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Title: Teachers' perception on nurturing students' employability skills : a study on vocational course offerings in secondary schools on the topic of “Tourism and hospitality” and “Fundamental cosmetology” in Hong Kong
Other Titles: 教師對「可就業能力」培養的看法 : 香港中學「旅遊與款待」與「美容學基礎」的研究
Statement of Responsibility: CHAN, Kar Yee Grace
Authors: Chen, Jia'er 陳家兒
Advisors: Chung, Yue Ping
Lai, Man Hong 黎萬紅
Issue Date: Sep-2012
Abstract: Historically, vocational education has borne the mission to improve the skills of young people for work and life and to remain relevant to the shifting needs of young people in school-to-work transitions. In alignment with the recent global economic changes, knowledge is now seen as a defining characteristic of valuable workers. The appropriateness of the vocational education in senior secondary schooling is questioned in the light of the changing work environment and the need in the future for knowledgeable and competent workers. In Hong Kong, curricula in vocational courses are also expected to incorporate an emphasis both on knowledge and on the development of competences in relation to that knowledge. In order to comply, Applied Learning with curricula providing a knowledge base and offering breadth for the development of various generic skills was then launched in 2003 to provide young people with diversified learning opportunities for further studies and work. Through teaching and social interaction with students, vocational teachers exercise the form of agency to influence students on the plans and decisions of school-to-work pathways. As this thesis intends to explore how employability skills are nurtured in the course of teaching, the study is focused on teachersʼ perceptions about nurturing studentsʼ employability skills and the appropriate teaching pedagogy to adopt for vocational education. Although the development of vocational education in senior secondary schooling was noticeable, it was not popular and tended to attract fewer students than expected. The low academic achievers and students of less motivation comprised the majority of students. Even the low banding schools did not promote Applied Learning due to concerns about cost effectiveness. The practice of outsourcing the teaching responsibilities to external agencies caused the inconsistency of teaching standards across the course delivered. All these signified the marginalized status of vocational education in secondary schooling. Regarding teachersʼ perceptions about nurturing studentsʼ employability skills, both instructors of “Fundamental Cosmetology” and school teachers of “Tourism and Hospitality” identified communication skills as the most important competence for the novice in the beauty industry, tourism and hospitality industries. There still was a demand for distinct competences for different workplaces. Cosmetologists were required to obtain a sense of responsibility with a shown desire to improve. Those who intended to work in tourism and hospitality were expected to learn how to help themselves better adapt to the changing needs of the workplace. These findings not only were construed as a basis to develop the employability skills framework in Hong Kong, but also revealed that learning basic knowledge and skills in schools played a key role in helping students to develop the above competences. Nevertheless, vocational teachers should raise their awareness of nurturing studentsʼ problem-solving skill and self-regulated learning that is the pedagogical objective of the competency-based and problem-based instructional approaches to achieve. For understanding the teaching pedagogy of vocational education, instructors of “Fundamental Cosmetology” basically adopted the primitive apprenticeship approach to teaching and focused mainly on the practical skills of the related profession. They were experienced practitioners in the beauty industry and could frame the classroom activities and skills practices by its work culture; whereas school teachers of “Tourism and Hospitality” emphasised preparing students for achieving high grades in the public examination. They even tried to foster learning through organizing various creative, authentic activities such as a virtual enterprise programme, tour guide training and a practice programme. Students were inspired to learn knowledge, knowledge application and pay more attention to obtain competences. These findings showed that school teachers could construct the authentic school learning environment in the sense sharing a similar work culture in workplace. However, school teachers were overloaded with administration work, and diverted by those trivial and unnecessary non-teaching tasks. They needed to spare time for a more productive and effective teaching approach and for nurturing studentsʼ complex reasoning skills. Our research indicated that teachers faced great problems in motivating the low-motivated students due to the marginalized status of vocational courses. Teachers organized the authentic activities that were used concrete problems as a context for students to learn. However, the essence of problem-based pedagogical approach emphasizes the ideals of deep, sustained and self-directed learning through exposure to authentic problems. This creates a more stimulating learning environment and cultivates in students problem solving skill and other high order thinking skills. The findings of this study show that vocational teachers need to underscore the positive results of incorporating problem-based learning into curriculum development.
一直以來,職業教育的使命,是為幫助青少年提升未來就業及社會所需的能力,同時讓他們由學校教育過度至就業階段作好準備。隨着全球經濟環境在迅速轉變,知識成為衡量勞工價值的工具。香港的高中職業教育提供的適切性受到質疑,認為職業教育應結合知識的學習與能力的培養。直至2003年,應用學習課程引入高中教育階段,課程兼備職業知識與能力的培養,為學生提供更多元化的學習機會,並為他們在學術及職業方面都提供了進階途徑。職業課教師透過其教師實踐與師生互動的過程,直接影響着學生的升學及就業抉擇。本研究試圖去理解如何培養學生的可就業能力時,不能不從教師的角度去理解他們對培養可就業能力的看法,與適用於職業教育的教學法。 本研究發現,縱使高中的職業教育得以發展,修讀的人數一直較預期的少,且多是由一些學業成績差及學習動機弱的學生選讀。就應用學習而言,第三組別學校基於成本效益的考慮,也不會向學生積極推廣應用學習課程。加上外判式教育提供的方式,使導師的教學質素良莠不齊,標誌着中學職業教育的發展正處於邊緣化的狀態。 對於能力的理解與培養的看法,「美容學基礎」及「旅遊與款待」的教師皆認為,溝通能力是相關行業內最重要的能力元素。畢竟旅遊與款待業及美容業均存在獨特的專業性,各科教師對其相關行業的可就業能力的理解也有異。要成為美容師就需具備自我推進的能力,而從事旅遊與款待業,就需具備學習能力以適應不斷轉變的工作環境。這些分析發現不但為建立香港的可就業能力架構提供了參考基礎,還顯示了基本知識與能力的學習對發展出自我推進及學習能力扮演着關鍵的角色。然而,教師對於能力為本及問題為本教學取向中,重視解難能力及自主學習能力的培養,關注比較不足。
Description: viii, 320 leaves : ill.
Available online fulltext via granting institution
Subjects: Vocational education -- China -- Hong Kong
Vocational education -- Curricula -- China -- Hong Kong
Employability -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- China -- Hong Kong
Vocational teachers -- China -- Hong Kong -- Attitudes
Tourism -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- China -- Hong Kong
Hospitality -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- China -- Hong Kong
Beauty culture -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- China -- Hong Kong
Type: Thesis
ISBN: 9781303021954
Links/Full textCUHK Digital Repository
Appears in Collections:Assessment
Teaching and Learning

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