Volume 1 · Number 3 · Pages 124–130
Cognitive and Affective Outcomes of Person–Environment Fit to a Critical Constructivist Learning Environment: A Hong Kong Investigation

Wai-lap Wong, David Watkins & Ngai-ying Wong

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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this research was to test whether Hong Kong science students would prefer a learning environment based on critical constructivism and whether a closer preferred-actual fit to such an environment would be associated with better learning outcomes. Method: The participants were 149 Hong Kong secondary school Chemistry students aged 16–19 years. They completed actual and preferred forms of a Chinese version of the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey and measures of self-efficacy and intrinsic value of their Chemistry course. Their Chemistry examination scores were also obtained at the end of the course. Findings: Analysis showed that these students would prefer their Chemistry classrooms to be more personally relevant, to allow students more say and to share more control, and to encourage more negotiation with their teacher. Regression surface analysis showed that congruence of person environment fit did not influence examination results but was associated with greater valuing of the course and higher student self-efficacy. Research implications: Further research with a wider sampling from Hong Kong and elsewhere and focusing on other subject areas will be necessary to assess the generalizability of these findings. Practical implications: It seems that educational reforms based on critical constructivist principles may be of value in non-Western contexts. Original value: Educational reforms in Hong Kong and elsewhere currently are based on traditional constructivist principles. But this is the first research to support a more radical approach in what is usually regarded as a relatively conservative Asian educational context.

Key words: learning environments, chemistry, Hong Kong Chinese

Citation

Wong W., Watkins D. & Wong N. (2006) Cognitive and affective outcomes of person–environment fit to a critical constructivist learning environment: A hong kong investigation. Constructivist Foundations 1(3): 124–130. http://constructivist.info/1/3/124

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