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Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 393–402

First Online: 24 February 2011Received: 10 July 2010Revised: 12 November 2010Accepted: 14 January 2011


Given the widely accepted notion of whole person education in Confucian societies such as Hong Kong, Mainland China and Singapore, it is surprising that research literature originated in these societies pays little attention to how students learn and develop through out-of-class experiences at university. There is little research evidence on how the prevailing culture among student social communities residential halls and student societies-clubs influences students’ social involvement and development. This paper examines 42 Chinese students’ social experiences and development during their freshman year at a Hong Kong university. The majority of them were intensively involved in out-of-class activities. Their active social involvement was both a response to the culture of student communities and a conscious choice about social experiences at university. As a result, the students attained development in four dimensions: 1 the social competences of interpersonal and collaboration skills and new friendships; 2 the practical competences of time management, organisation, negotiation, decision making and leadership; 3 the intellectual competences of open-mindedness and independent judgment; and 4 the personal competences of self- responsibility and self-confidence. Educational implications are discussed towards the end of the paper on supporting and advising students regarding social involvement, particularly during the first year of university.

KeywordsWhole person education Social involvement Development outcomes Out-of-class experiences Student communities Student culture  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Min Yang - Albert Wai Lap Chau


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