Learning Study in Macau & Hong Kong

Brief Introduction of Macau School System

Up to the present, there are altogether 78 schools in Macau, among which 67 are private and 11 are public. The PISA program, a worldwide test of 15-year-old school children’s scholastic performance coordinated by OECD, ranked Macau as the third for the 2015 and 2018 consecutive cycles.

Many of the earliest schools in Macau were put in place during the Portuguese government control period. When Hong Kong was occupied by the British in 1842, the port of Macau became less valuable to traders, and as its economic benefits to Portugal declined, the territory was left to its own devices. Macau was returned to China in 1999 under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy. A series of revisions of the educational system began in 1991. Along with increasing teacher training, improving the existing infrastructure, and building new schools, Macau also worked on expanding tertiary education and consolidating the fragmented public education system that had been developed until the early 1990s.

As no centralized educational system had ever been put in place, churches, social service groups, businesses, and individuals had started opening schools of their own. The result was a highly decentralized system of education predominated by private schools. Depending on who ran the schools, either English, Portuguese, or Chinese could be the medium of instruction.

Rather than attempting to dismantle these schools to create a centralized public education system, the Macau SAR government offers funding to private institutions which are willing to provide free education to students. Fifteen-year free education is currently being offered to residents, that includes a three-year kindergarten, followed by a six-year primary education and a six-year secondary education.

Learning Study in Hong Kong

Learning Study is a collaborative classroom action research with the aim of improving student learning. It is also a hybrid form of lesson study with the underpinning of Variation theory developed by Ference Marton that serves as a guiding principle for pedagogical design and offers a conceptual lens for lesson analysis. Since 2000, the Learning Study project team of The Education University of Hong Kong (formerly named as “The Hong Kong Institute of Education”), with the support from the Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) and the Quality Education Fund (QEF), has conducted more than 520 cases of Learning Studies with the frontline teachers from approximately 470 local primary, secondary and special schools. Furthermore, various training workshops, lesson observation and evaluation activities, experience sharing seminars, etc. have been organized by the project team on a regular basis for facilitating teachers’ professional development locally and internationally.