ended comments, school heads and teachers placed great value on the sharing of good practices and successful experiences amongst teachers and academics and this proved helpful.
In the perception of school heads, over 60% of them indicated that the following educational policies and school factors are considered to be of help in implementing the curriculum reform:
· Capacity Enhancement Grant
· Native-Speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme
· information technology in education
· school-based management
· sharing with the educational sector and with curriculum development experts or academics
· team culture
· flexible deployment of resources
· Teacher professional development in relation to the curriculum reform
KLA/subject heads, teachers and teacher-librarians were asked the same questions, though some of the factors were different. In their perception, over 50% of them indicated that the following factors facilitated the reform:
· Capacity Enhancement Grant
· information technology in education
· Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme
· understanding of the curriculum reform
· team spirit among teachers
In contrast, the current teachers’ workload was widely perceived as a hindrance. This was also reflected in the open-ended comments made by the respondents. When asked about the situation in school, most KLA heads, teachers and teacher-librarians felt that their overall workload in the following three areas had increased since 2002:
· administrative duties
· catering to students’ needs