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PUBLIC HEALTH: PRACTICES, METHODS AND POLICIES
TOMORROW'S LEADERS
SERVICE LEADERSHIP AND HOLISTIC
DEVELOPMENT IN
CHINESE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
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by any means. The publisher has taken reasonable care in the preparation of this digital document, but makes no
expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No
liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of information
contained herein. This digital document is sold with the clear understanding that the publisher is not engaged in
rendering legal, medical or any other professional services.
PUBLIC HEALTH:
PRACTICES, METHODS AND POLICIES
JOAV MERRICK – SERIES EDITOR –
MEDICAL DIRECTOR, HEALTH SERVICES, DIVISION FOR INTELLECTUAL AND
DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, MINISTRY OF SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL SERVICES,
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL
Tomorrow's Leaders: Service Leadership and Holistic Development
in Chinese University Students
Daniel TL Shek, Andrew MH Siu and Joav Merrick (Editors)
2014. ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
(Hardcover)
Environment and Public Health: Environmental Health, Law and
International Perspectives
I Leslie Rubin and Joav Merrick (Editors)
2014. ISBN: 978-1-63463-167-9
(Hardcover)
PUBLIC HEALTH: PRACTICES, METHODS AND POLICIES
TOMORROW'S LEADERS
SERVICE LEADERSHIP AND HOLISTIC
DEVELOPMENT IN
CHINESE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
DANIEL T. L. SHEK
ANDREW M. H. SIU
AND
JOAV MERRICK
EDITORS
New York
Copyright © 2015 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or
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photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written permission of the Publisher.
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NOTICE TO THE READER
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implied warranty of any kind and assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No
liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of
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contained in this publication.
This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the
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engaged in rendering legal or any other professional services. If legal or any other expert
assistance is required, the services of a competent person should be sought. FROM A
DECLARATION OF PARTICIPANTS JOINTLY ADOPTED BY A COMMITTEE OF THE
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AND A COMMITTEE OF PUBLISHERS.
Additional color graphics may be available in the e-book version of this book.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Tomorrow's leaders : service leadership and holistic development in Chinese university students / editors,
Daniel T.L. Shek, Andrew M.H. Siu and Joav Merrick.
pages cm. -- (Public health: practices, methods and policies)
Includes index.
ISBN: (eBook)
1. Youth development--China--Hong Kong. 2. Leadership--Study and teaching (Higher)--China--Hong
Kong. 3. College students--China--Hong Kong--Attitudes. 4. Holistic education--China--Hong Kong. I.
Shek, Daniel T. L. II. Siu, Man-Hong Andrew. III. Merrick, Joav, 1950HQ799.C552H685 2014
305.235'5095125--dc23
2014033242
Published by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. † New York
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
1
Chapter 1
A tale of two innovative leadership programs in Hong Kong
Daniel TL Shek, Andrew MH Siu
and Joav Merrick
3
Chapter 2
Teaching a subject on leadership and intra-personal development:
Some personal reflections
Allen Dorcas
SECTION ONE: UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
7
23
Leadership and intra-personal development: Relevance to Chinese
nursing students
Zenobia CY Chan
25
Evaluation of a subject on leadership and intra-personal
development: Views of the students based on qualitative evaluation
Daniel TL Shek and Moon YM Law
43
Perceptions of a university subject on leadership and intra-personal
development: Reflections of the scholarship recipients
Daniel TL Shek, Florence KY Wu and Moon YM Law
55
Do university students change after taking a subject on leadership
and intra-personal development?
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
67
Post-course subjective outcome evaluation of a subject
on leadership and intra-personal development for university
students in Hong Kong
Daniel TL Shek and Lu Yu
Post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation of a university subject
on leadership and positive youth development in Hong Kong
Daniel TL Shek and Hildie Leung
The role of teachers in youth development: Reflections of students
Daniel TL Shek and Florence KY Wu
77
91
105
vi
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Contents
Perceived benefits of a university subject on leadership
and intra-personal development
Daniel TL Shek and Janet TY Leung
117
Effectiveness of a Chinese positive youth development program:
The project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
131
The relationship between subjective outcome evaluation
and objective outcome evaluation findings: Evidence from China
Daniel TL Shek and Xiao Yan Han
145
Chapter 13
The students were happy, but did they change positively?
Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu and Cecilia MS Ma
Chapter 14
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong:
Subjective outcome evaluation
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin and Ting Ting Liu
169
Service leadership education for university students in Hong Kong:
Qualitative evaluation
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu and Moon YM Law
181
Process evaluation of a pilot subject on service leadership
for University students in Hong Kong
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu and Moon YM Law
193
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
157
SECTION TWO: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
205
Chapter 17
About the editors
207
Chapter 18
About the Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University
209
About the National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development in Israel
211
About the book series ―Public Health: Practices, Methods
and Policies‖
215
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
SECTION THREE: INDEX
217
Index
219
INTRODUCTION
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 1
A TALE OF TWO INNOVATIVE LEADERSHIP
PROGRAMS IN HONG KONG
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1-5,
Andrew MH Siu, PDOT, MSc, MSc, MCounselling, PhD6
and Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc5,7-10
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
²Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
³Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
6
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
7
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
8
Office of the Medical Director, Health Services, Division for Intellectual and
Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem,
9
Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center,
Mt Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel
10
Center for Healthy Development, School of Public Health,
Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA

Correspondence: Chair Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Department of Applied Social
Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Hong Kong, People‘s Republic of China.
E-mail: [email protected]
4
Daniel TL Shek, Andrew MH Siu and Joav Merrick
INTRODUCTION
Research findings showed that there are developmental issues and concerns regarding the
development of University students in Hong Kong. In a review of developmental issues
amongst University students in Hong Kong, Shek and Cheung identified four areas of
problems (1). First, there were behavioral and lifestyle problems of University students,
including alcohol consumption, internet addiction, cyber-pornography, irregular sleep
patterns, and interpersonal violence. Second, phenomena of mental health problems of
University students, such as suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety problems were
observed. Third, some University students showed problems in setting personal goals, low
self-confidence and preoccupation with materialistic values. Finally, egocentrism and lack of
civic engagement was not uncommon amongst University students.
With reference to the growing adolescent developmental issues, the question of how
developmental needs of University students can be met has become a pressing one (2,3). This
question is especially thorny when contemporary University education has been seriously
criticized for neglecting the holistic development, particularly the moral dimension in
University students (4,5). For example, in his book entitled ―Excellence without a soul‖,
Harry Lewis argued that contemporary universities failed to nurture students‘ holistic
development, such as resilience and sense of responsibility (6). Ironically, although holistic
development is not uncommon in the vision and mission statements in many universities,
most of the time it is just lip service only.
How should we nurture University students? According to Shek (2,3), development of
positive youth development programs with universal coverage is an important direction for
nurturing the holistic development of University students. According to Damon (7), in
contrast to the traditional pathological perspectives on child development, the positive youth
development (PYD) approach emphasizes a child‘s positive attributes, such as talents,
strengths, interests, and future potentials. In a review of successful positive youth
development programs in the United States, Catalano et al. (8) found that some positive youth
development qualities were intrinsic to such programs. These constructs included promotion
of bonding, cultivation of resilience, promotion of social competence, promotion of emotional
competence, promotion of cognitive competence, promotion of behavioral competence,
promotion of moral competence, cultivation of self-determination, promotion of spirituality,
development of self-efficacy, development of a clear and positive identity, promotion of
beliefs in the future, provision of recognition for positive behavior, provision of opportunities
for prosocial involvement, and fostering prosocial norms. Obviously, these PYD qualities are
not specific to children and adolescents alone. They are also highly relevant to University
students who are often late adolescents and young adults.
Against this background, a subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was developed at The
Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, People‘s Republic of China (9). The term
―tomorrow‘s leaders‖ was used because we believe that every student is (and can be) a leader
and development of positive youth development attributes is an important step. The subject
was piloted in 2010/11 school year. Evaluation based on multiple evaluation strategies,
including objective outcome evaluation, subjective outcome evaluation, process evaluation
and qualitative evaluation showed that the subject was well-received by different stakeholders
and students showed positive changes after taking this subject (10-12). This subject was
A tale of two innovative leadership programs in Hong Kong
5
offered again in 2011/12 school year. Again, evaluation findings consistently showed that
objective outcome and subjective outcome evaluation findings are very positive (13-15). With
the successful piloting of the subject, the subject was formally offered to more than 2,100
students in 2012/13 school year. In this special issue, evaluation studies based on the second
piloting exercise and the first full-scale implementation of the subject are described in several
papers in this special issue. Overall speaking, the findings based on the first full-scale
implementation are excellent, except that the findings based on the one-group pretest-posttest
design are not inconclusive. This observation is understandable because there can be different
interpretations of the findings based on the one-group pretest-posttest design.
Besides promoting psychosocial competencies in University students, another perspective
is to promote the leadership skills of University students. With the financial support of the
Victor and William Fung Foundation, we have developed another subject entitled ―Service
Leadership‖ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (16). Although there are many
leadership models in the field, some of them are rather top-down and do not take into account
the importance of self-leadership, moral character and caring dispositions of an individual.
Hence, the service leadership model proposed by the Hong Kong Institute of Service
Leadership and Management (HKI-SLAM) was used as the conceptual foundation of the
subject. According to the HKI-SLAM model, an effective service leader is a function of three
attributes – leadership competencies, moral characters and caring dispositions. Besides, the
framework emphasizes the importance of self-leadership and the need to continuously
improve one‘s qualities. In this special issue, several evaluation papers based on the first pilot
exercise are included. As the evaluation findings showed, students generally showed better
service leadership qualities after taking the subject. Besides, subjective outcome and
qualitative evaluation papers showed that students felt that the subject was able to promote
their understanding of service leadership and the related qualities. Finally, process evaluation
findings strongly suggest that the implementation quality of the subject was high.
In the global context, there are signs showing that the developmental characteristics of
college students deserve the attention of educators and public policy makers. Research studies
revealed that narcissism levels in United States University students have gradually increased
over the past 25 years (17, 18). In a recent article titled ―Students are different now”
published in the New York Times, it is stated that ―students now are less mature and often not
ready for the responsibility of being in college‖ and that ―many students today lack the
resilience and are unable to summon strategies to cope‖ (19). Chickering (20) asserted that
colleges and universities ―have generally ignored outcomes related to moral and ethical
development as well as other dimensions of personal development‖ (p. 1) and ―have failed to
graduate citizens who can function at the levels of cognitive and moral, intellectual, and
ethical development that our complex national and global problems require‖ (p. 3). In
response to such criticisms, the development of these two subjects at The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University represents our modest attempt to promote the holistic development of
University students particularly in a Chinese context.
The papers included in this book have been published in the International Journal of
Disability and Human Development 2014;13(4) issue. To further disseminate the related
knowledge in this special issue to a wider circle of readers, approval has been sought from the
publisher to re-publish the articles in this book.
6
Daniel TL Shek, Andrew MH Siu and Joav Merrick
REFERENCES
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]
[10]
[11]
[12]
[13]
[14]
[15]
[16]
[17]
[18]
[19]
[20]
Shek DT, Cheung BP. Developmental issues of University students in Hong Kong. Int J Adolesc Med
Health 2013;25:345-51.
Shek DT. Nurturing holistic development of University students in Hong Kong: where are we and
where should we go? Scientific World Journal 2010;10:563-75.
Shek DT, Wong KK. Do adolescent developmental issues disappear overnight? reflections about
holistic development in University students. Scientific World Journal 2011;11:353-61.
Wilshire B. The moral collapse of the University. New York: SUNY Press, 1990.
Bok D. Our underachieving colleges: a candid look at how much students learn and why they should
be learning more. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006.
Lewis HR. Excellence without a soul: how a great University forgot education. New York: Public
Affairs Publishing, 2006.
Damon W. What is positive youth development? Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci 2004;591:13-24.
Catalano RF, Berglund ML, Ryan JA, Lonczak HS, Hawkins JD. Positive youth development in the
United States: research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. Ann Am
Acad Pol Soc Sci 2004;591:98-124.
Shek DT. Development of a positive youth development subject in a University context in Hong Kong.
Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2012;11:173-9.
Shek DT, Sun RC. Promoting leadership and intrapersonal competence in University students: what
can we learn from Hong Kong? Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2012;11:221-8.
Shek DT, Sun RC. Promoting psychosocial competencies in University students: evaluation based on
a one group pretest-posttest design. Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2012;11:229-34.
Shek DT, Sun RC. Qualitative evaluation of a positive youth development course in a University
setting in Hong Kong. Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2012;11:243-8.
Shek DT, Sun RC. Post-lecture evaluation of a University course on leadership and intrapersonal
development. Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2013;12:185-91.
Shek DT, Sun RC. Post-course subjective outcome evaluation of a course promoting leadership and
intrapersonal development in University students in Hong Kong. Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2013;12:193201.
Shek DT, Sun RC. Process evaluation of a leadership and intrapersonal development subject for
University students. Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2013;12:203-11.
Shek DT, Yu L, Ma CM, Sun RC, Liu TT. Development of a credit-bearing service leadership subject
for University students in Hong Kong. Int J Adolesc Med Health 2013;25:353-61.
Twenge JM, Konrath S, Foster JD, Campbell WK, Bushman BJ. Egos inflating over time: a crosstemporal metal-analysis of the narcissistic personality inventory. J Pers 2008;76:875-901.
Twenge JM, Foster JD. Birth cohort increases in narcissistic personality traits among American
college students, 1982–2009. Soc Psychol Personal Sci 2010;1:99-106.
Bips L. Students are different now. New York Times. URL: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/
2010/10/11/have-college-freshmen-changed/students-are-different-now. Accessed: 16 Aug 2013.
Chickering AW. A retrospect on higher education's commitment to moral and civic education. J Coll
Char 2010;11. doi: 10.2202/1940-1639.1723.
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 2
TEACHING A SUBJECT ON LEADERSHIP
AND INTRA-PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
Allen Dorcas
Department of Applied Social Sciences,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom,
Hong Kong, PR China
A 14-week University course on Leadership and Intrapersonal development was taught in
the fall of 2011 to a group of 49 undergraduate students. The teacher reflects on different
aspects of the course, his experience as a teacher, his views of how the course impacted
him and the students and the need for such a course at University. It is concluded that the
course is an excellent platform to develop more critically minded students who are better
equipped to tackle University studies and life in general.
INTRODUCTION
In the spring of 2011 I was invited to teach a course entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ (TL). As
a trained psychologist who had taught psychology at University for 15 years and practiced
counseling in private clinical settings for 8 years I asked myself what I would have to offer a
course on leadership. ―Hey, I teach psychology not leadership!‖ I thought to myself.
However, it became soon clear after looking through the syllabus that effective leadership is
very much based on some of the very qualities and attitudes I had facilitated clients to
develop over the years I worked as a counseling psychologist and to some degree, skills I had
encouraged students to develop over the course of my career as a University professor.
Qualities like self-awareness, an ability to manage one‘s emotions and take decisions,
communicating successfully with others, and so on. With this in mind I taught the course
between September and December of 2011.

Correspondence: Allen Dorcas, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hunghom, Hong Kong, PR China. E-mail: [email protected]
8
Allen Dorcas
The TL course has been thoughtfully designed to include topics that have all been
empirically demonstrated to be highly related with positive youth development (1). These
include self-understanding, emotional competence, cognitive competence, resilience,
spirituality, ethics and morality, social competence, positive and healthy identity,
interpersonal communication, interpersonal conflict, personal integrity and sense of
responsibility, self-leadership as well as attributes of effective leaders. Each lecture is
designed in a way that encourages the dissemination of key empirical and theoretical
knowledge related to these topics accompanied with many ―hands-on‖ small group activities
for students to reflect, share with others and experience first hand how this knowledge is
related to them personally. They are required and expected to participate in weekly lectures
and classroom activities, to work as a team on a final group project presentation and to
produce an individual term paper on their chosen leader attribute and how they see
themselves as possessing this attribute.
After teaching a class of 49 students for one semester I would like to share some
observations and impressions.
GENERAL REFLECTIONS OF THE SUBJECT
My first observation is that this is a very unique course in most University programs in both
its content and its format. Much of University teaching is focused on knowledge acquisition,
learning theories and concepts that explain phenomena external to the student and intend on
helping the student tackle these ―outside‖ issues (2). For example, the physiotherapy student
learns about human anatomy and physiology, is taught how muscles work and has lessons on
disability and rehabilitation. Engineers learn the mechanics and physics of building things,
and business students learn management theory and take courses on finance. Of course this is
a very simplistic description and there are many other courses and professional topics that
complete their curriculum with skills and professional competencies, but very few if any
invite the students to reflect on themselves consistently and repeatedly on a weekly basis over
the course of a semester let alone their entire studies. Even in the Social Sciences whose
subject of study is human beings as members of social groups or as individuals, the focus is
all too often on ―people out there‖. For most mainstream psychology programs the large bulk
of academic studies focuses on students learning about something external to themselves.
Even if we are speaking about ego defenses and personality formation or exploring anxiety
and mood disorders, which are very much ―in here‖, rarely are students asked to introspect on
the meaning and relevance of these concepts for them personally.
William James (1842-1910), often referred to as one of the founding father‘s of
psychology, used and taught the method of introspection as a tool for exploring the nature of
consciousness or as he called it the ―stream of consciousness‖ (3). However, in psychology‘s
attempt to compete with other ―hard sciences‖ such methods were soon abandoned and the
focus thereafter turned towards observable and measurable objective data that was not
distorted by subjectivity. In our attempt to uncover and explore the fundaments of the mind, it
also became important to focus on universal content and ―truths‖ that everyone shared. It was
no longer important to look at how one individual perceived and experienced reality, but how
we commonly, collectively experienced it. As such it would seem that our focus moved away
Teaching a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
9
from individual awareness towards the study of universal laws and theories (4). Today,
students who succeed at University graduate with a good knowledge of something external to
themselves, as theory or practical skills, and very little self awareness. If they develop self
awareness along the way it is rarely a direct result of the curriculum taught. It seems that we
rarely focus on training and sharpening the individual container of knowledge instead of just
developing the content. There is little emphasis placed on personal growth and expansion and
a lot of emphasis placed on content and intellectual knowledge.
When teaching counseling skills and techniques I often stress the importance of seeing
oneself as the most important tool in effecting change in a client. Students can use skills and
techniques taught in class in a mechanistic way and get some results in their counseling work,
however, until these skills and techniques become part of the student, an extension of their
own person or being, the effects are always limited (5).
As students stress over the next assignment and cram for the next quiz or exam, selfawareness and self-mastery are rarely if ever part of the curriculum. Students are left to their
own devices to find their way and to meet the deadlines or face the consequences. Many
students experience fear and overwhelming stress during their University studies and all too
often feel lost in their search for meaning (6). Eisenberg et al. (7) found that 37% to 84% of
―students with positive screens for depression or anxiety‖ did not receive any psychological
services. In 1978, Lee (8) noted that the suicide rate among youngsters was increasing at
―phenomenal rates‖. In 2009, Lee et al. (9) state how ―suicide has become a leading cause of
mortality and morbidity for adolescents in Hong Kong.‖ Another phenomenon that has been
noted in the literature is that of Disengaged Youth (10). Many young adults lack direction,
self-awareness and don‘t know how or don‘t want to take responsibility for their lives.
University students on the whole can be seen as being engaged for having chosen to
undertake studies and pursue some goal in life, however, that doesn‘t mean they are all
certain of the goals they are pursuing or possess the self-understanding and confidence
necessary to achieve their goals successfully.
The TL course is certainly not a cure to these problems, and is probably only a drop in
the ocean but it does offer a pathway to greater self-knowledge, instead of just knowledge of
external content that is often personally irrelevant. Every week this course offers repeated
opportunities for students to go inwards and reflect on their own being, their own feelings and
thoughts, values and opinions. The course topics are chosen and developed from leading
research in their respective fields and they reflect the current trends and latest knowledge
available. And more importantly the classes are designed with great care to maintaining a
good balance between instruction, individual self-reflection and group activities.
Teaching this course however, does not come without challenges. It is not easy to
encourage self-awareness or self-reflection and interpersonal skills in a large group of
students and it‘s even more difficult when these students come from a large variety of
disciplines. Students taking this course come from most disciplines taught in the University,
from Health and Social Sciences to Engineering, from Language studies and Applied
Mathematics to Applied Physics, to name a few. The class is divided into sub-groups of 5 or 6
students to facilitate small group activities and encourage students to take leadership roles
(i.e., managing discussions, keeping time, ensuring everyone shares, reporting back to the
large group, etc.) Each class is also assigned a teaching assistant who can oversee small group
activities. Also a weekly rotation of the leadership roles in each small group encourages
individuals to step up to the mark.
10
Allen Dorcas
It is my belief that this course is a step in addressing some of the issues mentioned and
although it may be limited in its ability to solve many problems faced by our students, it is a
platform on which students can surely plant the right seeds and develop some core skills that
will serve them well throughout their studies and hopefully far beyond.
PERCEPTIONS OF MYSELF AS A TEACHER
Overall my experience of teaching this course is a very positive one. The education system of
today has often been referred to as a factory production line that churns out graduates by the
truck load to meet the work force demands and maintain the University‘s local and
international standing. Ritzer (11) refers to this phenomenon as the ―McDonaldization‖ of
Society and Education. With this global trend it‘s very refreshing as a teacher to see a course
that challenges us to do more than simply impart knowledge in a rote fashion simply to meet
the above mentioned goals. The TL course was designed with a clear intent to go beyond
simply lecturing students and really help them develop personal qualities to prepare them to
be more well-rounded individuals if not leaders of tomorrow.
From as early as 15 years of age I knew I wanted to be a psychologist. The motivations
behind this desire were certainly manifold, not the least of which was achieving greater
understanding of myself and others. However, one clear inspiring factor was the eventual
possibility of helping people live more satisfying lives as they better understood the issues
that afflicted them and learned to make more responsible and healthy choices to move beyond
their pain and suffering. As a teacher, this desire is of no less importance. I believe that
teaching must be less about simply imparting cold, objective and personally irrelevant
knowledge to young minds looking for meaning and purpose and more about shaping them to
be more awake, responsible and responsive adults with self-awareness and confidence to face
life‘s challenges in whichever field they specialize in. I believe it should be a non-negotiable
goal to help students grow personally by becoming more self-aware, more able to identify
their values, opinions and positions, to have greater confidence in communicating and
working with team members and to take responsibility for their choices in life no matter what
subject they may be studying at University. The TL course is a good platform to begin
instilling these qualities in our students from the time they enter University.
However, consistent efforts are required to achieve these goals. The bulk of my
University teaching workload focuses on teaching students majoring in psychology with a
particular focus on counseling and psychotherapy. These students are normally interested in
human growth and development and often teaching them feels somewhat like ―preaching to
the converted‖. They are generally interested, engaged and actively participate in the
classroom. Students who are not already inclined to study psychology are often more resistant
to self-reflection and self-awareness exercises. As a result there is a little more effort required
to motivate and encourage students from diverse disciplines to be actively engaged in the
classroom. This is the challenge with the LT course. As students are grouped randomly on the
first lecture into small groups they will belong to for the entire semester, there is a bit of work
required to keep them engaged and motivated to learn.
As a teacher I see it as my task to engage all students as much as possible over the
semester and identify those students who struggle with the classroom tasks and homework
Teaching a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
11
assignments and try to engage them a little bit more. As the classroom increases in size this
can be quite difficult, and particularly so if the subject is compulsory. Consequently it
becomes extremely important to have a good balance between conceptual teaching and
experiential learning and sharing. The difficulty I have personally struggled with is trusting
that I have talked enough, that I have clearly explained the concepts and then trust that
students will take over, will take charge of their learning and will integrate this knowledge
through small group activities and individual assignments.
Hong Kong students in my experience can be very passive in classrooms. They are used
to teachers taking the lead, paving the way and telling them what they have to do and what
they should know. The responsibility for learning often seems to be put on the teacher‘s
shoulders instead of where it truly belongs. Bourke and Mechler (12) speak of how University
students of today are increasingly skilled at having their own interests met and the trend does
not seem any different in Hong Kong. Sometimes it can be tempting to start catering to the
students in an attempt to placate and please them in the hope of better student evaluations at
the end of the course. With this backdrop, it‘s challenging to trust that students will make the
effort required and take the responsibility for their own learning. Even when structured
activities and sharing sessions are provided, it‘s not uncommon for students to take out their
mobile phones, chat about unrelated topics and only do the task half-heartedly.
Another challenge is that students more often than not want ―the right‖ answer. In many
natural sciences there often is a so called right answer. Students may feel like they haven‘t
learned anything if they‘re not given ―the right‖ answer. However, in the field of social
sciences when it comes to personal growth and self development right answers tend to be
more gray than black and white. This is a challenge for students to comprehend and a
challenge for the teacher to encourage students to arrive at a personally relevant answer.
Having mentioned these challenges, there is no question that many students make use of
the TL course‘s topics and format to explore, express and define themselves more clearly.
This is apparent on a weekly basis as more students actively raise their hands to answer
questions and share their views. As a front line teacher the sense of satisfaction is even
greater when students rise above the obstacles and demonstrate greater self-awareness and
self-confidence. It is also very gratifying to see students from such diverse backgrounds come
together, learn to respect each other‘s differences and become more confident in expressing
themselves on a weekly basis. Not only do students learn to be more expressive in their small
groups, each week, individual students are also invited to share their observations, feelings or
ideas about the week‘s lesson with the rest of the class. Finally it is also much more satisfying
to do more than impart cold objective knowledge and actually have a hand at introducing
students to themselves in a more meaningful way.
PERCEPTIONS OF THE BENEFITS OF THE SUBJECT
TO THE STUDENTS
In line with positive youth development (13) and the challenges faced by the youth of today
(14) I believe this to be a very timely course that can give students a well designed compass
they can take with them on their academic journey and beyond.
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As mentioned above, young people today are faced with many challenges (7-10). A more
recent phenomenon that students have to tackle in their search for meaning and identity is the
significant prevalence of information technology available today. Young people can easily get
lost in a sea of external stimulation with numerous portable IT devices that offer an
alternative virtual reality with online social networks, games, artificial roles and identities
(15). Add to that the barrage of mass media promoting external beauty over self worth, and
young adults have a difficult maze to navigate if they are to develop a healthy and confident
identity (16, 17, 18). However, they are often left to their own devices and all too often
without proper guidance and signposts they lack the self-awareness and self-knowledge
necessary to find their way.
This course is a clear attempt at bridging this gap and developing more self understanding
and awareness. It offers new conceptual maps of 13 different areas shown to be highly related
to effective positive youth development (1), facilitates students to make these maps
personally relevant through experiential learning and then helps consolidate this by
encouraging them to share and assert their ideas with other classmates. On a weekly basis
students are gradually guided to re-evaluate what they value and find important in life, to
better understand and define themselves and to dare to take a stand on important issues
relevant to them.
Each week students in each small group are assigned different group tasks. These include
being the Leader, Reporter, Recorder and Time keeper. Through these roles students are
further required to take some responsibility for the group activities and their own learning
from the very first class.
Students also have weekly assignments that require them to take the class material to a
different level of understanding and reflect in a way that makes it personally relevant.
They may be asked, for example, to find a newspaper article that speaks to the topic covered,
they may be asked to find the lyrics of a song that expresses their views of a particular issue
or they might be given the task of describing who they are by filling a pre-designed sheet to
help guide their reflection. Students are given points simply for completing and handing in
the assignments and not for getting the ―right‖ answer.
As mentioned above, students are also invited after most classroom activities to report
back to the large group and at the end of each class 2 students are invited to share their views,
ideas or comments about that day‘s lesson. These structured and scheduled activities as well
as constant team work and end of term small group presentations provide the framework in
which students learn to take responsibility, learn to feel safe and dare to step out of their
comfort zone.
All these activities, repeatedly invite students to step up and take their learning into their
own hands and dare to define and express themselves more clearly. Students don‘t do this
spontaneously but over a period of weeks it becomes more natural and they are more willing
to raise their hands to express views and share ideas. An interesting analogy comes to mind.
The process is a bit like learning to walk out onto a frozen lake at the beginning of winter, for
those of us who have had the privilege of living in a cold climate. We test the ice with one
foot and when it doesn‘t break under the weight we dare to put the second foot forth. When
we discover that it‘s safe and start to enjoy the feeling of stepping on ―water‖, we start
walking on the ice until we‘re running without even realizing it. In a group of 49 students
even after 14 weeks no doubt some are still at the water‘s edge finding courage to take the
first step. However, there are those who are running freely in the middle of the lake and
Teaching a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
13
enjoying the new found strength, confidence and joy that comes with their efforts and the
world they are discovering. We can offer the structure, tools, encouragement and rewards to
help students take those steps and it is then up to them to take them.
What do the students learn from this? My observations have led me to conclude that
students achieve greater self-understanding and awareness, greater knowledge about the
qualities of a good leader, greater courage and ability at expressing oneself, improved team
working skills, better understanding of emotions, a greater awareness of a spiritual component
to life that can give a greater meaning to daily dramas, and more responsibility for their own
learning. These are all benefits I believe this course can confidently deliver. Although
preliminary results do not yet offer empirical support for all these claims they already indicate
trends in this direction. Firstly over 90% of students expressed satisfaction with the course.
Secondly students feel the course is effective at helping them understand the qualities of
effective leadership and the importance of interpersonal relationship. Finally 97% of students
reported that the course promoted their personal development in some way (19).
PERCEPTIONS OF THE BENEFITS OF THE SUBJECT TO MYSELF
We do not often think of how teaching a course can be beneficial to the teacher. Our focus is
mostly on how students can benefit. There are however clear benefits to the teacher in taking
on TL.
Personally, I have always felt it is very important to be real and authentic if I want to
create a trusting atmosphere and encourage students to step up and be themselves. All too
often however, particularly during a rather busy semester or when energy reserves are running
low, it is easier to hide behind the mask of the ―professor‖ and resort to more information
dissemination and spend less time working with students to grow and expand. However, by
its design the TL course pushes the teacher to constantly reflect on his/her teaching style.
With the well designed structure, it challenges the teacher to learn to step back and become
more of a facilitator for students to take charge. This encouraged me personally to develop
even greater self-awareness to be able to teach effectively. I often asked myself questions
like: ―Is it essential that I speak of this theory or is it more important to jump to a group
activity so students can learn experientially?‖ or ―Am I just elaborating more on this topic so I
can sound knowledgeable and impress the students? or even still ―Am I limiting the time
allocated to a small group activity because I fear students will loose their way and start
chatting about unrelated topics, and I will feel less competent as a teacher?‖. This course is
much more than just imparting knowledge and disseminating concepts. It forced me to be
more real in my teaching and not hide behind big words and fancy theories or the mask of the
know-it-all professor.
The education literature lists many different roles that a teacher may be required to adopt.
Harrison and Killion (20) list 10 distinct roles. These include resource provider, instructional
specialist, curriculum specialist, classroom supporter, learning facilitator, mentor, school
leader, data coach, catalyst for change and finally learner. As a University teacher with large
classes it is often more tempting to opt for the ―instructional specialist‖ role. It is even more
so when managing a large group of students from such diverse fields of study. Learning how
to cater to the needs of such a large and diverse group of students was not easy but definitely
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Allen Dorcas
an enriching experience for me. As a result I worked harder to find examples and stories that
students from different backgrounds and interests could relate to. I had to learn to be more
empathetic with students who weren‘t so used to self-reflection and introspection. It became
necessary for me to be more of a ―learner‖ than I would in classes I normally teach and adapt
my style to the students needs.
It is said that we truly learn something by teaching it to someone else (21). On a more
personal level, self-motivation can sometimes be a bit of a challenge for me. The topic on
Self-leadership was a very good reminder to identify ways in which I sometimes avoid taking
charge in my life and choose passivity over an active search for meaning and problem
resolution. The belief that the teacher knows better than the students is an easy trap to fall into
and a little lesson in humility and daring to be more authentic can go a long way to help us
grow as a teachers and to model to students that we never stop learning new things. In turn
this can also empower students to persist in their endeavors and develop more selfconfidence.
Teaching this course has given me the opportunity to review my position about the
meaning of University teaching and to learn to develop a greater balance between being the
specialist and the facilitator. Over my teaching career I have learned that walking into a
classroom and simply delivering a lecture leaves little room for deeper integration of the
material and usually simply encourages students to memorize the material without making it
personally relevant. Research on learning and memory (22) clearly shows how making
material personally relevant through personal elaboration of the material leads to better
retention and greater learning. As a teacher this requires an ability to give power to the
students and let go of the ―control‖ of what happens in the classroom to some extent so that
students can take charge of their own learning. It calls for bringing back the ―art of teaching‖
as opposed to the simple routine, mechanics of teaching. It requires the teacher to be more in
touch with what is happening in the moment with students and to be willing to go where
students are going spontaneously through their group activities and individual reflections.
Otherwise, it‘s very difficult to move beyond teacher-centered learning (23).
With experience comes a certain understanding that nothing is certain and knowledge is
forever changing with new discoveries and a greater awareness of the complexity of reality.
Experience also brings, one would hope, a certain degree of humility and ability to let go of
what is ―right‖ for what is emerging in the moment in students‘ experiential field. In a
nutshell, as a teacher, this course invites one to re-evaluate one‘s teaching approach to move
towards greater student-centered learning. It is my assumption that teachers who like to be in
control of teaching activities and content would find this course quite challenging. As for
myself, I guess I am somewhere in the middle of the continuum. I still like to have some
control over the content that is being taught. I often feel the more I can explain the concepts
and theories somehow the more the students will understand. But I realize that I sometimes
take too much space in the learning process and am not always certain when to step back and
facilitate the students to find their own answers. Wherever I may find myself this course has
allowed me to reflect more clearly on how I teach and how I might learn to balance my roles
of instructor, guide or mentor and facilitator more effectively.
Teaching a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
15
MY VIEW ON THE NEED FOR THIS SUBJECT
FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Beyond the specific acquisition of professional knowledge and skills University studies
should also be about exploring new ideas, expanding one‘s idea about the world and about
oneself, learning to think critically about diverse topics and developing a methodology to
approach life‘s challenges. All too often in today‘s faced-paced competitive world however,
this is relegated to rote learning of theories, concepts and skills related to the particular field
of study. Students go through a well designed system that unfortunately often takes away
their ability to think critically and independently and robs them of a great opportunity for
personal growth and expansion. Originality is encouraged in word but rarely is it truly
accepted in fact in favor of providing the ―right‖ answers to essay questions and showing the
―right‖ behavior in professional roles. Originality in thought and action might risk
unbalancing a well oiled and maintained production line (11,24,25)
This subject teaches concepts and knowledge like most other University subjects,
however, I believe its focus is on developing the former and not the latter. It also doesn‘t
promise unreservedly to achieve these goals although it does offer, through its content and
course design, many opportunities for students to reflect, take responsibility for their learning
and development, put into question long held beliefs, formulate and assert new positions and
maybe even inspire some students to dare to be real even if that means being different from
other classmates. There are no ―right‖ answers to weekly assignment tasks, to discussion
topics or to group presentation content. Students are encouraged to present their views, argue
their positions and define their beliefs. They are evaluated on content to be sure, but more on
the richness of the content in exploring a variety of positions and integrating diverse views to
a topic. Students are also evaluated on higher-level thinking that requires a critical review, a
deeper level of discussion and some degree of integration between theories and empirical
research findings. Clearly the focus is not on rehashing content. It‘s on critically reviewing it,
exploring alternative positions, arguing convincingly ones own stance and of course
demonstrating some degree of originality and creativity.
There needs to be a balance between pedagogues designing courses and still allowing
students the freedom within these designs to expand and evolve into more mature, critically
thinking young professionals instead of passive, fearful ―yes-men‖ willing to simply toe the
line and accept the status quo. Students should not be given the power and responsibility of
driving the curriculum but they should be given the freedom within each curriculum to
challenge, criticize and learn to express their views and ideas in convincing systematic ways
(26).
I do not think this course, particularly as an entry level subject, can fully achieve these
goals with all students, however, it is clearly a first step in establishing some ―thinking
individuals‖ as they embark on their long academic journey. Young students who are not yet
conditioned to University life are more open to new ideas and have a fresh new take on age
old issues. They have much to gain from a course that encourages them to consider topics like
the deeper meaning of life, effective communication skills and greater self-understanding
instead of pushing them directly into rote learning of their chosen disciplines. All students
should be introduced to greater self-awareness and understanding throughout their University
studies and the sooner the better. If these skills and attitudes can be instilled in our youth at
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the beginning of their University studies then there is hope that a strong foundation for selfreflective, critical minds can be set in place and a much richer and meaningful learning
experience at University can be had. We have heard all too often the criticisms about the socalled spoon-fed education system in Hong Kong and other parts of the world (24,25,27).
―The pervasive perception from observers in overseas education institutions generally is that a
typical Hong Kong student compared with other students, […], lacks systematic decisionmaking confidence and relies on repetition and undeveloped answers‖ (27). Universities
should be about developing independent critical minds and this course is a stepping stone in
this very direction.
MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES IN TEACHING
It‘s not always easy to read students‘ faces and know what they‘re thinking and feeling.
Weekly ―check-ins‖ for student feedback is a wonderful way to hear their ideas. It takes a bit
of enticing at first (little gifts are given to students who share) but slowly it becomes obvious
that the students actually look forward to sharing their views and expressing their ideas, even
if no prize or reward is given. The positive experience of sharing and being heard seems to
replace the external reward required to kick-start this habit.
At the end of one of my classes, when students were asked to share their views of the
day‘s topic, one student shared how he felt all students should be required to take this course
and there should be more courses like this one at both secondary and University levels. This
voice was encouragement and validation for the points I have attempted to make in this
article. This student wants more for himself and for his classmates than rote learning of
external phenomena.
Learning to balance between ―teaching‖ and ―facilitating‖ was a constant theme for me in
managing weekly lectures. I have consistently asked myself ―how much lecturing is enough?‖
There are some rather abstract topics like spirituality, ethics and cognitive competence that
need some explanation or students simply won‘t go anywhere with them. Some degree of
―lecturing‖ is necessary and useful. However, a large part of the course is designed with small
group activities in mind and although the different sections are well timed, in actual fact, it‘s
not always easy to run through some complex abstract concepts in the scheduled time frame.
Likewise, taking too much time to ―teach‖ robs students of the opportunity to experience the
meaning of what is being taught. When I look back on the 14 weeks of teaching this course,
this stands out as one particular difficulty as a teacher. Finding the balance is not always easy.
In hindsight, I would think the time allotted to student activity is more valuable than the time
allocated to the teacher.
During group presentations, which are given over the last few weeks of the semester, a
particular group of students dared to highlight a very sensitive moral dilemma for
consideration. It‘s always exciting to see students dare to push the envelope on certain topics
to spark debate and push others to take positions or at least seriously consider their stance on
important issues. This particular group presented a very disturbing video of a child being run
over repeatedly by a small van and no one coming to rescue her. This had made the news a
few weeks earlier and students were either courageous or outraged enough to use this event as
a springboard for their topic on ethics and morality. When given a platform students can come
Teaching a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
17
up with surprising ways of challenging ideas and beliefs in a way that most University
professors don't dare to. I was both disgusted by the video and deeply saddened by the lack of
humanity that was being portrayed. Either way, I think this is partly what University teaching
and learning should be about: not accepting the status quo, putting into question popular
beliefs, commonly agreed values and ideas about life and the world. If students aren‘t allowed
to question the fundaments of life while at University and are simply pushed into a robotic
production line to come out functioning like a proper engineer, nurse, physiotherapist, social
worker, translator or whatever, then University has, in my opinion, short changed these young
minds and too quickly closed the doors on a possible expansion in their awareness and
growth.
Students surprised me by reminding me that they have a voice and they have something
interesting to say. All too often I forget that students are actually considering what is being
taught and formulating their own ideas and positions of the material. It‘s been refreshing to
see students take a more active role in their learning process. When given a chance students
can indeed surprise us. We just need to create opportunities for this to happen and then step
out of the ―spotlight‖ and the role of the ―know-it-all‖ teacher long enough to allow this to
happen.
DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED AND SOME POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
As mentioned above there are certain challenges or difficulties in teaching this course. From a
teacher‘s perspective, three of these stem from managing students‘ learning and three from
managing our own limitations as teachers.
Firstly, classes are taught to large groups of students who come from very different
disciplines. This presents a difficulty in engaging students and keeping them motivated and
interested over the 14 weeks. I have found that giving them a voice as often as possible to let
them feel they have some input and control over the course activities and the learning process,
is very helpful in ensuring a good degree of collaboration. Students need to feel their ideas are
valued. Learned helplessness clearly shows us that when control is taken away from someone
repeatedly and consistently, they naturally become passive and despondent. (28) This brings
up a second difficulty which is trusting that the students will take responsibility for their
learning, particularly in large group settings. This can be eased with the inclusion of wellstructured small group activities that allow for more student input within allocated, scheduled
time slots during the class. Students should then be asked to report their ideas and conclusions
after the discussions. Thirdly, students are often uncomfortable with ―gray‖ answers.
However, it has been my observation that assessment usually drives students‘ learning
activities. If the formal assessment protocols do not require only black and white ―correct‖
factual answers, students gear their learning towards expressing shades of reality relevant to
diverging standpoints and views. They develop more critical thinking and learn to find
arguments for their positions instead of blindly accepting everything the ―expert‖ teacher has
taught. This means, less objective forms of assessments and more assignments that include
the integration of different ideas and positions.
As for the teacher limits, the biggest obstacle in my experience is a fair balance of teacher
vs student-centered activities. It is all too easy to take control of the classroom through
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Allen Dorcas
lecturing because of our need to feel we are ―doing our job‖ by making sure content is
covered. Studies on student-centered learning (23) show us the value of stepping back and
handing the reigns over to students. Beyond the structured group activities integrated in the
course structure it is important for the teachers to develop their own self-awareness and
identify when and why they are taking control and when they are willing to give more control
to students. The second offshoot of this is good time-management skills. As there is plenty of
material to be covered, the teacher must learn how to keep time flexibly both in lecturing and
in facilitating small group activities. This requires a quick judgment of what is most valuable
for student learning. Before beginning each new section in the class schedule the teacher
should consistently check the time and make executive decisions of what to cut or stretch in
favor of student learning. It is not necessary to follow the recommended activities to the
letter. A final difficulty that is related to these two is learning how to foster creativity and
originality in students. Large group teaching does not naturally lend itself to developing these
qualities in students and the teacher can be easily tempted to opt for more ―lecturing‖ because
he/she has more control over the content and the time. It would seem that the solution to this
obstacle lies within the teacher‘s own willingness to be open to new ideas, their desire to
encourage students to express themselves more frequently in class and their ability to model
such behavior in their own approach to delivering the content when it is their time speak.
Beyond the assessment format requiring critical analysis and originality, the teacher can be
more critically minded and open to diversity, and ask the right questions to prompt students
when they share in the group. For example the teacher can ask if other students have different
ideas to what has already been shared and explain why.
GENERAL TIPS FOR TEACHING THIS COURSE
In my own teaching experience of this course I have found the following to have a positive
impact in improving my experience as a teacher and hopefully facilitating student learning as
well:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Learn to let go in classroom activities so students can take charge of their learning. In
other words learn to be more of a facilitator.
Have very clear guidelines for students to follow. From the very beginning spell out
what you expect from students and follow through consistently.
Define student roles very clearly and follow up weekly with a rotation of these roles
so all students have a chance to report, take notes, keep time and be the leader.
Include small rewards for sharing to encourage students at least at first until student
sharing becomes a natural part of the class time. It may seem a bit childish but it
works.
Ensure a good balance between conceptual and experiential learning.
Ensure there are sufficient teaching assistants on hand and give them clear distinct
tasks to do during the class. (i.e., distributing and collecting handouts, facilitating
discussion activities, enforcing discipline, answering questions, etc.)
Teaching a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
19
Find clear, concrete and relevant examples when lecturing so students can easily
grasp the concepts. This requires some understanding of the students‘ backgrounds
and majors.
Develop a good balance between different teacher roles. Learn how to shift from
lecturer to facilitator and guide.
Be open to students‘ freedom to challenge and question the content being taught. In
fact, find ways to encourage it. Stop suddenly and ask if there is anyone who
disagrees and have them explain why. Even if students don‘t answer, it will get them
thinking.
Learn to be spontaneous. Drop an activity if it doesn‘t feel useful. Invent a new one
that you think more appropriate.
Respect students‘ ideas and insecurities. It‘s no use blaming students for not sharing
when asked to. Try to understand them with empathy and see from their perspective.
When they feel heard students are more willing to take uncomfortable steps.
Learn humility and have willingness to learn as a teacher. Don‘t pretend to know it
all. Learn to be real because students are good at smelling bullshit. It also encourages
students to do the same.
Care for students‘ well-being. Talk with them, learn about their concerns and ideas.
Remind yourself what it is about teaching you like and love. Remember how
education is more than just rote content learning.
Be open to try new things with students. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
CONCLUSION
Overall, there is no doubt this course is a valuable medium to invite students to broaden their
views of the world and expand their understanding of themselves. There is no intention to
produce ―perfect cookies‖ with a cookie cutter in this course. Students are encouraged to
share their ideas, are consistently given time to reflect and express their own views and find
their own voice. A key belief underlying the curriculum is that young adults need to better
understand themselves and articulate that self-understanding in order to be more effective in
their present and future endeavors.
There are certain challenges in achieving this: the diversity of the chosen disciplines
students are enrolled in, the consistent need to encourage students to take an active
responsible role in their education instead of sitting back and passively waiting to be told
what is right and wrong, and the difficulty as a teacher in learning to step back and allow
students to take their role.
In spite of these challenges my experience has been a positive one as I have seen students
challenge each other, question their beliefs in new ways and grow in confidence to express
their views and work in a team. I don‘t presume that all students achieve these goals
consistently and sufficiently, however, those who are willing to take the steps can do so with
this course.
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Allen Dorcas
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This chapter has been published as a paper in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained from De Gruyter to republish in this modified form.
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Spedding R. Are school students becoming spoon-fed exam machines? Independent: 2011 Feb 17.
Brooker R, Macdonald D. Did we hear you? Issues of student voice in curriculum innovation. J
Curriculum Stud 1999;31(1):83-97.
Wikipedia. Education in Hong Kong. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Hong_Kong
Maier SF, Seligman ME. Learned helplessness: Theory and evidence. J Exp Psychol General
1976;105(1):3-46.
SECTION ONE: UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 3
LEADERSHIP AND INTRA-PERSONAL
DEVELOPMENT: RELEVANCE TO CHINESE
NURSING STUDENTS
Zenobia CY Chan, PhD, MPHC, MA, BHS
School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
It is well known that intra-personal attributes and leadership styles are crucial elements of
nursing education and practice. However, little has been done in these aspects,
particularly in terms of students‘ perspectives regarding various cultural influences on
intra-personal development and nursing leadership. Six focus group interviews were
conducted in Hong Kong to explore the meanings of intra-personal development and
nursing leadership in nursing education and the clinical setting, and to analyze Chinese
culture relevant to intra-personal and leadership development. The results revealed three
themes (intra-personal development, nursing leadership, and cultural influence) extracted
from the focus group interviews. Regarding intra-personal development, the findings
from participants‘ experiences suggested that they agreed with the importance of selfawareness, self-reflection, emotional competence, resilience, morality and self-identity in
nursing students. In addition, social competence, communication, team building and selfleadership, as well as crisis, conflict, and stress management, are crucial to nursing
leadership. Some participants were also concerned with the cultural influence on gender
barriers and hierarchism in the clinical setting. Since intra-personal characteristics,
leadership competence, and cultural values are crucial and fundamental in education,
nursing programs should enhance these aspects for the holistic development of nursing
students. Further studies across regions and time, interviews with nursing educators, and
cross-cultural collaboration for nursing leadership and intra-personal development in
nursing programs are recommended.

Correspondence: Zenobia CY Chan, PhD, MPHC, MA, BHS, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, Hunghom, Hong Kong, PRChina. E-mail: [email protected]
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Zenobia CY Chan
INTRODUCTION
Nursing is a healthcare profession. In order to perform nursing tasks in an efficient manner
and cater to the needs of different clients, nurses should be equipped with professional and
generic skills, such as effective communication, critical thinking and self-reflection, through
intra-personal development in the nursing education program. Furthermore, since the
healthcare setting involves various medical physicians and clinical staff, nursing students
should be able to work collectively and contribute significantly at an interdisciplinary level,
leading teams of different rank orders. Therefore, intra-personal development and leadership
should be two important dimensions of nursing education in terms of preparing ethical and
professional nurses to care for future generations. As little is known about nursing leadership
and intra-personal development in nursing education in the Chinese context, an exploratory
qualitative research study was recently conducted to clarify the relevance of nursing
leadership and intra-personal development for Chinese nursing students, and to gain some
insights for nursing education.
Intra-personal development is founded on self-concept and consciousness. We perceive
ourselves as certain characteristics of a mental image (1) and this image is often affected by
our attention directed outward or inward (2). The consciousness of self-image and the
development of coherent images in a social context is the starting point of intra-personal
development (3), following which cognitive competence, emotional competence, resilience,
morality and spirituality can be enhanced. Although the development of self-image continues
throughout one‘s whole life, Baruth and Lee (4) state that a crisis of identity construction
usually occurs among adolescents, who strive toward a strong and independent mental image,
free will, and full use of their potential (5) and aim to maintain this positive personality over
time (6). Since intra-personal development is one of the crucial processes in adolescence, an
investigation of students‘ perspectives regarding this aspect is needed. In addition, nursing
leadership has to cater to intra-personal and contextual development as well as the mission
and vision of the organization. Nurses are expected to work wholeheartedly and responsibly,
be empathetic and concerned regarding clients‘ feelings, cooperate and manage the team
effectively to face the inevitable challenges, advance their professional knowledge, execute
critical care and make decisions proactively, flexibly and confidently. In order to enable the
coming generations of nurses to be professional and ethical in the healthcare setting, some
studies call for a reform of the existing University medical curricula. Therefore, this research
targets nursing students in a University in order to understand their views on intra-personal
development and to shed some light on the future of nursing education.
More and more specialist and advanced nursing roles have been developed to satisfy the
demand for leadership in the clinical setting, and in order to enable nurses to work with
medical staff in a more effective way. However, leadership cannot be easily defined and
several scholars have tried to identify the meaning of leadership in nursing. Marshall (7) and
Forman (8) described leadership as the discipline of directing an organization to collective
goals, therefore social competence, communication, and team building are the crucial
elements. Forman (8) further posited the ultimate goal of nursing management as being the
provision of the best patient care. Nursing education should nurture students‘ leadership skills
in conflict, stress, and crisis management in order to facilitate the system of the actual clinical
setting in the future (7, 9). Therefore, nursing students should be able to acquire self-
Leadership and intra-personal development
27
management competence, namely understanding the responsibilities and procedures in the
clinical setting (10), developing vision and mission (11), and implementing evidence-based
strategies (12). Nurses are increasingly taking up a diverse leadership role. Hence nursing
students should note that they have to play a leadership role because of clinical needs and
trends. And nursing programs should be planned in line with these needs and trends. Since
little is known about the impacts of nursing leadership education on students, this study
explored how students reviewed the aspects of leadership in nursing curriculum and practice.
Intra-personal development and leadership styles are greatly influenced by the cultural
and social context. The traditional Confucian culture continues to shape education and
management approaches in Chinese populations, as well as the organizational structures in
clinical settings. The current nursing education, especially nursing care, is still rooted in
Chinese values. Regarding intra-personal development, traditional Chinese culture, such as
the emphases on compliance and harmony, has shaped humanistic trends over a long period
of time (13-15).
Traditional Chinese culture may provide an insight into nursing education to encourage
students to reflect on themselves, their clients, their clinical leaders, their mission and vision
of the healthcare setting, and their vocation in a familiar contextual atmosphere. Regarding
nursing leadership, the influences and stimulation of cultural dynamics on leadership
construction and personal development are demonstrated in different aspects of clinical
practice (16-18). Firstly, Chinese and Western cultures have different expectations of the
roles and responsibilities of men and women in a team (19). Secondly, Western countries may
concentrate more on individual responsibility and independent outcomes, while traditional
Chinese leaders may attach more value to people, introversion, harmony, power relationships,
and collective and interdependent achievement (20). The influences of paternalistic leadership
style, such as the integration of discipline, absolute authoritarianism, demand for control over
other, lower-ranking staff, and paternalistic benevolence to demonstrate the holistic power of
influencing others‘ personal wellbeing (21-23), as well as the enhancement of superior
virtues, ethics of faithfulness, moral integrity, unselfishness, altruism, self-discipline,
obedience of fate, given life (13, 21), and initiative competency are passed from teachers to
students throughout the generations (24).
In past decades, Chinese societies welcomed the prevailing leadership and pedagogy
styles of Western countries, such as transformational leadership, empowerment to
subordinates, and co-construction of knowledge. As the intercultural integration of Chinese
and Western cultures will continue to influence nursing and medical education to a larger
extent, the assertion that only traditional Chinese culture leads the trend of nursing leadership
and intra-personal development may be too general and over-simplified. Intercultural
interactions and the integrative leadership approach in the workplace should also be taken
into consideration. For instance, Hong Kong and Chinese organizational leaders adapted and
adjusted the Western leadership styles according to the corresponding social contexts to
respond to the rapid growth of healthcare needs in the past 20 years (25-27). Transformational
leadership, which aims at building subordinates‘ intra-personal characteristics, ownership and
commitment to the necessary roles and tasks to cope with challenges (28), may be the
direction of effective nursing leadership in the Chinese context in the future. This study
attempted to explore the meanings of intra-personal development and nursing leadership in
nursing education and clinical settings, and to analyze whether Chinese culture is relevant to
the process on intra-personal and leadership development.
28
Zenobia CY Chan
METHODS
In the study, a qualitative research approach was used and the data were collected in May
2012. A total of six focus group interviews were conducted to provide the opportunity for an
in-depth analysis of the samples and offer rich information that is usually not accounted for
by other research methods (29,30). Qualitative research is inductive in nature and emphasises
the specific experience of the participants (31). It can acquire meaning among people who
share a meaning system that permits them to interpret it as a socially relevant action (32-34).
Instead of asking questions of each person in turn, the focus group interview encourages
group intervention: asking questions, exchanging anecdotes and commenting on each others‘
experiences and points of view (35). The approach of focus group can facilitate discussion in
a comfortable environment (36), and allow participants to share their diverse ideas and
opinions on nursing leadership and intra-personal development in Chinese nursing programs
among fellow students with similar backgrounds.
The focus group method is chosen to give nursing students the opportunity to discuss
their opinions and understanding of nursing leadership and intra-personal development. This
data collection method can explore various views through the discussion between the
interviewer and the participants, which may be more efficient than questionnaire surveys or
individual interviews (37, 38). Furthermore, this method ensures the dignity of participants by
acknowledging their perspectives and experience, and hence the validity and the educational
contribution of this study will be enhanced (39).
Data collection and analysis
Undergraduate and master of nursing students were purposively recruited, with the original
intention of conducting 6 focus groups. In the end, a total of 20 students attended. Three of
the groups consisted of 4-6 students, while the others consisted of 1 or 2 students, since some
of the invited students were infeasible at the last moment. Each focus group was conducted in
a quiet and comfortable room, and students were asked about their views of nursing
leadership and intra-personal development in Chinese nursing education via a set of openended questions.
An information sheet with consent form was distributed to each participant before
starting the interview. The group interview began with the interviewer introducing the general
purpose of the group discussion (36). The focus groups lasted for more than 1 hour, and were
digitally recorded.
At the end of each focus group, the interviewer recorded her observations and initial
impressions, and the nature of the group dynamic. Excerpts were transcribed from the
audiotapes and analyzed using general and specific content coding (38). Because of the
limited research literature and the lack of an existing theory to serve as a framework, content
analysis was adopted. Content analysis is used to enhance the validity of the data analysis
progress of inferring the qualitative data to the real world (40).
Leadership and intra-personal development
29
Trustworthiness
Four specific strategies were adopted to enhance the trustworthiness of this study. Firstly, to
prevent misunderstanding or misinterpretation of participants‘ perspectives, the research
assistant asked the participants to paraphrase the words and observed their facial expression
during the interviews so as to verify their meaning. Secondly, the audio recordings of each
interview were listened to repeatedly, to ensure that no important results were missed. Next,
the researcher verified the results and counter-checked all the themes, in particular ensuring
consistency among the collected data, methodology, data interpretation and independent and
critical analysis to enhance the credibility. Lastly, the researcher and the research assistant did
a peer audit under the criteria of confirmability. Specifically, the research team members
analyzed the raw data individually. Then they held regular meetings to discuss on the analysis
results, and paid special attention to the differences of the interpretation and thematization
until they reduced discrepancies and reached a mutual consent.
Ethical considerations
The University ethics committee approved the study before the data collection began. Issues
regarding consent, confidentiality, the right to withdraw from the study and the right not to
respond to any questions were explained according to recommended guidelines (38,41). Each
participant completed a consent form at the beginning of the group interview. The interviewer
asked a prescribed flow of questions while remaining both verbally and nonverbally neutral.
Informed consent was received from all participants before each interview is started to ensure
that they were clearly informed with the aims of the research and their rights to withdraw or
ask questions (42).
RESULTS
The qualitative findings were based on the open-ended questions. Several observations can be
made from the findings. An interpretation of participants‘ responses on nursing education and
clinical settings revealed three major themes: (i) intra-personal development, (ii) nursing
leadership, and (iii) Chinese cultural influence. Some interview excerpts were extracted,
where G denotes a group and S denotes a student. In the discussion section, these three
themes are examined in the context of education and practices.
Intra-personal development
The results of the current study highlight the importance of time management, good
observation, sensitivity, emotional competence, self-awareness, self-reflection, cognitive
competence, resilience, morality, spirituality, and self-identity for being a professional and
ethical nurse in clinical setting. The participants also used the learning and working
experience to describe and reflect the process of developing their intra-personal attributes.
30
Zenobia CY Chan
In the following interview excerpts, the participants describe their learning experience in the
ward and classroom:
Group 4 Student 1 (G4S1): When I first injected insulin into a patient, my hands
were shaking uncontrollably. I don‘t know why I was so afraid and confused. Through a
process of continual self-reflection, I discovered that it was due to my past experience of
being injected, which was so painful. So I gradually eliminated my psychological barrier
and improved my nursing skills. It is important for nursing students to realize their
weaknesses and emotional needs, so as to make improvements in their practice.
G3S5: Clinical placement differs from theories in textbooks. When I measured the
respiratory rate of a patient, I discovered that it was too low, about 12 to 14 breaths per
minute. I was so afraid and reported it to the senior nurse at once. She asked me to calm
down, and told me that I should focus more on the patient‘s overall condition, instead of a
mere number.
G5S1-Narrative I: Courage is a crucial attribute of nursing students in intra-personal
development. If I hesitate to make an important decision, I will delay the treatment and
patients will eventually suffer. On one occasion, a patient suffering from obesity did
defecate herself, but suffered bleeding and fell unconscious a minute later. I had thought
of hesitating to report and waiting until this patient‘s condition became stable, as it may
not have been appropriate to call senior nurses to come if the patient made an immediate
recovery. However, I realized that a nursing student should not learn passively, rather,
he/she is a member of the medical team. So I mustered up the courage to report the
patient‘s condition to the senior nurses. Although there was a risk of being reprimanded if
this patient really recovered immediately, I still think the situation warranted this action.
G5S1-Narrative II: A professional nurse should have good emotional competence.
The first time a patient in my care passed away, I felt guilty and kept asking why it had
happened so suddenly. I couldn‘t accept that the patient had died one hour after my
changing her diaper. My peers reassured me that although we can‘t prevent their death,
we can do our best to make our patients comfortable. I understand that professional
nurses should be able to manage their emotions and not get over-involved in cases.
G2S4: I remembered that when I was conducting research and interviewing a senior
citizen in a home for the aged, he had suddenly spit on me. I was deeply embarrassed and
could not respond. My supervisor continued the interview and told me to wash my face
first. I realized afterwards why this interviewee was so angry. It was because he suffered
from stroke and could not move, and I had asked him something about the physical
function of his legs. I learnt that I should be more careful in asking questions and avoid
harming patients in a psychological sense.
G6S2: Since medical and nursing staff constitutes a big team, sometimes we have to
make sacrifices for the team. A student from a previous shift had forgotten to measure
some patients‘ blood glucose level, and when the nurses were dispensing drugs, they
discovered this and blamed me. Although it was not my fault, I was the scapegoat. But
since it was much more important to dispense the drugs on time than to argue whose fault
it was, I just put the situation right at once.
Leadership and intra-personal development
31
The above excerpts specified several areas of intra-personal development in the clinical
setting, including self-awareness, self-reflection, cognitive competence, morality, spirituality,
and self-identity. The first three participants (G4S1, G3S5, and G5S1) agreed that a
professional nurse should overcome the shadow of repressed weaknesses. Their shared their
stories of eliminating the psychological barrier of past experience, and mustering up the
courage to report emergent conditions at appropriate times. The other three excerpts (G5S1,
G2S4, and G6S2) mentioned the importance of emotional competence and resilience at
unexpected moments. When their patients passed away, insulted them, or when they were
blamed unreasonably, all of these participants reiterated that completing their duties was more
important than arguing the blame for a mistake, or over-inducing in a case. The participants
not only developed their intra-personal attributes in the clinical setting, but also did so in the
nursing curriculum. Two excerpts are examined below in the context of education:
G5S1-Narrative I: I learned morality and spirituality in the nursing curriculum of
caring concepts. My teacher introduced an English poem written by a patient. It describes
how this patient saw the world from his ward. He just looked at the ceiling and was
helpless. Each time I recalled this poem, I reminded myself to communicate more with
patients. A simple remark, such as ―I am now going to turn you‖, may make patients feel
cared for.
G5S1-Narrative II: I have a habit of writing a diary and reviewing what I have
learned, my feelings and emotions. I think it is important to engage in regular selfreflection, since after graduation we will no longer have instructors to guide us and will
have to face the difficulties ourselves. Our emotions and stress management will become
crucial; otherwise we will easily be overloaded and forget about why we want to be
nurses. The most unforgettable issue I have written down in my diary is about my AT
(aseptic technique) and AOM (administration of medicine) tests. My mentor‘s
requirements were very high and I was so stressed that I became physically ill. I focused
on the particular scope of the test, such as the side-effects of drugs, and gave
consideration to communication with patients. I then realized the importance of stress
management and self-reflection in the nursing profession.
The above excerpts specified several areas of intra-personal development in nursing
education, including emotional competence, resilience, morality, and spirituality. The
participant (G5S1) first referred to a poem introduced by her lecturer. The verses written by a
patient reminded her to be empathetic to patients‘ psychological needs and concerns. Then
this participant shared her most unforgettable experience of sitting for her AT and AOM tests,
and concluded that she had developed self-reflection and stress management in nursing
education.
Nursing leadership
More results regarding nursing leadership were shown. The focus groups pointed out the
importance of social competence, communication, conflict management, team building, selfleadership, stress management, and crisis management. In the following interview excerpts,
32
Zenobia CY Chan
the participants discuss what aspects are most important in a good nursing leader and their
corresponding learning process:
G2S4: There is no doubt that a professional nurse should make appropriate decisions
promptly, but for nursing mentors, I would like them to allow us to learn from practice.
My mentor did not teach me everything, but observed my performance of my duty. Once,
I thought about the procedure and cleaned a wound for more than 15 minutes, and my
mentor gave me some hints and scolded me severely. Nevertheless, I still prefer my
mentor‘s leadership style, since I could make use of my independent thinking and acquire
a long-term memory of the corresponding procedure.
G1S5: Working as TUNS (temporary undergraduate nursing students) is different
from a clinical placement. When we work in a clinical placement, our mentors assign
duties to us. But since the working time of TUNS is much longer, we have to prioritize
our duties ourselves. In this case, self-management is very important. Whether as TUNS
or on clinical placement, we also face problems of role conflict. Since we are only
nursing students, our lack of qualifications, experience and human relations sometimes
prevents us from asking HCAs (healthcare assistants) for help. We should communicate
to them more respectfully and politely.
G2S3: I learned how to be a good nursing leader in a laboratory course. At that time
I was assigned to be the leader of a team of four in taking care of an electric training
manikin. Although we knew the condition of this ―patient‖ in advance, our instructor
made the ―patient‖ suddenly deteriorate. I found it difficult to make prompt decisions and
assign appropriate first-aid work to my four subordinates, as I did not have any
experienced staff to discuss the treatment with, and was afraid of making mistakes. So I
could only concentrate on my original work, such as measuring blood pressure and
dispensing medicine, and disregard my ―patient‖. My failure to make a decision had a
profound effect on me, and I learned the importance of crisis and stress management in
nursing leadership.
G5S1: We learned team building, social competence and communication skills in an
activity. The lecturer told our group of four to write a Chinese character with multiple
strokes. Each member held a rope, and the ends of the four ropes were attached to a pen.
We had to work together to control the movement of the pen and complete the
calligraphy. One of our groupmates was good at leading the discussion and coordinating
our efforts to the goal. This is a very important competence in nursing leadership, since a
good nursing leader should issue orders clearly and get the task done.
Although a majority of participants did not have many opportunities to demonstrate
leadership skills in the clinical context and in their nursing education, they referred to their
experience of being led, and expressed their expectations with regard to the clinical
instructors, who they thought coped well with colleagues and served satisfactorily in their
pedagogical roles. For instance, the first participant (G2S4) described a good nursing mentor
as one who allows her students to adopt critical thinking skills and make their own decisions,
rather than instructing them in everything.
Leadership and intra-personal development
33
There were still other participants who shared their stories of learning how to be nursing
leaders in healthcare settings and nursing classes. When they worked as TUNS or attended
laboratory courses, they had to prioritize their duties themselves, or even give prompt orders
to subordinates. Since they may soon take up a leadership role in the nursing field, some
participants learned team building, social competence and communication skills in an
innovative class activity, writing a Chinese character collaboratively. The above participants‘
viewpoints offered further information on what factors are vital in nursing leadership, such as
crisis management, stress management, social competence, and conflict management.
Cultural influence
Another purpose of the study was to examine whether Chinese culture influences intrapersonal development and nursing leadership. Some of the focus groups considered the
cultural influence to be especially challenging. Chinese and Western cultures place different
expectations of roles and responsibilities on the men and women in a team (43). Further, the
traditional Confucian concept that men and women should not be too intimated may make
male nurses‘ work difficult. Race discrimination and hierarchy may also be obstacles to
nursing care provision. In the following interview excerpts, the participants describe these
phenomena.
G3S6: I heard that some female nurses may have a gender bias against male
subordinates. A senior female nurse censured a male nurse for his ―carelessness‖ in
making a mistake. But the mistake was actually not his responsibility. This leader
damaged the team spirit. I think she should have analyzed the issue dispassionately and
thoroughly. It is not good to rely too much on one‘s own personal and subjective
perceptions in any determination.
G4S2-Narrative I: I studied nursing in Australia, and am now pursuing the Master of
Nursing program in Hong Kong. I have discovered that the western and Chinese cultures
make a big difference in nursing practice, especially with regard to the exposure of the
body of the opposite sex. Even though I am a male nurse, I could bathe female patients
after obtaining their consent in Australian hospitals. But the traditional hospital I am
working in now in Hong Kong prohibits male nurses from entering female wards. Even if
there is a manpower shortage, I still can't go to female wards even just to measure
patients‘ temperatures. The great irony is that some female patients do not notice this
regulation and keep asking why we do not come and help them. I realize that a good
nurse should understand the culture of the hospital and the patients served, in order to be
sympathetic to the patients‘ lives and perspectives.
G4S2-Narrative II: When I was working in a clinical placement in Australia, one of
my patients complained about my English proficiency and lack of experience.
Furthermore, she did not want to be cared for by a male nurse, so I could only pass this
case to other female senior nurses. To be a male and a junior nurse, building up a positive
self-identity is very important. We should not only accept our identity, but also
demonstrate our competence to the ones who discriminate against us.
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Zenobia CY Chan
G4S1: Another culture faced by both male and female nurses in the hospital context
is hierarchism. The nursing industry places much emphasis on hierarchy. Junior nurses
can hardly disagree with the orders given by their seniors or doctors. But I think that
nurses should do good to patients, rather than just blindly following instructions. The
clinical setting is multi-disciplinary; doctors and nurses should be equal. On one
occasion, a doctor at a home for the aged injected an IV infusion into a patient‘s tissue
instead of a blood vessel. Eventually the nurses discovered the problem and stopped the
infusion. Nurses should make use of their critical thinking skills and judge which
treatment is the best for patients.
In these interview excerpts, the participants described how patients and medical staff
expressed their perspectives towards different genders, races, and social status, and the
cultural influence on these perspectives. Two participants (G3S6 and G4S2) from different
focus groups coincidentally agreed that there was a cultural bias against male nurses. Male
nurses were often considered careless or inappropriate in providing nursing care to female
patients. Since participant G4S2 had worked in Australian and Hong Kong hospitals, he
compared in detail the differences between Chinese and western cultures in clinical contexts,
concluding that he had to accept his identity as a minority in the nursing team, and put extra
efforts into demonstrating his competence. In addition, both male and female nurses were
influenced by the hierarchism, which was further enhanced by the traditional Confucian
concepts. Most participants found it difficult to disagree with senior nurses‘ or doctors‘
instructions. Nevertheless, participant G4S1 and his groupmates reiterated that a good nurse
should always make critical judgments and ensure that he/she does good to patients, rather
than blindly following orders.
DISCUSSION
Expectations regarding nurses‘ quality and ability have been significantly increased by both
healthcare systems and societies. Nursing education serves as a fundamental role in nurturing
our students to become people who can fulfill their own potential and serve the community
with professional healthcare knowledge. In reality, nurses play an important role in a stressful
job, and the demographic and workforce structure trends due to the aging population are
increasing the need for nursing care (44). Therefore, the present study examined intrapersonal development, nursing leadership, and the cultural influence, which are necessary in
nursing education and the nursing profession (45).
Intra-personal development
Since nursing leadership is closely associated with personal characteristics, intra-personal
development is crucial in the nursing education and healthcare services. Yura, Petro and
Brooks (46) stated that the main themes of the philosophy in nursing service are the
philosophy and corresponding nursing service of human beings, as well as their wellness,
illness, and needs under various social and environmental contexts. Different training
programs serve the aims of developing the intra-personal aspects of nursing students. For
Leadership and intra-personal development
35
instance, the implementation of Personal Development Planning (PDP) in the Irish healthcare
system may nurture nurses‘ analytical thinking and holistic development, and assist their selfreflection on their current roles and future prospects (47). In conjunction with previous
studies, the current study showed how self-reflection and awareness enlightened students‘
learning and practice. Most of them emphasized that clinical placement differs from didactic
lectures. Although they were taught about how to measure respiratory rate and other
indicators, they had to decide whether a patient is in critical condition and report to their
mentors at the appropriate time. On the one hand, they made use of analytical thinking to
judge patients‘ overall condition, while on the other hand they mustered up the courage and
reported the urgent case without hesitation. They realized that although their current role was
that of a nursing student, they should perform as part of the medical team in the clinical
setting.
With reference to Erikson‘s stages of psychosocial development theory, Chickering and
Reisser (48), Robbins (49) and Santilli, Falbo and Harris (50) explained that adolescents
usually strive for integrity, identity, meaning of life, competency, and emotion management.
The experiential teaching approach can therefore help in promoting intra-personal
development in nursing education in University. While injecting insulin into a patient, one
participant recalled his unpleasant experience of being injected in his childhood. He thought
that it was important to realize one‘s own weaknesses and emotional needs in order to strive
for improvement. Another participant learned a life lesson the first time one of her patients
passed away. She could not accept the sudden death of this patient and felt guilty about it. It is
very difficult for an adolescent to face death. She was enlightened by her peers and
understood the impermanence of life and the value of being a nurse.
Robbins (49) especially recommended service learning, which is an experiential learning
approach that requires students to apply what they have learnt in lectures to make valuable
contributions to and connections with the community. However, service learning is not a
romantic activity. Some participants shared their bad experiences in healthcare settings. One
participant was spit on by an elderly patient suffering from stroke just after asking him about
the physical functioning of his disabled leg. Another participant was scapegoated for
forgetting to measure patients‘ blood glucose level, while it was the fault of the previous shift.
Both participants emphasized that it was more important to complete their work and provide
care on time than to argue who bore the blame. Therefore, resilience and morality are crucial
aspects in intra-personal development in nursing education. Given the above examples, even
though efforts have been made to cultivate nursing students to achieve the learning outcomes
of intra-personal development, further enhancement of students‘ intra-personal attributes to
cope with difficulties in healthcare provision is still needed.
Nursing leadership
In order to improve efficiency in healthcare service and management, nursing leadership is
emphasized in various countries (51). However, Koehle, Bird, and Bonney stated that some
nurses still have misconceptions regarding nursing leadership, for instance, these nurses may
think that it is politicians and senior officers, rather than front-line nurses, who serve in the
leadership roles (52). Although nursing students do not have much clinical experience in
nursing care, the participants in the focus group interviews shared their experience of being
36
Zenobia CY Chan
leaders in laboratory courses and clinical settings. One participant expressed that he had
learned the importance of crisis and stress management from his failure to lead his team in
―rescuing‖ the electric training manikin in a laboratory course. Our findings suggested that
working as TUNS in clinical settings further allows students to demonstrate competence in
self-management through prioritizing their duties on their own. The participants welcomed
the leadership training and agreed that such training can help them to develop their critical
and independent thinking skills. One participant emphasized that once a nursing student
graduated, he or she would immediately be expected to perform healthcare and lead
subordinates and assistants autonomously, hence the development of leadership skills is
crucial in nursing education and practice.
As noted by Graham and Jack (53), transformational leadership is the most favorable
approach for tackling healthcare managerial problems. As transformational leaders empower
their subordinates, nursing leadership enhancement should be promoted in the University
curriculum, so that nursing students will develop independent problem-solving skills (54).
During their clinical placement, nursing students should be given opportunities to learn and
gain an insight into validating managerial decisions from nursing duties (55). Consistent with
previous studies, most participants agreed that nursing mentors should allow them to learn
from practice rather than teaching them everything. For example, one participant shared that
even though he was blamed by his mentor for the unfamiliarity of the procedure, he still felt
gratitude to the mentor for giving him some room to think and make decisions independently.
Nursing students should be trained in leadership, not taught to be passive followers. They
have to be confident that after their graduation, sooner or later, they will lead the
interdisciplinary health team within their ward.
Effective leadership could sustain the healthcare service and facilitate team cohesion
among various professional staff, and leadership abilities are crucial and strongly recognized
in order to enhance motivation and team spirit in the clinical setting (56). A participant shared
how she learned team building and communication through a calligraphy activity. By writing
a Chinese character together with her fellow students, she understood that a good nursing
leader must issue orders clearly and get the task done. Due to their lack of experience and
qualifications, some participants experienced role conflict in the clinical setting. However,
problems such as these will not disappear even when they become registered nurses, thus
nursing education should place more emphasis on the appreciation of students‘ coming roles
and responsibilities within the interdisciplinary health team.
Cultural influence
Chinese and western cultural contexts have developed different styles of leadership and intrapersonal characteristics over time. Various cultures influence the approach to developing
personal characteristics and the efficiency of group work by determining communication
approaches, adoption of languages, work attitudes, sensitivity, leadership styles, and decisionmaking process (57, 58).
Although more and more women have been medical practitioners since the 1970s,
medicine is still a male-dominant profession, while nursing is female-dominant (59). When
male nurses provide nursing care to female patients, it always creates embarrassment or even
emotional distress to both nurses and patients (60-62). Even though some female patients may
Leadership and intra-personal development
37
accept the intimate care of, for instance, intramuscular injection at the thigh, they may not
grant male nurses consent to bathe them. Further, the traditional Confucian concept that men
and women should not be too intimate may exacerbate the problem of the gender barrier. One
participant provided a detailed comparison of clinical cultures between the western and
Chinese contexts. He worked in hospitals in Australia and Hong Kong, and found differences
in nursing practice, especially with regard to the exposure of the body of a patient of the
opposite sex. While he could bathe female patients after obtaining their consent in an
Australian hospital, he was prohibited from entering female wards in a Hong Kong traditional
hospital even if there was a manpower shortage.
Some male participants also expressed difficulties in building up self-identity and esteem.
One participant stated that males are always misunderstood as careless and more likely to
make mistakes. This misconception may damage team spirit in the clinical setting. To be a
male and a junior nurse is much more disadvantageous. One male participant mentioned that
he had not only to accept his nursing role, but also to put more effort into demonstrating his
working competence.
Hierarchism is another feature greatly influenced by culture. Schein (63) stated that
―leadership and culture are two sides of the same coin‖ (p. 1). Wong (13), Wah (14) and
Wang (15) analyzed the leverage of Chinese cultural practice for leadership in organizations
and concluded that Chinese culture, especially the emphasis on compliance, shaped the
traditional cultural, humanistic and managerial trends over a long period of time. The belief in
compliance leads to hierarchical patriarchy, filial piety, power distance, and deference. A
participant described the phenomenon of hierarchism in the clinical context, and stated that
even though junior nurses are told to obey the orders given by their seniors or doctors, since
the clinical setting is multi-disciplinary, nurses should do good to patients, rather than just
blindly following instructions. It is suggested that nursing education and the nursing
profession endeavor to reduce the psychological pressure on low-ranking nurses due to the
over-emphasis on obedience, so as to enhance hospitals‘ implementation of new leadership
strategies.
Limitations and recommendations
One of the limitations of the present study was that there was only one school of nursing in
Hong Kong involved in this study. The participants in this study had similar backgrounds,
thus the diversities were comparatively fewer. It is thus impossible to compare students‘
perspectives towards intra-personal development, nursing leadership and the Chinese cultural
influence among different schools or tertiary institutes, and to generalize the results. Future
studies should collect data at several universities in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Taiwan.
By including various predictors, such as school and organization characteristics, it is hoped to
further determine whether Chinese nursing students from different universities hold different
values and opinions towards nursing leadership and intra-personal development. As show in
other studies, these factors were likely to affect students‘ perspectives towards the researched
issues.
Another potential limitation of the study is that the data were collected at one time. From
the study, conclusions can hardly be drawn about the changes of students‘ opinions on
nursing leadership and intra-personal development over time. Future studies should evaluate
38
Zenobia CY Chan
these changes by conducting longitudinal studies. For instance, since the duration of a nursing
program is usually for five years, a five-year qualitative research study could be implemented.
The participants would be interviewed with the same set of guidelines at the beginning of
each academic year until graduation, and the information collected each year would be
compared. It is expected that a trend in the patterns of changes in students‘ perceptions on
nursing leadership, intra-personal development and Chinese cultural influence could be
obtained.
The third limitation is that only students were invited to join this study, while nursing
educators were excluded. In order to shed more light on how to teach the topics of nursing
leadership and intra-personal development in undergraduate and master of nursing programs,
nursing educators‘ perceptions should be included in future studies. For example, lecturers
and clinical instructors could be approached for in-depth or focus group interviews, so as to
discover their views of students‘ self-awareness, self-reflection, cognitive competence,
emotional competence, resilience, morality, spirituality, and self-identity. The nursing
educators can also be encouraged to share their experiences in nurturing students‘ social
competence, communication skills, conflict management, team building, self-leadership,
stress management, and crisis management in the clinical setting and classroom.
Since professional and personal development are central to the effectiveness of integrated
working in clinical settings, communication among medical staff, practical and professional
skills, partnership working, self-identity and ownership in integrated critical care services,
and leadership characteristics and abilities are necessary and valuable in University nursing
and medical curricula (56,64-66). It is hoped that this study will offer insights for nursing
education according to Chinese cultural values, enhance the nursing care by nurturing
students‘ leadership and intra-personal development, and call for cross-cultural collaborative
studies for nursing leadership and intra-personal development.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This chapter has been published as a paper in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained from De Gruyter to republish in this modified form.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 4
EVALUATION OF A SUBJECT ON LEADERSHIP
AND INTRA-PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT:
VIEWS OF THE STUDENTS BASED ON
QUALITATIVE EVALUATION
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1,2,3,4,5
and Moon YM Law, BSSc, MSW, RSW 1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ is a subject developed to satisfy the Leadership and Intrapersonal
Development requirement at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. After taking this
subject, students were invited to use three descriptors and a metaphor to describe their
experiences about the subject. Based on the reflections of 143 students, results showed
that 94.4% of the descriptors used by informants were positive and 2.31% of the
descriptors were negative. For the metaphors used to describe the subject, 92.7% were
positive and 4.47% were negative. In conjunction with other findings, the present study
suggests that ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ is a subject that can promote the holistic
development in Chinese university students in Hong Kong.

Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied
Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The
Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong, PRC.
E-mail: [email protected]
44
Daniel TL Shek and Moon YM Law
INTRODUCTION
In the field of evaluation, there are two main approaches (1). In the first approach,
quantitative evaluation primarily based on the experimental paradigm and/or objective
assessment approach is the mainstream strategy. Evaluation utilizing the quantitative
approach has several features. First, there is a sole reliance on numbers, such as change in
mean scores in pretest and posttest and the proportion of program participants who are
satisfied with the program. Second, experimental designs including treatment group and
control group are commonly used to examine the program effects. In some cases, the use of
pre-experimental design such as the one-group pretest-posttest design is used. Third,
hypotheses testing is commonly used to examine time effect (e.g., posttest mean score is
higher than pretest mean score) or interaction effect (e.g., treatment group and control group
did not differ at pretest but they were different at posttest). Fourth, objective outcome
indicators such as validated rating scales are commonly used. For example, in a program that
attempts to reduce bullying behaviour in students, a validated scale on bullying behaviour will
be used. Fifth, to establish cause-effect relationships between treatment and outcome,
sophisticated statistical analyses are usually performed, such as multivariate analyses of
variance and individual growth curve modelling techniques (2).
In the second approach, instead of focusing on the objective outcomes, attention is paid to
the process of the program implementation and the experiences of the program participants
(i.e., subjective outcomes) through qualitative evaluation methods (3, 4). There are several
attributes under this approach. First, instead of focussing on numbers, there is a preference for
narratives and living behaviour in the real world. Second, the research designs in qualitative
evaluation are rather flexible and the details depend on the philosophical orientation of the
study. For example, while some qualitative researchers may use phenomenological strategies,
others may use grounded theory approaches. Some may even use a generic qualitative
evaluation approach. Third, instead of testing hypotheses, qualitative evaluation may also
generate hypotheses for further tests. For example, besides looking at the question of whether
the program participants are satisfied or not, a researcher may look at the relationship
between satisfaction and the related psychosocial correlates. Fourth, instead of using
validated rating scales, emphasis on ―researcher as the instrument‖ is highlighted in
qualitative studies. Finally, there is little reliance on statistical analyses, although computer
software may be involved in coding and analyzing the data. For qualitative researchers, their
goals may not be generalizations. They are more interested in looking at individual
uniqueness and contextual nature of evaluation (5).
In the field of evaluation, there is a general preference for the quantitative approach to
evaluation. For example, clinical trials utilizing rigorous experimental designs and
sophisticated statistical techniques are always regarded as the ―gold standard‖ to evaluate
program effects. Nevertheless, there are growing criticisms and discontents associated with
the quantitative or experimental approach to evaluation. Besides the argument that human
behaviour is not mechanical (hence cannot be totally manipulated in the experimental
designs), there are also views suggesting the importance of valuing the subjective experiences
of the program participants and capturing the views of the program participants. In the field of
education, there are views arguing the importance of using a wide range of evaluation
Evaluation of a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
45
strategies (6, 7). In the context of higher education, there are many voices arguing for the
importance of qualitative research (8-11).
Methodologically speaking, there are many qualitative evaluation methods. First,
qualitative research interviews enable the evaluators to understand the experiences of the
program participants through their narratives. While individual interviews are available, one
can also use group methods to understand the lives of the researchers. Second, qualitative
evaluators can use observational methods to understand the reality. For example, in
ethnography an anthropologist may stay in a site for a long period of time to understand the
culture of the site. Third, a qualitative evaluator can read the materials about the program and
interpret the related materials to search for the related contextual factors. Fourth, there are
visual methods such as films, videos and photographs that can help researchers to evaluate the
program. Fifth, the researcher can invite the program participants to keep journals during or
after the program implementation period. One common approach is to invite the program
participants to write personal reflections about the program (12).
Under the New 4-Year Undergraduate Curriculum at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, students are required to take a subject on Leadership and Intra-personal
Development. A subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was designed for this purpose.
Primarily, the subject is intended to help students understand intrapersonal and interpersonal
qualities of effective leaders. One distinct feature of the subject is that there are strong
emphases on reflective, experiential and collaborative learning in the students. In the first
piloting exercise, various evaluation strategies were used to evaluate the subject. Several
observations could be highlighted from the evaluation findings. First, positive changes in
psychosocial competences were found in the students. Second, the students were generally
satisfied with the subject and they perceived the subject to be beneficial to them. Third,
process evaluation findings showed that the implementation quality was good and program
adherence was high. Fourth, different qualitative evaluation methods suggest that the subject
was beneficial to the development of the students taking this subject (13-19).
The subject was piloted again in 2011/12 academic year. Consistent with the first piloting
exercise, different evaluation strategies including objective outcome evaluation, subjective
outcome evaluation, process evaluation and qualitative evaluation were conducted. In the
present study, students were invited to describe the subject and use a metaphor to stand for
the subject. Although there are many strands of qualitative research, the most commonly used
approach in qualitative research is the ―general qualitative approach‖ in which the general
principles of qualitative study (such as collection of qualitative data, respecting the views of
the informants, and data analysis without preset coding scheme) are adhered to. In the present
study, a general qualitative orientation was adopted in this study.
Shek, Tang and Han (20) proposed 12 principles to be upheld in a qualitative evaluation
study. These include: exposition of the philosophical base of the study (Principle 1),
justifications for the number and nature of the participants of the study (Principle 2), giving
details about the data collection procedures (Principle 3), discussion of the biases and
preoccupations of the researchers (Principle 4), description of the steps taken to guard against
biases or arguments that biases should and/or could not be eliminated (Principle 5),
discussion on the reliability of the findings (Principle 6), triangulation of the data collected
(Principle 7), peer checking and member checking procedures (Principle 8), development of
audit trails (Principle 9), consideration of alternative explanations for the observed findings
(Principle 10), consideration of alternative explanations for the findings (Principle 11), and
46
Daniel TL Shek and Moon YM Law
clear statement of the limitations of the study (Principle 12). In this qualitative evaluation
study, the above principles were upheld as far as possible.
METHODS
The course ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was second-piloted in the first term of 2011/12 academic
year. Four classes of students took this course, with a total enrolment of 198 students (49 in
Class A, 50 in Class B, 50 in Class C, and 49 in Class D). At the end of the course, students
were given a reflection sheet in which they were invited to use three words or phrases (e.g.,
helpful to my development, inspiring, joy…etc.) to describe their feelings, perceptions, and
experiences of this course (i.e., descriptors). Moreover, they were asked to think about an
object, an event, or a state which could stand for the course (i.e., metaphor) (e.g., mirror,
buffet, theme park…etc.) and gave a brief explanation about the meaning of that metaphor. A
total of 143 pieces of reflection notes were collected after the completion of the pilot course.
Data analyses
The responses in the reflection notes were entered in the computer for analyses. To enhance
triangulation in the coding process, the data were coded and analyzed by two research staff
who did not participate in the data collection process, and the final coding were further crosschecked by another colleague. The unit of analysis was a meaningful unit instead of a
statement. For instance, the statement that a course was ―meaningful and inspiring‖ was
broken down into two meaningful units or attributes, namely, ―meaningful‖ and ―inspiring‖.
On the other hand, descriptions with the same meaning (e.g., ―joy‖ and ―fun‖) were grouped
into the same attribute category.
The present coding system was developed after much consideration of the raw data and
several preliminary analyses. After initial coding, the positivity nature of the codes was
determined, with four possibilities (positive code, negative code, neutral code, and undecided
code). To enhance the reliability of the coding on the positivity nature of the raw codes, both
intra- and inter-rater reliability were carried out. For the intra-rater reliability, two research
staff who were involved in the coding process recoded 20 randomly selected raw codes on
their positivity after the coding process was completed. For inter-rater reliability, two other
research staff, both with a PhD degree, who did not involve in the coding process coded the
randomly selected codes without knowing the original codes given.
RESULTS
In this paper, qualitative findings on the following two areas are presented: (a) descriptors
that were used by the informants to describe the program, and (b) metaphors (i.e., incidents,
objects, or feelings) that were used by the informants to depict the program. The descriptors
that the informants used to describe the program were shown in Table 1. There were 432 raw
descriptors which could be further categorized into different categories.
Evaluation of a subject on leadership and intra-personal development
47
Table 1. Categorization of descriptors used by the participants to describe the course
Descriptions
Helpful to development
Useful/helpful
Reflective
Interactive
Interesting
Inspiring
Joy
Impressive
Relaxing
Professor factor
Self enhancement
Skill development
Informative
Other positive descriptors
(e.g., valuable, innovative)
Theoretical
Unexpected
Other neutral descriptors
(e.g., collective, conceptual)
Boring
Physical setting not suitable
for activities
Heavy workload
Other negative descriptors
(e.g., nervous, serious)
Nature of the Response
Positive
Neutral
Negative
24
38
21
34
55
38
41
6
17
7
12
9
7
Undecided
Total
24
38
21
34
55
38
41
6
17
7
12
9
7
99
99
4
2
4
2
7
7
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
Common sense
1
1
432
Total Count (N):
408
13
10
1
Total Count (%):
94.44
3.01
2.31
0.23
100
48
Daniel TL Shek and Moon YM Law
Table 2. Descriptors coded as negative responses
Negative descriptors
Boring
Nervous
Physical setting not suitable for activities
Serious
Heavy workload
Total:
N
3
1
3
1
2
10
Among these descriptors, 408 (94.4%) of them were positive responses and 10 (2.3%) of
them could be classified as negative (Table 2). The negative descriptors given by students are
―boring‖, ―nervous‖, ―heavy workload‖, ―serious‖, and ―physical setting not suitable for
activities‖. Twenty randomly selected raw descriptors were used for reliability tests. The
intra-rater and inter-rater agreement percentages calculated on the positivity of the coding
from these descriptors were 95% and 95%, respectively.
Results on the categorization of metaphors used by the participants to describe the
program are presented in Table 3. Students used different things to describe the program, with
most students used ―compass‖, ―map‖ and ―GPS device‖ as the metaphors. Some students
used ―buffet‖, ―beacon‖, ―theme park‖, and ―journey‖ to describe the course. Among the
responses, 130 metaphors (90.9%) and 228 related attributes (92.7%) could be regarded as
positive whereas only 7 related attributes (2.9%) were classified as negative in nature. The
explanations for the negative responses could be seen in Table 4. Reliability tests showed that
the intra-rater and inter-rater agreement percentages calculated on the positivity of the coding
from the positivity of the coding were 90% and 85%, respectively, which showed a high level
of reliability. Below listed are some examples of positive metaphors and the related
illustrations given by respondents regarding their perceptions toward ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖:





―A dessert buffet: I'm really having fun during it and I can attain many different
techniques from it and I enjoy the sweetness inside it.‖
―A compass in life: It helps to clarify my concepts in leadership skills and inspire me
on how to be an effective leader by following the guidelines and try to accomplish
my life goal and be a better person that I want to be.‖
―An exploring tour: This course let me reflect to my own competence in depth a lot. I
know myself more after having this course. It is a way for me to learn different
knowledge.‖
―Mirror: This course likes a mirror can reflect my own personal experience, values
and thus I can understand myself more. It is important to lead myself first in order to
lead others.‖
―A trip to unknown place: The course introduced things that I never know, I
especially like to lecture on ethic and morality, the game for hence steal the drug is
inspiring for me. It makes me reflect on what criteria for me to forget about ethics to
do a thing.‖
Table 3. Categorization of the metaphors used by the participants to describe the program
Nature of the Metaphor
Metaphors
Positive Neutral
Compass/ GPS device/map
An enjoyable/nice/
exploring/exciting/
unforgettable journey
Buffet/dessert buffet/
dessert/luncheon/
all you can eat
A book/interesting
book/dictionary/manual
Mirror
A glass/half glass/
spilled water
Rainbow/
colored paper
Music/
music concert
Theme park/wonderland/
playground/Disneyland/
party/ball/paradise/
happy moment/festival
Light bulb/candle/
lamp/star/dawn/beacon
Seed/new grow plant/
little tree
Soil/oxygen/water/vitamin/apple/chicken
soup/cream soup
Negative
Number of Codes Derived from the Metaphor and Its Nature
Undecided Total
Positive
Neutral
13
13
21
9
9
18
1
2
Negative
Undecided
Total
21
19
7
2
9
11
3
1
4
7
8
12
1
3
3
1
4
4
9
9
2
2
2
2
8
2
1
1
14
1
8
13
1
5
9
1
10
15
1
16
7
1
8
15
2
17
5
5
6
6
7
7
9
9
Table 3. (Continued)
Nature of the Metaphor
Metaphors
Positive Neutral
Magnifier/catalyst/
booster of life/motivator
Eagle/flight/
fly in sky
Enjoyable/meaningful/
interesting/interactive/
relaxing course,
experience, a break
Path to future/long film/
breakthrough/milestone/
forward/road/climbing
ladder/turning point
Key/entrance
of leadership
School/new canteen/
shelter
Box full of presents/
treasure/valuable time
Other metaphors
(e.g., stone, X-ray film,
correction pen, etc.)
Negative
Number of Codes Derived from the Metaphor and Its Nature
Undecided Total
Positive
Neutral
Negative
Undecided
Total
4
4
8
8
3
3
5
5
9
9
16
16
9
14
3
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
27
45
6
143
228
11
7
100
92.68
4.47
2.85
8
1
21
6
Total Count (N):
130
12
1
Total Count (%):
90.91
8.39
0.70
0.00
1
15
51
246
0.00
100
Evaluation of a subject on leadership and intra-personal development



51
―A manual: This course gives us instructions and guidelines to tell us how to become
an effective leader by learning different capabilities, e.g., emotional intelligence,
cognitive skill development, resilience development, etc.‖
―A light bulb: It can inspire me to think more deeply about who I am; it lights up a
path, which is for being a leader, to me to go along.‖
―A music concert: At the beginning we didn't know what to expect because it had
just started. Then we had lots of enjoyment in this concert. Finally, we don't want it
to end and want encore.‖
Table 4. Illustrations of metaphors coded as negative
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
The theory cannot make us to become a leader
Sometimes reading a book is boring
There are too many academic theories in this course but not impressive enough
The course covers a bit too wide of attribute, so as a result every lesson is quite
rushed and did not go deep enough
The activity is a bit too short
This is a poor course first of all as the course provided $5000 to the top students to
attract them
Not enough time to have them all
DISCUSSION
A qualitative evaluation approach was used to examine the experiences of the students who
took ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖. With reference to the descriptors used by students to describe
the subject, they are primarily positive in nature (Table 1 and Table 2). Examples included
―helpful to development‖, ―useful/helpful‖, ―reflective‖, ―interactive‖, ―interesting‖,
―inspiring‖, ―impressive‖, ―self-enhancement‖ and ―skills development‖. However, some
negative comments were noted. These included ―physical setting not suitable for activities‖,
―heavy workload‖, ―nervous‖, ―serious‖ and ―common sense‖. Similar findings were obtained
for the metaphors (Table 3 and Table 4). Some positive responses included ―compass‖,
―GPS‖, ―map‖, ―an enjoyable, nice, exploring, exciting and unforgettable journey‖, ―buffet‖,
―an interesting book‖, ―mirror‖, ―rainbow‖, ―concert‖, ―theme park‖, ―lamp‖, ―seed‖, and
―cream soup‖. On the other hand, there are some negative responses such as ―boring‖ and
―inadequate time to teach the materials‖. These findings are highly similar to the first piloting
exercise and second piloting exercise (21-25). Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that there are
some negative responses recorded. While the proportion of negative responses is immaterial,
there is a need to further understand the views of the students who are not satisfied with the
subject.
Adopting a critical perspective, the overwhelmingly positive results may be due to factors
other than program success. Shek et al. (20) pointed out that it is important to watch out for
alternative explanations. First, demand characteristics might account for the overwhelmingly
positive findings (i.e., the students wished to behave in a cooperative manner and helped the
teachers to succeed in this project). However, this explanation was not likely because the
students were encouraged to express their views freely and negative views were in fact
52
Daniel TL Shek and Moon YM Law
recorded. In addition, the students responded to the reflective notes in an anonymous manner.
Second, ideological biases of the researcher such as self-fulfilling prophecies may account for
the positive results. However, as the author was not directly involved in the data analyses and
several safeguards (e.g., intra- and inter-rater reliability as well as disciplined data analyses
and interpretations) were used to reduce biases in the data collection and analysis process, this
possibility is not high.
Several limitations of the study should be realized. First, as only four classes of students
were involved and they chose the subject voluntarily, there is a need to replicate the findings
in other student populations. Second, as reflection notes were collected at one time point
using a single worksheet, it is constrained by time effect. Third, besides reflection notes, other
qualitative methods such as in-depth individual interviews would enable the researchers to
understand the inner worlds and subjective experiences of the students.
There are growing developmental issues in Chinese university students. In response to
such developmental issues, some researchers argued that credit-bearing courses would enable
university students to develop in a holistic manner (26, 27). Unfortunately, there are very few
credit-bearing courses aimed at promoting psychosocial competencies of university students
in the Chinese and international contexts. The present study suggests that ―Tomorrow‘s
Leaders‖ developed at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is a promising approach in
promoting the development of psychosocial competencies in Chinese university students (28).
Indeed, there are positive evaluation findings showing that the promotion of psychosocial
competencies in early adolescents can help them develop in a holistic manner (29-32).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The development of the course titled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ and the evaluation study were
financially supported by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University via the Teaching
Development Grant and the funding for the 3-3-4 new curriculum. We would also like to
thank the Wofoo Foundation for the establishment of several scholarships for those
outstanding students taking the course. Members of the Curriculum Development Team
include Daniel Shek, Rachel Sun, Yat Hung Chui, Dorcas Allen, Cecilia Ma, Lu Yu, Yida
Chung, Yammy Chak, Pik Fong Tsui, Moon Law and Winnie Fung. This chapter has been
published as a paper in the International Journal on Disability and Human Development,
2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified
form.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 5
PERCEPTIONS OF A UNIVERSITY SUBJECT
ON LEADERSHIP AND INTRA-PERSONAL
DEVELOPMENT: REFLECTIONS OF
THE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1,2,3,4,5,
Florence KY Wu, BA, MA, EdD1
and Moon YM Law, BSSc, MSW, RSW1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
4
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Under the New 4-Year Undergraduate Curriculum, students admitted to The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University have to take a course on ―Leadership and Intra-personal
Development‖. A subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was developed to help students
satisfy this requirement. In the second piloting exercise, five outstanding students taking
this subject were invited to write reflective journals. Several common themes from these
reflections are highlighted from the analyses. First, students believed there was a need for
this subject. Second, the students liked the course and they identified many positive
attributes in the subject and its implementation. Third, the instructors were appreciated by
the students. Fourth, the subject was seen by the students to be beneficial to their
development. Finally, some suggestions for improvement were noted. When the present

Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences,
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected] polyu.edu.hk.
56
Daniel TL Shek, Florence KY Wu and Moon YM Law
findings are integrated with other evaluation findings, it can be concluded that the subject
is able to promote psychosocial competencies in University students taking this subject.
INTRODUCTION
There are is research showing that there are many developmental issues in University students
in Hong Kong, such as stress-related problems and lack of civic engagement (1). As
adolescent developmental issues do not disappear over-night, there is a need to consider how
to promote holistic development in Chinese University students (2). At The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, a subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was developed to help
students fulfill the Leadership and Intrapersonal Development requirement. The objectives of
the subject are: a) to help students understand and integrate theories, research and concepts on
the intra-personal and interpersonal qualities of effective leaders, b) develop self-awareness
and better understanding of oneself, c) acquire interpersonal skills, and d) develop selfreflection skills in their learning. The subject was piloted twice in 2010/11 (268 students) and
2011/12 (197 experimental students and 71 control students) where objective outcome
evaluation, subjective outcome evaluation, process evaluation and qualitative evaluation were
carried out. Results showed that students generally perceived the subject and instructors in a
very positive manner and they perceived the subject to be able to promote their holistic
development. Finally, students showed positive changes after taking the subject (3-10).
Different qualitative evaluation strategies have been used to assess the effectiveness of
the subject. Besides reflective journals and focus groups, scholarship recipients were invited
to write down their reflections of the subject. In terms of sampling strategy, it is ―extreme or
deviant case sampling‖ focusing on those who did well in the subject (11). Based on the
reflections of the scholarship recipients, common themes were identified across cases (12). In
this paper, five recipients of Wofoo Scholarships in the second piloting exercise were invited
to write down their experiences related to the subject. Again, common themes would be
identified and integrated to highlight the salient features of this subject.
CASE 1
After I began studying Building Services Engineering, I recognized the need to acquire
leadership skills. In the construction industry, senior engineers lead a team of technical
experts and liaise with the architects. To ensure success, having leadership qualities is crucial.
The subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ directs me to a right way. I begin the reflection by
explaining how the subject has inspired me. Then I will share what I gained from this subject.
I will end this reflection by describing my plan regarding the use of the scholarship.
Unlike regular lectures offered by my home department, the atmosphere of this subject
was relaxing and interaction between the students and lecturers was highly promoted. The
mode of learning was no longer a dull listening and notes-jotting process but rather an active
thinking and sharing process. The lecturers appreciated their students‘ participation and the
students found it fruitful to speak out their thinking. The subject demonstrated an enjoyable
Perceptions of a university subject on leadership and intra-personal development
57
yet insightful way of learning. I am sure that I cannot find this environment elsewhere in
other lectures or tutorials.
One feature that makes the subject standing out of the crowd is the inclusion of activities
during lecture. They allowed us to evaluate ourselves regarding the leadership quality being
taught at the lecture. They created the opportunity for us to introspect: What are our
strengths? What are our weaknesses? In addition, these activities motivated us to learn. In
order to arrive at a solution in the activity, we had to discuss among ourselves, work together
and formulate the answer. We were not silent audience but active participants in the lectures.
Self-understanding is vital. However, knowing how to change is equally important.
Simple guidelines showing how to develop a specific leadership quality were distributed to us
in most of the lectures. They illustrate how to equip ourselves with the quality covered in the
lecture. Therefore, this subject is practical. Still, it is up to us whether we use the materials or
not.
The last but equally inspirational feature in this subject is that we had to form groups
during the first lecture (i.e. we had no idea of other group mate‘s background). In other
words, we had to work with people all over the University with different majors. Since the
topics covered in each lecture were different, all students had the opportunity to speak in the
group they belonged. Being an engineering student, I provided my knowledge during the
lecture concerning cognitive competence as engineers being trained to think critically and
effectively. I managed to take an active role in helping the group to formulate an answer for
the questions raised by the lecturer.
Concerning how this subject assisted my personal development, it changed my belief in
leadership. I used to think that leadership is innate. The idea had been consolidated during my
secondary school life when only the best students were nominated to join leadership camps
and workshops. Such students had been academically outstanding in primary school. Later,
they became the president of the student union or held other important student posts in school.
Nevertheless, the subject provided an alternative perspective for me. The materials suggest
that leadership attributes can be developed. Everyone can be a leader. It gives me a new hope.
Also, it helped me define what leadership is. Leadership comprises a range of attributes.
Not only does a leader need to know oneself well. A leader should also be able to innovate
(i.e. cognitive ability). Leaders should be emotionally stable (i.e. stress control) and morally
sound. In addition, leadership style is based on the personality of the leader and the style
dominates only at a particular circumstance. Identifying the leadership qualities enables me to
pinpoint the deficiencies I have and improve them. To be frank, I am grumpy. When
something goes wrong, I tend to release my fury before analyzing the situation. It ends up
with endless quarrels and poor relation with my group mates. I regretted so much. As I
mentioned earlier, the subject provided practical guidelines for developing a particular
leadership skill. In this case, emotional competence is my concern. Knowing that emotional
competence consists of self-regulation, self-awareness, self-motivation, and self-regulation
are the right aspects to be investigated. Based on the academic model on emotion regulation, I
have begun to change the way I perceived criticisms. I have been trying to reduce my anger
and pick out the messages the criticisms contain. Though I may still be uncomfortable, I can
learn something from others‘ views instead of fully rejecting them. The change cannot come
true if I chose other General Education (GE) subjects instead.
Without signing up for ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖, I would not have learned new tools that
may become handy in future. I teamed up with a knowledgeable student who gave me insight.
58
Daniel TL Shek, Florence KY Wu and Moon YM Law
He was responsible and willing to take risks. During the preparation of the group presentation,
he suggested using an online presentation software entitled Prezi. Compared with Microsoft
PowerPoint, Prezi offers more flexible layout, making the presentation more impressive. The
software is also user-friendly. Yet, the software is new and there is a chance of receiving
criticism. Luckily, we received positive feedback for using it. Apart from knowledge gain, I
also learned from his attitude. He was so energetic that he motivated me during class. Also, I
often felt that I lacked the courage to try new ideas. His action became a ‗live‘ model for me
to improve.
Regarding the use of the scholarship, I would like to use it to fund my little research on
human‘s body language. We encounter people every day. We communicate every day. But
we may not always get the true message from others. Body language tends to convey more
than verbal messages. As a human being, I should know exactly what others think. As a
leader, I must understand my partners‘ feelings so as to help them arrive at their destination.
Thus, I may use the scholarship to supplement part of the expenses for taking courses about
body language. If time does not allow, I may simply purchase books on the topic. Still, I will
save part of the money to thank the student I mentioned. I will offer him a meal when he
returns from the exchange tour.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for putting my plans one step closer to success.
The scholarship enables me to further develop my leadership qualities before my graduation,
making me more competitive in front of my future employers. I am certain that I will not go
any further without your support. Thank you very much!
CASE 2
Last year, some of my physiotherapy classmates chose ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ as their
general education (GE) subject. Most of them evaluated this subject as fruitful and valuable,
which could enhance students to have a deeper understanding about their own personality and
leadership. Because of their strong recommendation, I enrolled this course as my second GE
subject.
At the beginning, I did not think there was a strong relation between leadership and my
future career as a physiotherapist. According to definition, leader is a person who leads a
group of people to achieve a goal, make decisions and give order which affects the
development of a team. However, it seems that physiotherapists in Hong Kong will not take
over this role in the medical team as the team is dominated by doctor, which is known as
―medical dominance‖. Therefore, I initially thought that being leaders is doctors‘ job and it is
not important for me to learn how to be a good leader.
However, I found that this concept was wrong after taking the lectures. In the class, our
lecturer told us that everybody has the potential of becoming a leader in everyday life. As a
student, you may become the group leader for a study project. As a member of your family,
you may have a chance to make important decision and judgement. As a future
physiotherapist like me, I may still have a chance to lead new graduates after my position
becomes senior. This actually impressed me a lot as the teacher encouraged us to understand
things in other points of views which I had not thought before.
Perceptions of a university subject on leadership and intra-personal development
59
In fact, I soon realized that this course was not designed to convert us to become leaders,
but rather provided resources and materials to guide us reflect on our own self. Besides
discussing the content in class, there were many class activities to illustrate the concepts and
theories which made the class even more interactive. This kind of interactive learning can
bring more fun to our learning. Through role playing and case analysis, we easily
remembered the concepts and incorporated the theories into our daily life.
Learning from the kind and knowledgeable lecturers was a joyful experience.
The lectures and the learning materials were well organised and well prepared. The teaching
materials covered different aspects of leadership like emotional competence and interpersonal
communication. The PowerPoint and notes provided a clear explanation and the lecturers and
teaching assistants were ready to help and guide us during class activities and discussion.
The lecture outlines given at the beginning of each lecture provided us with a clear structure
and overview of the class. The sharing session at the end of each lecture helped us to evaluate
what we had learnt on that day.
The continuous assessment format of the course is appropriate, which can assess our
understanding of the subject content in a non-examination oriented way. The group project
presentation required us to search information for a particular aspect of leadership, which
enhanced our ability in reading articles and extracting information from it. The planning of
presentation content, selection of format and time management were not easy tasks. The most
difficult point was that the members in our group came from different programmes and
departments. It was difficult for us to find a time that was free for all of us to have a
discussion of the project. Also, the date of presentation was exactly at the busiest period of
the semester. My time management skills and working efficiency have hence been improved.
Our presentation topic is ―interpersonal communication‖, and this project preparation process
was a great chance for me to practice the particular skills as I was always the one who
contacted and coordinated with other group members. At that time, I realized how important a
leader should be in achieving a goal. As my group members were very busy, I had to use all
communication methods and media I had to call and remind them to finish their works before
deadline. One time, I did not receive any reply until the last minute and this was also a
challenge to my emotional competence. Fortunately, my group members were all very smart
and we did a good job in the presentation. My group members impressed me a lot as they let
me learn that different people may have different attitudes, methods and ability in working.
It does not matter what methods you are choosing as long as you can finish the job well.
As a science student, it is a challenge for me to write an article about social science.
The term paper was not easy to do but it provided me a good chance to learn and search for
something new. Through the article searching and reading process, I had a deeper
understanding about my topic and its relation with my future career. Actually, this was the
first time for me to write something about social science in English, the positive feedback
from my lecturers about my work gave me great fulfilment.
To conclude, ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ provided students with an excellent introduction to
leadership. The various activities and self-reflections during the class were useful in our
personal development. The content of this subject is not only restricted to academic area but
also helps us to promote our personal growth and interpersonal relationship, which may be
the most important factor in our future career development. It is my honour that the
scholarship was granted to me and I would like to thank my teachers and the donor of the
Wofoo Foundation Scholarship for their devotion to the subject. I may still have a long way
60
Daniel TL Shek, Florence KY Wu and Moon YM Law
to go before I can prepare myself to become a leader in future. Nevertheless, this subject has
already given me a clear pathway and goal for my success. I hope all the schoolmates who
enrolled in this subject in the coming semester can have a joyful learning experience and
become tomorrow‘s leaders in the future.
CASE 3
First of all, I would like to give my profound thanks to the honorable donors. In fact, this is
my first scholarship with such a great amount. I was surprised when I knew that I was the
student with the highest score in the class. This is totally out of my expectation. My view
towards this subject has changed for several times from the beginning to the end of the
subject. I would like to talk about my attitude towards the subject first and then followed by
what I have learnt in the subject.
To be honest, at the beginning, I thought that this subject should be easy to pass.
From the subject name, ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖, I guessed that there would not be many
assignments but there would be some in-class activities. Also, for this General Education
subject, I did not treat it as serious as other core subjects. Therefore, I had viewed the subject
as ―relaxed hours‖ at the beginning. After attending a few classes, I found that it was funny
and relaxing. We had chances to share our opinions towards the topics, the theories or even
the teaching strategies adopted by the lecturer - Dr. Allen Dorcas. I especially liked the
exciting role play games, although the preparation time was so tight that sometimes I did not
have enough preparation before I tried. Also, when preparing my group project and
presentation, I encountered a huge challenge. The subject required us to prepare a
presentation on one of the topics taught in the lectures and shared something out of the
syllabus. Since my group, including all group mates and myself, was creative and capable to
be a leader, we had trouble on deciding the content we wanted to share with our classmates.
Each of us has suggested a few choices. For me, I suggested to talk about emotional
regulation model which I felt very interesting but I did not know it very clearly. The idea was,
however, turned down by all my group mates. During the discussion, the atmosphere was
sometimes quite tense and we still could not come to a decision. Finally, I was arranged to
talk about a topic which I was not familiar with (EQ versus IQ) and I had to look for much
extra information. This took me several days to stay at the library. Compared with my initial
attitude, such efforts were definitely out of my expectation. Working on something I was not
interested in and being forced to spend lots of time on it made me deeply depressed. After
struggling for several days, I had fortunately performed excellently in the presentation.
Finally, I scored an A for the subject.
Through this subject, I have learnt how to be a Tomorrow‘s Leader by personal
experience, instead of understanding theories in books. For instance, as mentioned above, I
had faced two difficulties, social relationship and emotion control, in preparing my group
project. Fortunately, the subject had covered these two aspects. In the lecture of social
competence, I learnt to be social competent - I should pay attention on empathy, listening,
negotiation and evaluation solution. Empathy was something new to me. When encountering
a depressed person, I used to be sympathetic, instead of empathetic. Differing from sympathy,
empathy emphasizes the importance of having the feeling with others, not just understanding
Perceptions of a university subject on leadership and intra-personal development
61
or giving advice to them. During the project, although we had various points of views, I tried
to be empathetic. One the one hand, I wanted to use my ideas as our presentation topic. On
the other hand, I tried to stand at my group mates‘ viewpoints and saw things from their
perspectives. It made me easier to accept their suggestions and be concessive. Therefore, we
finally used EQ versus IQ as our topic. Being empathetic has maintained our good
relationship; even after the presentation, we still had lunch together and chatted in Facebook.
Apart from social competence, I also benefited from the lecture of emotional competence.
As mentioned above, I was interested in the model of emotional regulation. According to the
model, people should manage their emotion by antecedent-focused emotional regulation,
instead of response-focused emotional regulation. In other words, we should regulate our
emotion by adjusting how we perceive the event, not by suppressing our emotion. For me, I
used to reduce my bad feelings when I was depressed. I may have a big meal or buy a gift in
order to make myself happy. The model, however, suggested a better way to manage emotion.
For example, in the project, if regarded it as shameful if my ideas were rejected by group
mates, then I became upset. On the other hand, if I perceived it as a rational discussion and it
was not directed against me, then I would not feel upset. I tried to manage my emotion
according to the model. Although I had to find extra information on a topic which I was not
interested in, I perceived that as a chance to learn something which I was not familiar with.
As a result, I started struggling at the library. Indeed, I had opportunities to implement what I
had learnt in lectures on assignments during the whole semester.
In this ever-changing world, being capable of becoming a leader is essential for everyone.
No matter who you are (a student, employee or even employer), teamwork, communication
between others and solving conflicts are unavoidable. To be a competent person, selfunderstanding, emotional competence, cognitive competence, resilience, spirituality, ethics
and morality, social competence, positive and healthy identity, interpersonal communication,
interpersonal conflicts, personal integration and sense of responsibility and self-leadership are
the basic qualities. Fortunately, ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ provides an all-rounded course
covering all the above qualities. I am glad that I have chosen this subject as I have an
unforgettable experience in the course. It is appreciated that ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ will
become a core subject in the coming semester. I believe my fellow schoolmates will enjoy
this subject as much as I do. Once again, I would like to give my profound thanks to the
honorable donors and I am sure that ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ will become a popular subject
under your support.
CASE 4
We all want to be a leader in our lives. However, that is not a simple mission. What we have
to know first are the criteria of being a leader or more specific, a good leader. Through taking
responsibilities of some committees, we may learn some skills such as organization skills.
Still, that is not enough for being a good leader. In order to be a good and all-rounded leader,
I realized that I have to learn from basics. That is why I took ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ as my
broadening general education course.
In ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖, we learnt different theories and concepts of intra-personal and
interpersonal qualities of an effective leader, including self-understanding, social competence,
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Daniel TL Shek, Florence KY Wu and Moon YM Law
and interpersonal communication. During the class, the lecturer, Dr Chui used diverse
activities, such as doing worksheets, group discussion, and role plays, to let us learn the
theories in a visualized way.
After taking this course, I find out a lot of things special about leadership. First of all, I
realized that being a leader needs to be all-round in different aspects. You may wonder that
this is what we said in everyday, why is it so different? In the past, I thought being an allround leader just need to be sociable and be more outgoing. However, I found that ―allround‖ means both intra-personal as well as interpersonal. The thing inspired me the most is
that we have to understand ourselves. I always miss a point that is about me - you have to
know yourself well then you can be developed into a good leader. During the time studying
this course, the lessons began with intra-personal qualities of being an effective leader.
Understanding someone seems important in our lives and sometimes you may feel it is
difficult for us to understand someone wholly. Interestingly, have you ever thought of
yourself? If we want to know other people, we first need to know ourselves. Otherwise, how
can you know other people if you even do not know your strengths and weaknesses? Looking
back when studying this course, I found that in most of the time, we focused on discussion of
different intra-personal qualities and indeed knowing all of these helped me a lot to improve
myself.
Sometimes, I feel I am not good at all, and really need to get better. However, I do not
know what should I do or what I need to improve. As mentioned, this course introduces
diverse aspects of the intra-personal qualities including emotional competence, cognitive
competence, resilience, spirituality as well as ethics and morality. The qualities are organized
in a clear way, and the lecturer spent lots of time to explain the differences between the
qualities so that we could know these qualities in the best way. More than that, we had to do
self-evaluation for each quality and thus we had reflection time in every lecture. Salvador
Dali said ―Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it‖. It is pretty true that we are not
perfect and we have to improve ourselves. As I mentioned before, there are totally five intrapersonal qualities that the lecturer taught, and I found that I could hardly control my emotion,
especially when I communicated with my parents. In the past, when my parents asked me to
do things, I always refused, spoke loudly to them, and told them that I was busy with my stuff.
The result was that we always quarreled with each other. I was fed up of explaining what I
was doing and would pout, frown and fuss with them. I would say I always expressed my
emotion in an unjustified way to my parents. I know I must change my attitude so that I can
have a better relationship with my parents. Now, every time when my parents talk to me, I
remind myself that I should not treat them as before. Now, I try to think in their way and help
them as I understand that it will make our relationship better.
There are some qualities I did not concern or even did not know before I studied this
course. After taking this course, I know more about those qualities and therefore I can
develop those qualities that I did not know before. For example, resilience is the one of the
qualities that I did not concern before. Resilience is talking about the stresses and life
adversities faced by young people, and how to cope with life stresses. I completely do not
know about the role of resilience in effective leadership, and do not realize that it is essential
in leadership. Nevertheless, as our lecturer always says ―Every quality plays an equally
important role in being a good leader‖. I know that if I want to be a good leader in every
aspect, I should take every quality in same proportion. Indeed, every time when we work in a
group and face some difficulties, we give up so quickly. At that time, what we need the most
Perceptions of a university subject on leadership and intra-personal development
63
is resilience. We must stay firm at what we want to achieve so that when we face any kind of
difficulties, we will not give up in a regrettable way. I would say if I have never taken this
course, I would not pay attention to this and do it in a same way.
―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ is a good course for tertiary students. If we do not know how to
be a good leader, how can we be an effective leader in future? However, I think studying all
these things in one semester is not enough, or I must say two hours a week is not sufficient.
I think there should be some activities for students to experience how to be a good leader.
Finally, I hope that I can develop myself to be an effective leader in diverse aspects of my life
in the future.
CASE 5
It is my honor to be one of the awardees of Wofoo Foundation Scholarship. Here I want to
share my learning experience in taking APSS2816 ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ in my article.
At the beginning, my reason for choosing this GE subject was a coincidence. This subject
was just suited my timetable and there was no test or final examination, so I chose it as my
first GE subject. Starting from the first lesson, I found this subject was very interactive and
interesting. The reason is because of the discussion sessions and teaching methods. During
the lectures, the lecturers would gave us some questions to discuss with our group mates and
each time a different group member had to report our final decision to the whole class. I liked
the discussion sessions, because we just sat in lecture hall and listened to the lecturer in most
lectures. It was very boring. But if we have the discussion sessions, we will have the initiative
to participate in the class and express our opinions. Most importantly, we can share with our
group mates. I had good relationships with my group mates. We discussed the questions
given by the lecturers and then we had a chit chat; it was also time for us to understand each
other. In addition to the discussion, the lecturers would arrange some role plays or video
sharing activities for us. I liked the role play very much, since it was so unforgettable and
funny. The contents about this subject are quite abstract, such as those for the topics of
cognitive competence and spirituality. A lot of daily life examples were used with the aim of
giving us better understanding. Role play was an interesting and interactive way for students
to understand the abstract concepts. I liked to attend this lecture because of its relaxing
atmosphere and the chit chat with my group mates. I did learn a lot of from this subject.
However, I think the most important point is that I started to think more after attending
this subject. Since I am a Year 1student, there are lots of things I have to adapt in the
University, including the busy learning schedule and the heavy workload. Hence, it is easy for
us to forget thinking about our life meaning. This subject talks a lot about the morality,
resilience and spirituality. Those things might not have any direct benefits or linkage in
getting any good grades or making money for the future. But it is very important for one‘s
well being. I liked the lecturers who always asked some inspiring questions when the lecture
was nearly finished. I gave myself some time to think those questions. For example, what do
you want to get from the University life? Do you have a better employment chance when you
graduate? Those are the questions we always omit or evade to think about them. Attending
this subject gave me a chance to think about my own life goal, which is the most important
thing I get from this subject.
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Daniel TL Shek, Florence KY Wu and Moon YM Law
To conclude, these are what I want to share. I think we need more this kind of subjects in
our University study, more interactive and interesting ones. It helps to develop our critical
thinking and creativity. It is really a pleasure and my honor to be the awardee of the
scholarship. Thanks a lot.
DISCUSSION
In this study, five cases were used to illustrate the common elements intrinsic to these cases
(12-15). Although the five scholarship recipients had different reasons for enrolling in this
subject, several observations can be highlighted from these cases. First, all of them pointed
out that there is a need to have this subject in the University context. For critics of leadership
subjects in the University context, they usually argue that there is actually no need for such
subjects. Obviously, the present findings and other evaluation clearly highlights the fact that
subjects that promote the self-understanding of the students are very important.
Second, the students felt that the subject was very different from other subjects, including
its relaxing, interaction and reflective nature. The findings suggest that students like small
group teaching, interactive ways of learning and experiential learning. Third, the students
generally appreciated the positive qualities of the instructors. There are two implications of
this observation. First, qualities of the instructors are important to the success of subjectbased leadership subjects. In fact, how instructors can inspire the students is important.
Second, training for instructors is important. In particular, instructors should understand the
philosophy behind the lecture content and related activities before they can teach the subject
well.
Third, the students generally felt that there were personal benefits of taking the subject,
such as promotion of their emotional competence and resilience. Most important of all, the
subject helped students to find their meaning of life. Besides, the students felt that the subject
helped to promote interpersonal relationships and skills in themselves. Some students even
shared that the subject had helped them interact with their family members. In conjunction
with other evaluation findings, show that the subject is able to promote holistic development
of University students in Hong Kong. Contemporary University education has been criticized
as failing to help students understand themselves and develop in a holistic manner (16-18).
Clearly, the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ is a positive response to such a criticism.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The development of the course titled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ and the evaluation study were
financially supported by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University via the Teaching
Development Grant and the funding for the 3-3-4 new curriculum. We would also like to
thank the Wofoo Foundation for the establishment of several scholarships for those
outstanding students taking the course. Members of the Curriculum Development Team
include Daniel Shek, Rachel Sun, Yat Hung Chui, Yida Chung, Yammy Chak, Pik Fong Tsui,
Ceci Ma, Lu Yu, Moon Law and Winnie Fung. T This chapter is based on an article published
Perceptions of a university subject on leadership and intra-personal development
65
in the International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission
has been obtained from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
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Dalton J, Crosby P. Being and having: shouldn‘t excellence in higher education (and people) be a
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 6
DO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS CHANGE AFTER TAKING
A SUBJECT ON LEADERSHIP AND
INTRA-PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP 1-5
and Cecilia MS Ma, PhD1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
The changes in University students after taking a subject on leadership and intrapersonal
development (―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) are
presented in this chapter. Adopting a pre-experimental design (one group pretest-posttest
design), 1,029 students responded to a questionnaire assessing different aspects of
development, including measures of positive youth development and life satisfaction.
While students showed positive changes in self-determination, thriving and life
satisfaction, their scores declined in some measures of positive youth development. The
present findings are consistent with the previous findings that the subject is able to
promote the holistic development of University students in Hong Kong, but it also
generated some odd findings to be clarified in future studies.

Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social
Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
68
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
INTRODUCTION
An important role of higher education is to nurture students to become civically engaged and
moral citizens (1, 2). In particular, developing leadership qualities has become one of the
most important learning objectives of higher education (3). David Starr Jordan, a former
president of Stanford University, asserted that the character of a student ―must form for
himself; but higher education gives him the materials‖ (4, p. 72). In fact, higher education
serves as the potential source of change to enrich students‘ lives, to empower their potentials,
and to realize their needs and aspirations by exposing them to different kinds of curricular and
co-curricular leadership programs (5).
While whole person development has always been upheld as the goal of education, higher
education has been criticized for its overemphasis on students‘ academic and intellectual
development and negligence of their inner lives and character development. As pointed out by
the former president of Harvard University, ―although offerings on applied ethics are
common, they are seldom required‖ (6, p. 147). Even worse, students‘ inner development is
often marginalized or seldom explicitly declared as an educational goal (7).
Nowadays, college students are often described as egoistic and egocentric who are more
career-oriented and consider higher education as a degree investment and an entry ticket into
the work force (8). In a meta-analysis of dispositional empathy in college students over the
past three decades, Konrath et al. (9) reported that declines in empathic concern and
perspectives taking were most apparent in the past decade. They also noted that the changes
might be related to the proliferation of technology advancement and media use that result in
less empathic interpersonal interactions. According to Crosby (5), helping students to become
good human beings is an important goal of higher education. Unfortunately, Glanzer and
Ream (10) observed that most universities had shifted away from this humanistic approach,
which was a central focus of higher education in the past, and argued for the need to return to
the comprehensive development of students (i.e., intellectual, physical, mental, emotional,
spiritual and moral).
There is a growing emphasis on helping college students to develop in a holistic manner
(11). This is particularly important for first-year college students, who are often considered as
underprepared and looking for the need of remediation in the face of the new academic
environment (8). As educators, it is our role to address the needs of students and to assist
them to function optimally in all life areas (12). Previous studies demonstrated the
effectiveness of the first-year courses in helping these students to ease transition to the new
college environment (13, 14). For example, Choate and Smith (12) incorporated ―The Wheel
of Wellness model‖ (15), a holistic and multidisciplinary model, into the curriculum among
first-year students. Quantitative and qualitative results showed positive changes in students‘
psychological well-being (e.g., self-awareness, self-direction, self-direction, stress
management and nutrition). They concluded that ―students need not only academic skills
training but also a holistic approach to both intrapersonal and interpersonal development‖
(12, p. 181).
In a Chinese context, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is committed to nurturing
graduates with several attributes, including critical thinking, effective communication,
innovative problem solving, lifelong learning and ethical leadership. To achieve this mission,
particularly with respect to ethical leadership, we and other colleagues designed a subject
Do university students change after taking a subject on leadership …
69
entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ based on the positive youth development approach. This
subject attempts to help students develop their intra- and interpersonal qualities through
understanding the concepts and qualities of effective leadership and acquiring self-reflection
skills in their daily lives. To meet the General University Requirements (GUR), all full-time
students admitted to the 4-Year undergraduate curriculum are required to take a 3-credit
course satisfying the area of leadership and intrapersonal development (16).
To ensure the quality of the subject developed, this subject was offered twice on a pilot
basis in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 school years and systematic evaluation was carried out.
Multiple evaluation strategies including objective outcome evaluation, subjective outcome
evaluation, process evaluation and qualitative evaluation were used to assess the effects of
this subject. The evaluation findings were generally positive in these two pilot studies (1729).
While the evaluation findings for the pilot studies were overwhelmingly positive, they
were based on responses of students who studied in the old 3-year undergraduate curriculum
(i.e., students were older and they took the subject in a voluntary manner). Hence, there is a
need to understand the changes in students of the 4-Year curriculum after taking this subject.
There are two characteristics of students admitted under the new 4-Year degree program.
First, they are younger and they take only six years of secondary school education. Second,
they take Liberal Studies where intra- and interpersonal competences are only briefly covered
in their secondary school curriculum. These two characteristics may predispose them to think
that the leadership requirement is not really important for them. As such, there is a need to
evaluate the effectiveness of the subject when applied to students taking the new curriculum.
Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine changes in the students after taking
―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ in the fall semester of 2012.
OUR STUDY
A total of 1,029 full-time first-year students from different faculties and departments (e.g.,
engineering, sciences, humanities, social sciences, health care professional, and design) took
this course in the fall semester of 2012. The sample was composed of 597 (58%) females and
432 (42%) males.
During the first 4 weeks (i.e., pretest) of the semester, students were invited to complete a
73-item questionnaire via an online learning platform—Blackboard. Students were again
invited to respond to the same questionnaire during the last three weeks of the semester (i.e.,
posttest). During the data collection, the purpose of the study was mentioned and
confidentiality was assured. To match the pretest data with the posttest data, informants were
asked to put down the last four digits of their Hong Kong identity card numbers. In the
present study, data was collected from 963 students who completed both pre- and post-tests.
The rate of completed data was 94%.
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Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
Instruments
At both pre- and post-tests, the participants were invited to respond to a questionnaire
containing measures of positive youth development and demographic information. Responses
were made on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree).
Higher scores indicated better psychosocial development.
Positive youth development was measured by the Chinese Positive Youth Development
Scale (CPYDS) (30, 31). Due to time constraint, the modified version of the CPYDS was
used, including measures of resilience (3 items, pretest:α = .67; posttest:α = .82), social
competence (3 items; pretest:α = .81; posttest:α = .87), emotional competence (3 items,
pretest:α = .60; posttest:α = .75), cognitive competence (3 items, pretest:α = .73; posttest:α =
.83), behavioral competence (3 items, pretest:α = .51; posttest:α = .66), moral competence (3
items, pretest:α = .59; posttest:α = .73), self-determination (2 items, pre-test:α = .74; posttest:α = .80), self-efficacy (2 items, pretest:α = .56; posttest:α = .61), beliefs in the future (3
items, pretest:α = .78; posttest:α = .83), clear and positive identity (4 items, pretest:α=.75;
posttest:α = .84), spirituality (3 items, pretest:α = .58; posttest:α = .69), thriving (5 items,
pretest:α = .29; posttest:α = .54), and prosocial norms (2 items, pretest:α = .55; posttest:α =
.72).
Besides, measures of critical thinking (3 items, pretest:α=.75; posttest:α = .82), problem
solving (3 items, pretest:α=.69; posttest:α =.79), lifelong learning (2 items, pretest:α=.45;
posttest:α = .62) and ethical leadership (15 items, pretest:α=.85; posttest:α = .91) were
included to assess the desired graduate attributes. Finally, the 5-item Satisfaction with Life
Scale was included in the questionnaire to look at the positive well-being of the students (32).
A higher score indicated a higher level of life satisfaction. The scale has been used in many
studies on Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. The psychometric properties of this scale were
reported in other publications (33, 34). In the present study, the Cronbach‘s α was .83 and .88
at pretest and posttest, respectively.
FINDINGS
A General Linear Model (GLM) analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to examine
the program effects on the different indicators of positive youth development. A significant
interaction effect of time and indicator was found (F = 15.92, p < .01), suggesting that time
differences depended on the indicators under focus. For the positive youth development
qualities, higher posttest scores were shown in self-determination, thriving and life
satisfaction as compared to the pretest scores in the predicted direction. However, different
results were shown in other subscales (i.e., beliefs in the future, spirituality, prosocial norms
and lifelong learning), with the mean scores in the pretest higher than those in the posttest.
Overall speaking, while there were positive results supporting the effectiveness of the subject,
there was also negative evidence.
Do university students change after taking a subject on leadership …
71
DISCUSSION
Findings of the present study add to the previous results by showing the beneficial effects of a
leadership course on promoting the holistic development among the first-year Hong Kong
college students (16-29). The results of the current study showed that participants scored
higher in several composite and subscale measures over the course of the semester. Students
reported higher self-determination, thriving, and life satisfaction at the end of the semester.
Unlike the traditional educational programs which are didactic and teacher-centered in nature,
holistic, experiential and cooperative learning strategies were used in the subject which
encouraged students to take an active role in the learning process. Through this studentcentered approach, students were not only engaged in reflection and group discussion, but
were also allowed to understand and internalize their knowledge by participating in problemsolving activities. The findings of the subjective outcome evaluation and qualitative
evaluation showed that the majority of the participants perceived the course positively and
reported the beneficial effects after taking this course. In fact, students were aware of the
changes not only in psychosocial competencies scores, but also through their written
reflections in the post-lecture evaluation forms and journals (this can be seen in the series of
articles in this special issue). The findings of the current study replicate those earlier findings
reported in previous studies (22-27). The results of this study provide further support for the
effectiveness of a positive youth development course on promoting psychosocial
competencies among Hong Kong Chinese college students.
Developmentally speaking, University years are stressful to the students. During the
college years, students might find difficulties and feel uncertain about how they make a
successful transition from high school and fit into this new environment. They are expected to
think independently, manage the multiple roles, and perform optimally in their academic and
vocational development after their graduation. Some students may even have financial
difficulties and family adjustment problems. As college educators, it is imperative to help
students develop a variety of developmental needs, such as intellectual, physical and
interpersonal skills (35, 36). Past research conducted with Western populations showed the
positive effects of the subject on students‘ development after participating in psychosocial
programs and courses (37-39). The findings reported in the current study contribute the
literature by showing the effectiveness of a leadership course in Chinese contexts.
Nevertheless, while some positive program effects were observed, some negative
program effects were also observed (e.g., drop in the mean score of prosocial norms). There
are several possible explanations for these ―odd‖ observations. First, with gradual maturation,
adolescents may assess one‘s competence in a more realistic manner. In other words, they do
not overestimate their competencies when they grow older. For example, with more
sophisticated cognitive abilities, older adolescents would make social comparisons and they
might see more undesirable behavior in oneself, which may then adversely affect their
evaluation of personal competences. Second, this may be a continuation of the trend of drop
in psychosocial competence observed in the secondary school years. Shek and Ma (40)
showed that there was a drop in the psychosocial competence scores throughout the junior
secondary school years. Third, the time of assessment might have affected the results. As the
baseline assessment lasted for four weeks and the posttest data collection was carried out in
the last three weeks, the effect may not be pronounced if the respondent started late at pretest
72
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
but completed early at posttest. Fourth, as reliability of some of the measures was not high, an
observation which is not consistent with the previous findings, this may affect the results. In
view of these odd observations, there is a need to clarify the related uncertainties later.
There are several strengths of this study. First, as there are very few evaluation studies on
related subjects in the Chinese context, this is a pioneer addition to the literature. Second, a
large sample was employed, which is very rare in Chinese University contexts. Third, a
validated instrument (i.e., CPYDS) was used to examine the changes of positive youth
development qualities over a semester leadership course. Despite the aforementioned
strengths, several limitations are noted. First, it is interesting to examine how this program
works on promoting students‘ well-being and competencies by including mediating and
moderating variables. MacKinnon (41) highlighted the role of mediating and moderating
variables as an acknowledgment of the complexity of behavior when examining the outcomes
of an intervention. As they pointed out, ―describing mediation and moderation theory clarifies
the purpose of the intervention and forces consideration of alternative interpretations of the
results of the study, leading to better research design and more information gleaned from the
study‖ (41, p. 680). Future research should incorporate mediating and moderating variables in
studying the effects of the program.
Second, future research should include a control group in order to increase the internal
validity of the findings. In fact, the addition of a control group can help to interpret the ―drop‖
in scores in some of the domains. Nevertheless, this single-case experimental design approach
has widely been used in the area of psychology (42-46) and social work intervention (47-49).
Smith (50) noted that this approach provides a useful means to increase the ecological validity
of empirical finding in naturalistic studies.
Finally, a short-term cross-sectional design was used in this study. It will be important to
conduct additional follow-up studies to determine the durability of these effects particularly
when the students graduate. This proposal is important because teaching students about the
importance of psychosocial competencies is just like sowing seeds which may take time to
grow and bear fruits. Lastly, our sample was predominantly recruited from Hong Kong
Chinese college students. Little is known whether the present findings are applicable to a
greater diversity of tertiary educational institutions. More research is warranted to increase
the generalizability of this study‘s results.
The present findings have important implications on how student competencies could be
cultivated in higher education. Given the role of higher education in nurturing future leaders,
our study demonstrates the effectiveness of a credit-bearing leadership course on promoting
psychosocial competencies among Chinese University students, which is seldom examined in
this area of literature.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The preparation for this paper and the subject were financially supported by the Department
of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The authorship is
equally shared by the two authors. This chapter has been published as a paper in the
International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has
been obtained from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
Do university students change after taking a subject on leadership …
73
Table 1. Changes in different indicators between pretest and posttest
Interaction: Test X indicator effects
Variables
Resilience
Social Competence
Cognitive Competence
Emotional Competence
Behavioral Competence
Self-Determination
Self-Efficacy
Beliefs in the Future
Spirituality
Clear and Positive Identity
Moral Competence
Prosocial Norms
Problem Solving
Thriving
Life Satisfaction
Ethical Leadership
Critical Thinking
Lifelong Learning
Pretest
Posttest
F
Eta2
M (SE)
4.92 (.02)
4.77 (.02)
4.71 (.55)
4.71 (.02)
4.65 (.02)
4.53 (.02)
4.60 (.02)
5.02 (.02)
4.83 (.02)
4.41 (.02)
4.88 (.02)
4.99 (.02)
4.59 (.02)
4.22 (.02)
3.98 (.03)
4.77 (.01)
4.70 (.02)
4.77 (.02)
M (SE)
4.78 (.02)
4.74 (.02)
4.69 (.64)
4.69 (.02)
4.66 (.02)
4.59 (.02)
4.63 (.02)
4.88 (.02)
4.72 (.03)
4.44 (.02)
4.85 (.02)
4.88 (.02)
4.56 (.02)
4.35 (.02)
4.13 (.03)
4.74 (.02)
4.73 (.02)
4.70 (.02)
15.92**
38.20
3.03
.81
.34
.10
6.31*
1.49
49.59**
27.06**
2.00
3.31
18.98**
2.34
50.72**
34.64**
3.15
2.75
7.85**
.28
*p<.05; **p<.01.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 7
POST-COURSE SUBJECTIVE OUTCOME EVALUATION
OF A SUBJECT ON LEADERSHIP AND INTRA-PERSONAL
DEVELOPMENT FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
IN HONG KONG
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP *1-5
and Lu Yu1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
4
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, KY, USA
ABSTRACT
To investigate the perceived effects of a subject on leadership and intrapersonal
development offered at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a 48-item Subjective
Outcome Evaluation Scale was implemented on a sample of first-year undergraduate
students (N = 800) in the academic year of 2012-2013. Consistent with our expectation,
factor analyses showed that there are three dimensions (program, instructor and benefits)
intrinsic to the scale. Similar to previous findings, results showed that students had
positive perceptions about the subject content and teachers, and most of the students
perceived the subject as beneficial to their holistic development. Both perceived qualities
*
Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences,
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
78
Daniel TL Shek and Lu Yu
of the program and instructor were significant predictors of the perceived effectiveness of
the program. Perceived qualities of the program, instructors and benefits predicted
students‘ overall satisfaction with the program.
INTRODUCTION
There are research findings showing that risk behavior is a growing concern in adolescents.
For example, the latest findings of the ―Monitoring the Future‖ study showed that although
alcohol and cigarette consumption decreased, use of illicit drug increased in recent years.
Some alarming figures on the past 30-day prevalence rates were noted: 41.5% of 12th graders
had consumed alcohol, 17.1% of 12th graders had smoked; 25.2%, 18.6%, and 7.7% of 12th
graders, 10th graders, and 8th graders had used illicit drugs, respectively (1). In the area of
sexual issues in young people, Kann et al. showed that the prevalence rate of sexual
intercourse increased among adolescents in Grade 9 through Grade 12 and the rate of having
had four or more sex partners increased for adolescent boys and girls in Grade 9 through
Grade 12 (2). In another study, while few adolescents were sexually experienced at age 12 (24% of adolescent girls and 6-8% of boys), such rates increased to 14-20% for adolescent girls
and 20-22% for boys at age 14 (3).
With specific reference to Hong Kong, Shek, Ma and Sun (4) highlighted several
developmental issues in local adolescents. First, psychotropic substance abuse and its hidden
nature have increased in recent years (5). Second, research showed that excessive Internet use
has become a growing problem and the prevalence rates in the junior secondary school years
were alarming (6). Third, sexual permissiveness in young people and acceptance of premarital
sexual intercourse are growing (7). Fourth, although interpersonal harmony was emphasized
in the Chinese culture, school bullying has been a hot topic in the past decade. Finally, as an
international financial centre, worrying signs of adolescent materialistic beliefs were
identified. Coupled with the morbid emphasis on academic excellence in the Hong Kong
context, it can be argued that there are many obstacles adversely affecting the holistic
development of young people in Hong Kong. Findings of a series of studies based on the
responses of junior secondary schools students also showed that adolescent risk behavior is an
issue deserving more attention (4).
As some high school adolescents will receive high education, one interesting question is
whether these problems would disappear automatically when students are admitted to
universities. While it is commonly believed that adolescent developmental problems will
disappear after they enter high education institutions, this is actually not the case. There are
studies showing that adolescent mental health problems remain alarming in university
students, such as depression, anxiety and suicidality (8). For example, Mowbray et al. (9)
reported approximately 12-18% of students on university campuses having a diagnosable
mental disorder (p. 227). Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students
in the United States after car accidents (10-11). A survey of 950 students in the University of
McMaster (12) revealed that 35% of the participants reported feeling depressed, 6.5% had
considered suicide and roughly 1% had attempted suicide.
In the local context, Shek (5) outlined the developmental problems in university students
in Hong Kong, including growing adolescent substance abuse, worsening mental health of
young people, value confusion, and failure to promote holistic development in students
Post-course subjective outcome evaluation of a subject on leadership …
79
through formal curricula. In another study, Shek and Cheung (7) reviewed four types of
developmental issues of university students in Hong Kong. They found that behavioral and
lifestyle problems of university students, such as alcohol consumption, Internet addiction,
cyber-pornography, irregular sleeping patterns, and interpersonal violence were issues of
concern. Consistent with the Western findings, mental health problems of university students
such as depression and anxiety were also noted. Moreover, issues on self-confidence and
materialism were highlighted. Finally, signs pertinent to egocentrism and lack of civic
engagement of the students were identified. These signs are worrying as university students
are traditionally regarded as the ―cream of the cream‖ in society and they are expected to be
leaders of the society in the future.
In view of the above developmental issues, one question should be answered is how to
nurture contemporary university students in Hong Kong. Based on the premise of universal
prevention in the public health approach and the literature on positive youth development (13),
the first author has developed a subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ which attempts to
promote leadership and intrapersonal competencies in university students at The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University. The subject was piloted twice in 2010/11 and 2011/12 school years.
Utilizing multiple evaluation strategies including objective outcome evaluation, subjective
outcome evaluation, qualitative evaluation, and process evaluation, it was found that the
subject was able to promote the holistic development of university students in Hong Kong
(14-20).
Starting from 2012/13 school year, all first year students at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University are required to take a 3-credit subject fulfilling the Leadership and Intrapersonal
Development requirement. It is expected that students taking ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ should
be able to cultivate the desired graduate attributes required by the University, including
effective communication, critical thinking, innovative problem solving, life-long learning and
ethical leadership. In view of these learning outcomes, there is a need to conduct systematic
evaluation of ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖. In this paper, post-course evaluation using the modified
Subjective Outcome Evaluation Scale (SOES) was carried out. There are four purposes of this
paper. First, the factor structure of the SOES was examined with reference to the
hypothesized dimensions of the scale, which includes perceived program quality, instructor
quality and perceived benefits of the program. Second, descriptive profiles of the responses to
the items in SOES were presented. Third, prediction of program quality and instructor quality
on perceived program benefits was investigated. Finally, the role of program quality,
instructor quality, and perceived program benefits on students‘ overall satisfaction with the
subject was explored.
OUR STUDY
In the first term of 2012/13 academic year, the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was offered to
1,038 students in 16 classes. At the last lecture of the course, students were invited to respond
to a Subjective Outcome Evaluation Scale (SOES). On the day of data collection, the purpose
of the evaluation was mentioned, and confidentiality of the data was repeatedly emphasized
to all students. The students were asked to indicate their wish if they did not want to
participate in the study (i.e., ―passive‖ informed consent was obtained from the students).
80
Daniel TL Shek and Lu Yu
All participants responded to the SOES in a self-administration format. Adequate time was
provided for the participants to complete the questionnaire. As some students were absent in
the last lecture, a total of 800 completed questionnaires were collected from the students.
Instruments
A modified Subjective Outcome Evaluation Scale (SOES) was used in the present study to
investigate students‘ subjective evaluation about the course. The SOES was adapted from the
Subjective Outcome Evaluation Form for students (Form A) in the Project P.A.T.H.S. in
Hong Kong. The SOES is comprised of three subscales: participants‘ perceptions of the
program, participants‘ perceptions of the program implementers (subject teachers), and
perceived effectiveness of the program (21). Previous studies have provided preliminary
evidence for the three-factor structure of the SOES (22). Specific description and the
Cronbach‘s alpha coefficients for the three subscales on the present sample are as below.
•
•
•
Participants‘ perceptions of the program, such as program objectives, design,
classroom atmosphere, interaction among the students, and the respondents‘
participation during class: 8 items (Cronbach‘s alpha = 0.91).
Participants‘ perceptions of the implementers, such as the preparation of the lecturer,
professional attitude, involvement, and interaction with the students: 10 items
(Cronbach‘s alpha = 0.95).
Participants‘ perceptions of the effectiveness of the program (such as promotion of
different psychosocial competencies, resilience, and overall personal development)
and achievement of the intended learning outcomes: 21 items (Cronbach‘s alpha =
0.98).
In addition to the above three scales, there are three items assessing students‘ global
satisfaction with the program (Cronbach‘s alpha = 0.90), two items measuring students‘
overall attitude, and four open-ended questions asking participants their opinions on the
following areas.
•
•
•
•
Things that the participants learned from the program (Open-ended question).
Things that the participants appreciated most (Open-ended question).
Opinion about the instructor(s) (Open-ended question).
Areas that require improvement (Open-ended question).
For the present paper, only quantitative results were reported based on the 44 items.
Findings about students‘ responses on the open-ended questions will be discussed elsewhere.
FINDINGS
A principal components analysis was performed on the responses of the participants to 39
items of SOES (i.e., 8 items measuring perceptions of program; 10 items measuring
Post-course subjective outcome evaluation of a subject on leadership …
81
perceptions of instructor; and 21 items measuring perceived effectiveness), yielding four
factors with eigenvalues exceeding unity, accounting for 70.35% of the variance. To avoid
overfactoring, further analyses using the scree plot showed that three factors could be
meaningfully extracted. The three-factor solution, which could be considered as relatively
adequate representations of the data, was rotated to a varimax criterion for interpretation. The
first factor consists of 21 items which are related to the perceived benefits of the program in
different aspects labeled as Program Effectiveness (PE), which explained 35.71% of the total
variance. The second factor explained 19.62% of the total variance, which includes 10 items
on instructors. As these items are concerned with the participants‘ perceptions about the
instructor, this factor could hence be labeled as Quality of Instructor (QI). The last factor was
labeled as Program Qualities (PQ) which includes the eight items on participants‘ perceptions
about the qualities of the program, explaining 12.41% of the variance. Table 1 shows the
varimax rotated factor structure of the SOES.
Table 1. Rotated factor structure of SOES
Items
a1
a2
a3
a4
a5
a6
a7
a8
b1
b2
b3
b4
b5
b6
b7
b8
b9
b10
c1
c2
c3
c4
c5
c6
c7
c8
c9
c10
c11
c12
c13
Component
1 (PE)
.380
.445
.361
.358
.276
.475
.388
.547
.171
.156
.261
.153
.182
.213
.180
.188
.219
.253
.775
.729
.800
.765
.783
.806
.803
.695
.762
.759
.766
.804
.776
2 (QI)
.240
.248
.343
.258
.332
.192
.284
.147
.706
.779
.747
.810
.817
.805
.795
.818
.746
.831
.162
.243
.192
.157
.171
.157
.186
.275
.200
.230
.231
.149
.188
3 (PQ)
.632
.667
.625
.668
.656
.578
.609
.577
.319
.207
.238
.207
.123
.124
.122
.120
.186
.146
.244
.229
.195
.158
.194
.192
.202
.252
.251
.273
.276
.222
.241
82
Daniel TL Shek and Lu Yu
Table 1. (Continued)
Items
c14
c15
c16
c17
c18
c19
c20
c21
Component
1 (PE)
.780
.756
.790
.661
.690
.682
.792
.788
2 (QI)
.202
.154
.221
.260
.244
.272
.152
.247
3 (PQ)
.231
.262
.232
.351
.335
.329
.223
.292
Note: Extraction method: Principal Component Analysis.
Rotation method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
a. Rotation converged in 5 iterations.
a1 to a8: items on perceived program qualities. b1 to b10: items on perceived instructor qualities. c1 to
c21: items on perceived benefits.
PE = program effectiveness; QI = quality of instructor; PQ = program quality.
Percentage data were first examined using descriptive statistics and the results are
presented in Table 2 to Table 6. Several observations can be highlighted from the findings.
First, the majority of the participants showed positive perceptions of the subject in different
aspects. For example, 95.37% of the participants agreed that the objectives of the curriculum
are very clear; 93.87% of the students expressed that they were encouraged to do their best;
more than 96% of the participants perceived the activities as carefully arranged and there
were good peer interaction amongst the students. Overall, 91.56% of the students had very
positive evaluation of the program. Second, the participants had very positive evaluation
about the program implementers‘ (subject teachers‘) performance. More than 98% of the
participants agreed that the lecturer had a good mastery of the curriculum, encouraged
students to participate, cared for the students, and were ready to offer help. Third, as seen in
Table 4, a high proportion of the respondents perceived the program promoted their
development, including resilience (87.34%), social competence (92.23%), life reflections
(94.60%), self-awareness (91.99%), and ethical decision making (91.23%). Besides, more
than 93% of the students expressed that the knowledge and skills covered in this subject
enabled them to understand and synthesize the characteristics of successful leaders and
promoted their sense of responsibility in serving the society. Fourth, 76.54% of the
participants would recommend their friends to take this course. Fifth, 54.09% of the students
expressed that they would participate in similar course again in the future. Finally, 92.46% of
the respondents indicated that they were satisfied with this course.
Reliability analysis showed that SOES was internally consistent (Table 7): 8 items are
related to the program (α = .91), 10 items are related to the implementer (α = .95), 21 items
are related to the benefits (α = .98), the total 39 items measure total program effectiveness
(α = .98), and 3 items assess overall satisfaction of students on this program (α = .90).
A composite measure of each factor (i.e., perceptions of program, perceptions of program
implementers, perceived program effectiveness, and overall effectiveness) was created based
on the total scores of each scale divided by the number of items.
Table 2. Summary of the participants’ perceptions towards the program (PQ)
1. Objectives of the
curriculum are very clear.
2. Design of the curriculum
is very good.
3. Activities were carefully
arranged.
4. Classroom atmosphere
was very pleasant.
5. Peer interaction amongst
the students.
6. I participated actively
during lessons.
7. I was encouraged to do my
best.
8. Enhanced my interest
towards the lessons.
1
N
4
%
0.50
2
N
9
%
1.13
3
N
23
%
2.88
4
N
189
%
23.68
5
N
479
%
60.03
6
N
94
%
11.78
Positive
N
%
762
95.37
5
0.63
14
1.75
36
4.51
236
29.54
423
52.94
85
10.64
744
93.12
1
0.13
3
0.38
26
3.25
204
25.53
460
57.57
105
13.14
769
96.25
3
0.38
11
1.38
52
6.52
233
29.23
391
49.06
107
13.43
731
91.72
1
0.13
2
0.25
23
2.89
197
24.72
415
52.07
159
19.95
771
96.62
2
0.25
16
2.01
57
7.14
253
31.70
366
45.86
104
13.03
723
90.60
2
0.25
12
1.50
35
4.38
282
35.29
376
47.06
92
11.51
750
93.87
10
1.25
28
3.50
91
11.39
275
34.42
320
40.05
75
9.39
670
83.96
Note: All items are on a 6-point Likert scale with 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = slightly disagree, 4 = slightly agree, 5 = agree, 6 = strongly agree.
Positive = participants with positive responses (Options 4-6).
Table 3. Summary of the participants’ perceptions towards the implementers (QI)
1. The lecturer(s) had a good mastery of the
curriculum.
2. The lecturer(s) was (were) well prepared for the
lessons.
3. The teaching skills of the lecturer(s) were good.
4. The lecturer(s) showed good professional attitudes.
1
N
0
%
0.00
2
N
3
%
0.38
3
N
8
%
1.00
4
N
120
%
15.04
5
N
461
%
57.77
6
N
206
%
25.81
Positive
N
%
787
98.75
1
0.13
0
0.00
8
1.00
100
12.53
408
51.13
281
35.21
789
98.87
1
0
0.13
0.00
2
2
0.25
0.25
16
7
2.01
0.88
159
96
19.92
12.05
425
411
53.26
51.57
195
281
24.44
35.26
779
788
97.62
98.75
Table 3. (Continued)
5. The lecturer(s) was (were) very involved.
6. The lecturer(s) encouraged students to participate.
7. The lecturer(s) cared for the students.
8. The lecturer(s) was (were) ready to offer help.
9. The lecturer(s) had much interaction with the
students.
10. I have very positive evaluation of the lecturer(s).
1
N
1
1
1
1
1
%
0.13
0.13
0.13
0.13
0.13
2
N
0
0
0
0
1
%
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.13
3
N
2
4
14
6
16
%
0.25
0.50
1.75
0.75
2.01
4
N
90
103
142
98
161
%
11.29
12.92
17.79
12.28
20.25
5
N
413
412
386
405
407
%
51.82
51.69
48.37
50.75
51.19
6
N
291
277
255
288
209
%
36.51
34.76
31.95
36.09
26.29
Positive
N
%
794
99.62
792
99.37
783
98.12
791
99.12
777
97.61
2
0.25
1
0.13
9
1.13
112
14.09
421
52.96
250
31.45
783
98.37
Note: All items are on a 6-point Likert scale with 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = slightly disagree, 4 = slightly agree, 5 = agree, 6 = strongly agree.
Positive = participants with positive responses (Options 4-6).
Table 4. Summary of the participants’ perceived effectiveness of the program (PE)
1. It has strengthened my resilience in adverse
conditions.
2. It has enhanced my social competence.
3. It has improved my ability in expressing and
handling my emotions.
4. It has enhanced my analytical ability.
5. It has enhanced my critical thinking.
6. It has strengthened my ability to distinguish
between the good and the bad.
7. It has increased my competence in making
sensible and wise choices.
8. It has helped me to have life reflections.
9. It has strengthened my self-confidence.
10. It has increased my self-awareness.
1
N
4
%
0.50
2
N
21
%
2.63
3
N
76
%
9.52
4
N
304
%
38.10
5
N
348
%
43.61
6
N
45
%
5.64
Positive
N
%
697
87.34
3
5
0.38
0.63
11
12
1.38
1.50
48
78
6.02
9.76
262
299
32.83
37.42
397
344
49.75
43.05
77
61
9.65
7.63
736
704
92.23
88.11
6
8
6
0.75
1.00
0.75
17
19
16
2.13
2.38
2.00
78
63
67
9.79
7.89
8.39
324
312
318
40.65
39.10
39.80
313
349
338
39.27
43.73
42.30
59
47
54
7.40
5.89
6.76
696
708
710
87.33
88.72
88.86
7
0.88
16
2.01
68
8.52
304
38.10
347
43.48
56
7.02
707
88.60
5
6
7
0.63
0.75
0.88
7
16
11
0.88
2.00
1.38
31
77
46
3.89
9.64
5.76
224
317
254
28.11
39.67
31.79
398
317
390
49.94
39.67
48.81
132
66
91
16.56
8.26
11.39
754
700
735
94.60
87.61
91.99
11. It has helped me to face the future with a
positive attitude.
12. It has helped me to cultivate compassion and
care about others.
13. It has strengthened my motivation to learn
something new every day.
14. It has helped me to make ethical decision.
15. It has enhanced my desire for lifelong
learning to improve leadership competence.
16. It has increased my ability to become an
ethical leader.
17. The theories, research and concepts covered
in the course have enabled me to understand the
characteristics of successful leaders.
18. The theories, research and concepts covered
in the course have helped me synthesize the
characteristics of successful leaders.
19. It has enabled me to understand the
importance of interpersonal relationship in
successful leadership.
20. It has promoted my sense of responsibility in
serving the society.
21. It has enriched my overall development.
1
N
7
%
0.88
2
N
15
%
1.88
3
N
58
%
7.26
4
N
293
%
36.67
5
N
347
%
43.43
6
N
79
%
9.89
Positive
N
%
719
89.99
5
0.63
21
2.63
66
8.27
303
37.97
333
41.73
70
8.77
706
88.47
6
0.75
28
3.51
84
10.53
321
40.23
298
37.34
61
7.64
680
85.21
5
6
0.63
0.75
15
24
1.88
3.01
50
78
6.27
9.77
283
300
35.46
37.59
346
312
43.36
39.10
99
78
12.41
9.77
728
690
91.23
86.47
5
0.63
15
1.88
62
7.76
291
36.42
348
43.55
78
9.76
717
89.74
6
0.75
12
1.50
32
4.01
252
31.58
386
48.37
110
13.78
748
93.73
5
0.63
10
1.25
35
4.38
276
34.54
371
46.43
102
12.77
749
93.74
6
0.75
6
0.75
32
4.01
245
30.70
399
50.00
110
13.78
754
94.37
7
0.88
22
2.75
65
8.14
300
37.55
326
40.80
79
9.89
705
88.24
8
1.01
13
1.64
44
5.53
264
33.21
367
46.16
99
12.45
730
91.82
Note: All items are on a 6-point Likert scale with 1 = very unhelpful, 2 = unhelpful, 3 = slightly unhelpful, 4 = slightly helpful, 5 = helpful, 6 = very helpful.
Positive = participants with positive responses (Options 4-6).
Table 5. Summary of the participants’ perceptions towards the program
1. I have very positive evaluation of the
program.
2. I like this curriculum very much.
3. On the whole, are you satisfied with this
course?
1
N
6
%
0.77
2
N
19
%
2.42
3
N
43
%
5.48
4
N
222
%
28.32
5
N
385
%
49.11
6
N
109
%
13.90
Positive
N
%
716
91.56
13
5
1.73
0.63
19
13
2.53
1.63
94
42
12.52
5.28
244
352
32.49
44.22
297
308
39.55
38.69
84
76
11.19
9.55
625
736
82.89
92.46
Note: Item 1 and 2 are on a 6-point Likert scale with 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = slightly disagree, 4 = slightly agree, 5 = agree, 6 = strongly agree.
Item 3 is on a 6-point Likert scale with 1 = very dissatisfied, 2 = moderately dissatisfied, 3 = dissatisfied, 4 = satisfied, 5 = moderately satisfied, 6 = very
satisfied.
Positive = participants with positive responses (Options 4-6).
Table 6. Other aspects of subjective outcome evaluation
Will you suggest your friends to take this course?
1
2
3
Definitely will not
Will not suggest
Will suggest
suggest
N
%
N
%
N
29
3.64
158
19.82
497
Will you participate in similar courses again in the future?
1
2
3
Definitely will not
Will not suggest
Will suggest
suggest
N
%
N
%
N
73
9.19
291
36.65
367
4
Definitely will suggest
%
62.36
N
113
%
14.18
4
Definitely will suggest
%
46.22
N
63
%
7.93
Positive
Participants with positive
responses (options 3-4)
N
%
610
76.54
Positive
Participants with positive
responses (options 3-4)
N
%
430
54.09
Post-course subjective outcome evaluation of a subject on leadership …
87
Means and standard deviations of the composite indicators are also summarized in
Table 7, which further support the positive evaluation of the students toward the program.
Pearson correlation analysis was used to examine if the program content and program
implementers were related to the program effectiveness. Regression analyses were further
performed to examine the relationship between different aspects of participants‘ evaluation
about the project (PQ, QI, and PE) and their overall satisfaction on the subject. Results of
correlation analyses (Table 8) showed that both PQ (r = .79, p < .01) and QI (r = .52, p < .01)
were strongly associated with PE. Table 9 further presents the findings of multiple regression
analyses. All three factors have significant effects on the overall satisfaction toward the
program. Higher level of PQ (β = .39; p < .01), QI (β = .09; p < .01), and PE (β = .45; p < .01)
predicted higher overall satisfaction toward the program. The model explained 67% of the
variance toward the prediction of students‘ overall satisfaction.
Table 7. Means, standard deviations, Cronbach’s alphas, and means of inter-item
correlations of each subscale
4.67
5.14
4.50
Standard
deviation
0.66
0.60
0.73
Cronbach‘s
alpha
0.91
0.95
0.98
Mean inter-item
correlations
0.57
0.66
0.66
4.23
4.51
0.53
0.85
0.98
0.90
0.51
0.74
Mean
Program Quality (PQ: 8 items)
Quality of Instructor (QI: 10 items)
Program Effectiveness (PE: 21
items)
Total Effectiveness (39 items)
Overall Satisfaction (3 items)
Table 8. Correlation coefficients among the subscales
Variable
1. Program Quality (PQ: 8 items)
2. Quality of Instructor (QI: 10 items)
3. Program Effectiveness (PE: 21 items)
4. Total Effectiveness (39 items)
1
.59**
.79**
.89**
2
3
.52**
.74**
.94**
Note: **p < .01.
Table 9. Multiple regression analyses predicting overall satisfaction
Overall
Satisfaction
a
Predictors
Program
Quality
(PQ)
ßa
Quality of
Instructor
(QI)
ßa
Program
Effectiveness
(PE)
ßa
.39**
.09**
.45**
Note: Standardized coefficients.
**p < .01.
Model
R
R2
.82
.67**
88
Daniel TL Shek and Lu Yu
DISCUSSION
Based on a large sample of university students in Hong Kong, the present evaluation study
yielded empirical evidence supporting the sound psychometric properties of the modified
Subjective Outcome Evaluation Scale (SOES), an instrument developed to measure program
outcomes and effectiveness of the course ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ in promoting university
students‘ interpersonal and intra-personal development from student perspectives.
In alignment with the conceptual model, factor analyses support a three-dimensional
structure of the SOES, including perceived program qualities (PQ), perceived qualities of
instructors (QI), and program effectiveness (PE). All items loaded on the construct they were
designed to measure, with no substantial cross-factor loadings. The SOES also shows good
internal structure. Each subscale displayed good reliability, with high values of Cronbach‘s
alpha coefficients and inter-item correlations. This suggests that the SOES measures three
different aspects of the subjective outcome of the program based on participants‘ views, and
that all subscales have good internal consistencies. Against the background that
psychometrically sound assessment tools for subjective outcome evaluation are grossly
inadequate in the field of evaluation in the Chinese context, this study can be regarded as a
useful contribution.
With regard to the descriptive profiles on students‘ responses to the SOES, the current
findings suggest that students had very positive perceptions about this subject. More than
90% of the respondents had a clear understanding about what they were expected to learn
from this subject and they believed that the teaching and learning activities had helped them
to achieve the subject learning outcomes. Positive opinions of students were observed on their
perceptions about subject teachers and perceived effectiveness of the subject on personal
development. These findings are consistent with the report by Shek and Sun (22) using
similar evaluative mechanism and findings based on other evaluation methods, such as preand post-test evaluation, student focus group, personal reflection, and post-lecture evaluation
(14-20). This clearly indicates that ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖, a subject which aims at promoting
university students‘ interpersonal and intra-personal development are received well by
students. It is necessary to incorporate such courses in university education to nurture allround graduates. Furthermore, when we compared the findings based on the Student
Feedback Questionnaire conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, it was
revealed that the ratings on ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ were better in ―students‘ understanding
about the expected learning outcome of the subject‖ and ―the effectiveness of the assessment‖
than on other General University Requirements subjects using the same online questionnaire.
Such findings give further support to the conclusion that both the content and the related
assessment of ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ were well received by students; ―this subject was able
to promote the holistic development of the students taking this course.
Both participants‘ perceptions about the program content, teachers‘ performance, and
effectiveness of the program significantly predicted their overall satisfaction about the subject.
This is also in line with previous reports (20-22) supporting the conjecture that both the
design of the program and the delivery of curriculum by teachers determine the success or
failure of a program. In ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖, multiple units of curriculum that cater to the
needs of university students were designed supplied with different topic-related activities.
When teaching the subjects, experiential learning and interactive teaching were highly
Post-course subjective outcome evaluation of a subject on leadership …
89
emphasized in every lecture. All these factors contribute to the effective learning of students
and their high overall satisfaction about the course.
Educational experts have long advocated that higher education sectors have the
responsibility to develop adaptive competence in university students that prepare them for
balanced development such as problem solving parallel to their academic attainment,
particularly in an ever-changing world nowadays (23). The development and implementation
of ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ as a course for first-year undergraduate students to fulfill the
requirement of Leadership and Intrapersonal Development at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University can be regarded as an innovative and effective response to such a vision. Along
with previous reports (14-20), the present study lends support to the effectiveness of the
subject in promoting university students‘ holistic development from the perspectives of the
participants. Similar curriculum-based programs that aim at nurturing all round university
students could be further developed and evaluated.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authorship of this paper is equally shared by the first author and second author. This
work and the subject on ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ are financially supported by The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University. "This chapter is based on an article published in the International
Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014. Permission has been obtained from De
Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
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Shek DT, Sun RC, Chui YH, Lit SW, Yuen WW, Chung YY, et al. Development and evaluation of a
positive youth development course for university students in Hong Kong. Scientific World Journal
2012. DOI: 0.1100/2012/263731.
Shek DT, Ma CM, Tang CY. Predictors of subjective outcome evaluation findings in a positive youth
development program in Hong Kong. Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2011;10:249-55.
Shek DT, Sun RC. Post-course subjective outcome evaluation of a course promoting leadership and
intrapersonal development in university students in Hong Kong. Int J Disabil Hum Dev 2013;12:193–
201.
Marginson S, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, Australia. Hong
Kong higher education review (HER) external expert report. Available at: http://www.cshe.unimelb.
edu.au/people/marginson_docs/Hong%20Kong%20external%20export%20report%20June%202009%
20HER2010-AP.pdf. Accessed: 30 Mar 2013.
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 8
POST-LECTURE SUBJECTIVE OUTCOME EVALUATION
OF A UNIVERSITY SUBJECT ON LEADERSHIP
AND POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
IN HONG KONG
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1,2,3,4,5
and Hildie Leung, PhD1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation findings of a university subject promoting the
leadership qualities and positive youth development of students at The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University are reported. Students were invited to respond to a 16-item postlecture questionnaire gauging their perceptions toward the subject, lecture, and the
teachers after each of the 13 lectures. Factor analysis demonstrated that three factors were
abstracted from the scale, including Subject Attributes, Lecture Attributes, and Teacher
Attributes. Normative findings showed that students had positive perceptions on each of
the dimensions throughout the lectures. Multiple regression analyses revealed that subject
attributes, lecture attributes, and teacher attributes predicted global evaluation of the
lecture and teacher. Based on the subjective outcome evaluation findings, the present
study provides further support for the effectiveness of this subject in promoting the
holistic development of the students.

Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social
Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hung Hom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
92
Daniel TL Shek and Hildie Leung
INTRODUCTION
―Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty.
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.‖Franz Kafka (1883-1924)
A subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was developed by Shek (1) aimed at nurturing
positive youth development and promoting leadership qualities in university students within a
Chinese context. The subject provides an experiential learning environment for youngsters to
discover beauty (and shadows) within themselves, their strengths and potentials, and to equip
students with competencies that will enable them to capitalize on their assets to overcome
adversity, thrive, and flourish to become contributing members of society (2). The subject
was proposed under the 4-Year undergraduate curriculum at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University as a required subject in the area of ―Leadership and Intrapersonal Development‖.
The subject was developed as an initiative to tackle developmental issues observed
among adolescents. Mental health of university students is recognized as a major concern for
researchers and educators. Findings from the West suggest that university students suffer
from a range of mental health problems. Eisenberg and colleagues (3) conducted a study with
university students in the United States and reported positive screens for depression, panic
disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, and nonsuicidal self-injury.
A majority of university students in Australia also reported elevated distress levels, with an
alarming 64.7% having reported subsyndromal symptoms, such as anxiety, agitation, feelings
of hopelessness, and worthlessness, which are indicative of mild to moderate mental illness
(4). Problem behaviors including alcohol, drug, and tobacco use were also common among
college-aged adolescents (5-7).
Mental health and adolescent developmental problems are not limited to youths in the
West. Adolescents in Asia also suffer from psychological and adjustment problems across
different domains (8). Wong and colleagues (9) reported a high prevalence of depression,
anxiety, and stress symptoms amongst first-year university students in Hong Kong. Sleep
deprivation and poor sleep quality were also prevalent (10). Shek and colleagues (11)
conducted a systematic research and identified emergent developmental issues among
adolescents in Hong Kong. Factors including low levels of resilience (12), inadequate
knowledge of coping methods and healthy ways to release stress (13), poor self-concept, low
self-esteem, poor perspective-taking abilities, low levels of morality, spirituality, and poor
emotional management skills (11) have been identified as risk factors for adolescent
developmental problems.
While research reporting prevalence rates and those investigating on the reasons behind
the occurrences illuminate on the issue, more important questions are whether and how these
problems can be solved. Zivin and colleagues (14) concluded from their longitudinal study
that mental health problems experienced by majority of college students are ―more than
transient issues related to adjustments or other temporary factors‖ (p. 184). Shek and Wong
(15) asserted that it is unrealistic to postulate that mental health and developmental problems
will ―just disappear‖ overnight once adolescents enter university, as many of these problems
are exacerbated in a university setting. As adolescent developmental issues do not vanish on
its own, Shek and Wong (15) quested for the urgent need to devise ways to help university
Post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation of a university subject on leadership …
93
students develop in a holistic manner to prevent the worsening of adolescent developmental
problems. It was argued that a curricular-based approach adopting the positive youth
development model (16) would be helpful to nurture university students. Few credit-bearing
college courses currently exist to equip students with essential non-academic ―life skills‖,
particularly those with orientations toward social responsibility, mental health awareness, and
leadership skills, which are crucial for university students of all disciplines. Against this
background, the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was developed (1).
The subject was piloted twice as a 2-credit subject; first in the second term of the 2010/11
academic year, and subsequently, in the first term of 2011/12. With the inception of the new
4-Year undergraduate curriculum commencing in the 2012/13 school year, a 3-credit
curriculum for ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was developed based on the 2-credit subject. All
undergraduate Year 1 students are required to take part in this subject. This student
population is unique from those who previously took the subject during the two piloting
exercises. In terms of demographics, entering students of the 4-Year undergraduate
curriculum are younger. They may be less mature, which may impact on the reception of
materials taught, the level of self-reflection they are able to engage in, or on the effective
conducting of in-class activities. Furthermore, as the 3-credit subject is a mandatory subject
which students must take to fulfill the requirements ―Leadership and Intrapersonal
Development‖ as a part of their curriculum, compared with the elective-nature of the 2-credit
subject during the pilot phase, it would be interesting to investigate students‘ perceptions of
the subject under this implementation background. Lastly, some students may have had the
exposure to certain subject topics from their Liberal Studies course in secondary school. Thus,
it would be informative to examine the impact of these topics on students, given the unique
feature of a balanced theoretical and experiential focus of ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖.
Similar to the 2-credit subject, the 3-credit subject was developed with reference to
several positive youth development constructs which have been identified in successful
programs (17). As far as the teaching/learning approach is concerned, instead of adopting a
didactic approach, students taking this subject are encouraged to be sensitive to their own
behaviors in the intrapersonal and interpersonal contexts. Both intellectual thinking and
experiential learning are emphasized. The lectures are designed to enable students to
understand theories, concepts, and research on leadership qualities, through simulation
exercises, games, and discussions that are carried out in the classroom setting. The
teaching/learning methodology includes lectures, experiential learning sessions, group project
presentation, and a written assignment.
Numerous studies utilizing different evaluation strategies, both quantitative and
qualitative, have consistently reported the effectiveness of the subject in promoting holistic
development in students (18-25). The current paper will focus on the post-lecture subjective
outcome evaluation, conducted after each of the lectures to gauge students‘ immediate
feedback on each particular lecture. This is a popular method for several reasons. First, since
students are invited to provide feedback upon the completion of each lecture on a weekly
basis, teachers are able to receive repeated instances of feedback, which is necessary to alter
one‘s self-perceptions and behaviors (26). Feedback perceived as a process is likely to be
more effective than that received on a one-off basis (27). In addition to the frequency, the
interval between teachers‘ performance and the receiving of feedback will also impact on its
94
Daniel TL Shek and Hildie Leung
effectiveness. The shorter the time between behavior and feedback, the more effective the
feedback is on improving performance (28).
For the present subject, as the post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation forms are
returned to the instructors within two or three days after each lecture, instructors are able to
make use of the feedback and take immediate actions in response to the comments in
following interactions with students. Instructors may select some items on the scale to discuss
with their students in the next lecture or to clarify unclear concepts. This encourages teacherstudent dialogue that can strengthen the bond between the two and provides an avenue to
communicate the expectations of each party. Both students and teachers appreciate the
immediacy of student evaluation and students are appreciative when teachers make references
in subsequent lectures to the concerns they have expressed in the evaluation forms (29).
Given the advantages of conducting post-lecture outcome evaluations and that the current 3credit subject is a new initiative, there is a need to evaluate the program and gauge the
reaction of students to the different lectures. The current paper examines and discusses
findings from the post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation carried out after each lecture
(with exception of the last lecture where an official evaluation of the whole subject would be
carried out).
OUR STUDY
The subject was offered to sixteen classes of students with a total of 1,029 students. At the
end of each lecture (Lecture 1 to 13), all students were invited to respond to a subjective
outcome evaluation form to gauge their perceptions of the subject attributes, lecture attributes,
and teacher attributes. The post-lecture evaluation form consisted of 16 items and one openended question. The items tapped on various areas of lecture, including the course design,
classroom atmosphere, peer interaction, student participation, opportunities for reflection,
degree of helpfulness to personal development, teacher‘s mastery of lecture materials, and
teacher‘s use of different methods to encourage learning. Students were asked to rate on a 6point Likert scale on the extent to which they agreed to the items, ranging from 1 (strongly
disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). The items of the questionnaire are as follow:
Item 1:
Item 2:
Item 3:
Item 4:
Item 5:
Item 6:
Item 7:
Item 8:
Item 9:
Item 10:
Item 11:
Item 12:
The design of this lecture was very good.
The classroom atmosphere of this lecture was very pleasant.
This lecture increased my awareness of the importance of self-development
This lecture has improved my problem-solving ability.
This lecture has improved my understanding of importance of attributes of
successful leaders (e.g., critical thinking, moral competence).
This lecture has improved my interpersonal communication skills.
There was much peer interaction amongst the students in this lecture.
This lecture has improved my critical thinking.
There was much student participation in this lecture.
There were many opportunities for reflection in this lecture.
This lecture is helpful to my personal development.
The lecturer had a good mastery of the lecture materials.
Post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation of a university subject on leadership …
Item 13:
Item 14:
Item 15:
Item 16:
95
The lecturer used different methods to encourage students to learn.
The lecturer in this lecture was able to help students understand the
knowledge covered in the lecture.
Overall speaking, I have very positive evaluation of the lecturer in this
lecture.
Overall speaking, I have very positive evaluation of this lecture.
The post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation was conceptually designed based on the
expectation that items 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, are related to the attributes of the subject
(Subject Attributes), items, 2, 7, 9, are related to attributes of the lecture (Lecture Attributes),
and items, 12, 13, 14, are related to attributes of the teacher (Teacher Attributes). Items 15
and 16 were designed to assess the global evaluation of the teacher and the lecture.
Informed consent from students was obtained at the beginning of the semester. On the
day of data collection, the post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation forms were
administered to students upon the completion of all lecture materials. Anonymity and
confidentiality of the collected questionnaires were emphasized. Respondents were given
sufficient time to complete the questionnaires.
Data analysis
The quantitative findings yielded from the 16 close-ended questions were analyzed and
presented in this paper. All analyses were executed in IBM Statistical Package for Social
Sciences Version 20.0. Descriptive statistical analyses were used to examine the perceptions
of the students on the subject, lecture, and teacher attributes. Factor analysis was performed to
examine the structure of Items 1 to 14 to test the support of the hypothesized dimensions.
Multiple regression analyses were also conducted to examine whether subject attributes,
lecture attributes, and teacher attributes predicted the global evaluation of the teacher
(Item 15) and the lecture (Item 16).
FINDINGS
A total of 11,009 questionnaires were collected from Lecture 1 to 13. The mean percentage
findings across the lectures are presented in Table 1. Several observations can be highlighted.
First, most participants reported positive perceptions toward the subject. For instance, 95.6%
of the students perceived the design of the lectures in a positive manner, and 93.5% of
students felt that the subject gave them ample opportunities for self-reflection, and was
helpful to their self-development (Item 11: 94.4%). Besides, 93.1% of the students felt that
the learning atmosphere was pleasant, where they had many chances to interact with their
peers (Item 7: 92.5%) and to participate in the activities and discussions (Item 9: 93.8%). In
terms of the subject attributes, students agreed that the subject has helped them better
understand the attributes of a successful leader (Item 5: 94%). Majority of students also
reported positive evaluations of their teachers. Particularly, students perceived the teachers to
have good mastery of the subject materials (Item 12: 97.5%), and were able to help students
96
Daniel TL Shek and Hildie Leung
understand the knowledge being taught (Item 97.4%). The two global evaluation items also
showed that students had very positive evaluation on the teachers (Item 15: 97.5%) as well as
the lecture (Item 16: 96.3%).
To examine the dimensionality of the subject outcome evaluation questionnaire, principal
factor analysis with promax rotation was conducted. Results showed a three-factor solution in
the 14-item instrument (Table 2) and accounting for 61.87% of the variance. The eigenvalues
were all above 1.0 (6.30 for Factor 1, 1.16 for Factor 2, and 1.20 for Factor 3). Factor 1
included items 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 (factor loadings ranging from .62 to .83) and it was
labeled Subject Attributes (alpha = .90, mean inter-item correlation = .54). Factor 2 was
labeled Lecture Attributes (alpha = .82, inter-item correlation = .61) which included items 2,
7, 9 (factor loadings ranging from .71 to .86). Factor 3 included items 12, 13, 14 (factor
loadings ranging from .79 to .82) and was labeled Teacher Attributes (alpha = .83, inter-item
correlation = .62). Reliability analysis revealed that the total scale with 14 items was
internally consistent with a Cronbach alpha of .94. To understand the stability of the factors,
the total sample was divided into two random sub-samples and identical factor analyses were
performed. Results showed that the three factors were highly stable (coefficients of
congruence = .99, .99 and .99 for Subject Attributes, Lecture Attributes, and Teacher
Attributes, respectively).
In order to examine the contribution of the subject, lecture, and teacher attributes on the
global evaluation of the teacher (Item 15) and the lecture (Item 16), multiple regression
analyses were conducted. Results from the multiple regression analyses (as shown in Table 3)
revealed that the subject, condition of lecture, and teacher were all significant predictors of
the global evaluation for both the teacher and the lecture. Particularly, the teacher attributes
were most predictive of the overall evaluation toward the performance of the teacher,
whereas, the subject attributes were the strongest predictor of the global evaluation of the
subject.
DISCUSSION
This study examined the post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation of a university subject
entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ offered at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Several
observations can be drawn from the findings. Generally speaking, students perceived the
course positively in terms of subject, lecture, and teacher attributes. A majority of students
had positive perceptions toward the global evaluation of the lectures and teachers across all
13 lectures throughout the semester. Findings of the present study are in line with previous
studies showing students‘ positive perceptions toward the subject as reported via post-lecture
subjective outcome evaluations, and other forms of evaluation (18-25). The present study also
supported the psychometric properties of the 14-item post-lecture subjective outcome
evaluation form including reliability analyses which showed that the scale was highly reliable
in different lectures; factor analyses also provided support for the three hypothesized factors;
the subscales based on the factor dimensions yielded high reliabilities.
Multiple regression analyses were also conducted to examine the relative impact of the
subject, lecture, and teacher attributes on students‘ global evaluation of the teacher and
lecture.
Table 1. Percentage findings and reliabilities based on subjective outcome evaluation of each lecture
Lecture
Item
1. The design of this lecture was very good.
2. The classroom atmosphere of this lecture was very pleasant.
3. This lecture increased my awareness of the importance of selfdevelopment
4. This lecture has improved my problem-solving ability
5. This lecture has improved my understanding of importance of
attributes of successful leaders (e.g., critical thinking, moral
competence)
6. This lecture has improved my interpersonal communication skills.
7. There was much peer interaction amongst the students in this
lecture.
8. This lecture has improved my critical thinking.
9. There was much student participation in this lecture.
10. There were many opportunities for reflection in this lecture.
11. This lecture is helpful to my personal development.
12. The lecturer had a good mastery of the lecture material.
13. The lecturer used different methods to encourage students to learn.
14. The lecturer in this lecture was able to help students understand
the knowledge covered in the lecture.
15. Overall speaking, I have very positive evaluation of the lecturer in
this lecture.
16. Overall speaking, I have very positive evaluation of this lecture.
Coefficient alpha for the 16-item scale
Mean inter-item correlation
Number of questionnaires collected
L1
92.8
93.9
L2
94.2
91.4
L3
96.6
95.8
L4
95.6
93.6
L5
97.6
95.3
L6
96.5
93.3
L7
95.2
87.4
L8
96.7
94.0
L9
96.0
93.2
L10
95.1
93.0
L11
95.4
94.5
L12
95.9
91.3
L13
95.3
93.2
Mean
95.6
93.1
91.6
92.7
89.2
92.1
95.1
94.9
93.5
94.2
92.4
93.6
92.9
94.2
93.7
93.1
77.0
82.6
91.8
88.8
92.2
89.7
85.6
89.4
91.8
93.9
91.6
91.8
92.0
89.1
95.0
97.1
90.8
90.3
93.8
94.9
94.9
96.2
94.2
95.2
93.2
95.4
91.8
94.0
90.0
89.7
90.1
92.3
88.5
90.8
87.6
90.3
94.1
96.3
93.8
88.9
90.2
91.0
94.6
91.8
96.6
94.3
91.4
94.3
86.8
95.2
95.1
96.0
91.5
86.4
89.0
92.5
80.3
94.0
89.5
91.4
98.0
97.6
83.9
91.2
92.7
93.0
97.7
96.4
93.1
97.7
92.8
92.8
97.7
97.9
86.4
95.1
92.9
93.7
95.8
96.0
88.9
93.7
96.5
96.6
98.0
96.8
93.1
95.9
95.9
96.2
98.3
97.3
88.5
88.8
96.3
95.6
96.6
95.4
89.9
96.6
94.0
94.3
98.0
97.4
89.3
95.3
92.8
95.1
97.6
96.4
88.7
96.6
93.2
95.3
98.5
97.7
90.6
94.2
91.7
94.5
97.1
95.8
90.6
89.9
93.8
94.3
97.4
95.8
91.2
90.6
92.9
94.0
96.9
96.4
88.8
93.8
93.5
94.4
97.5
96.7
97.5
97.4
97.4
96.5
97.6
98.4
97.1
97.1
96.7
98.0
96.7
97.9
97.2
97.4
98.3
97.5
98.3
97.8
97.6
98.7
97.5
97.8
97.2
98.0
96.2
97.2
95.9
97.5
95.6
.92
.42
979
96.2
.92
.41
947
97.3
.94
.50
790
96.4
.94
.52
898
96.9
.94
.51
894
97.2
.95
.53
801
95.2
.95
.53
842
97.0
.95
.54
835
96.4
.95
.55
865
97.5
.95
.54
844
95.8
.96
.60
820
96.0
.96
.61
736
94.6
.96
.61
758
96.3
.94
.52
11,009
Note: The cumulative percentage based on ―Strongly Agree‖, ―Agree‖, and ―Slightly Agree‖ for an item is presented for each lecture.
Table 2. Pattern matrix for the 14 items on different aspects of the lecture
Item
1.
The design of this lecture was very good.
2.
3.
4.
5.
The classroom atmosphere of this lecture was very pleasant.
This lecture increased my awareness of the importance of self-development
This lecture has improved my problem-solving ability
This lecture has improved my understanding of importance of attributes of successful leaders (e.g.,
critical thinking, moral competence)
6.
This lecture has improved my interpersonal communication skills.
7.
There was much peer interaction amongst the students in this lecture.
8.
This lecture has improved my critical thinking.
9.
There was much student participation in this lecture.
10.
There were many opportunities for reflection in this lecture.
11.
This lecture is helpful to my personal development.
12.
The lecturer had a good mastery of the lecture material.
13.
The lecturer used different methods to encourage students to learn.
14.
The lecturer in this lecture was able to help students understand the knowledge covered in the lecture.
Eigenvalue
Variance Explained (%)
Note: Factor loadings above .60 appear in bold.
Subject
Attributes
Lecture
Attributes
Teacher
Attributes
.725
.530
.586
.582
.801
.828
.713
.337
.408
.461
.457
.392
.679
.301
.448
.697
.410
.767
.387
.621
.776
.402
.462
.524
6.30
45.0
.606
.858
.470
.830
.451
.380
.332
.364
.417
1.16
8.31
.345
.330
.304
.367
.475
.538
.832
.788
.824
1.20
8.57
Table 3. Predictors of global evaluation of instructor and lecture
Analyses
Lecture
L1
L2
L3
L4
L5
L6
L7
L8
L9
L10
L11
L12
L13
Overall
DV: Global perception of the Teacher
Subject
Lecture
Teacher
R Square
.22
.16
.57
.50
.26
.08
.60
.50
.12
.17
.59
.56
.30
.15
.56
.63
.29
.11
.56
.58
.21
.12
.58
.56
.24
.09
.63
.65
.20
.15
.65
.62
.15
.13
.66
.62
.22
.08
.67
.60
.19
.09
.6
.65
.20
.09
.66
.64
.17
.08
.72
.65
.19
.13
.63
.59
DV: Global perception of the Lecture
Subject
Lecture
Teacher
R Square
.57
.21
.27
.50
.56
.18
.31
.51
.36
.24
.41
.59
.43
.24
.37
.62
.53
.22
.31
.60
.37
.25
.34
.55
.50
.15
.38
.62
.37
.19
.45
.59
.53
.18
.33
.62
.35
.22
.44
.58
.43
.20
.39
.65
.42
.14
.45
.68
.38
.13
.52
.66
.45
.20
.38
.59
Number of questionnaires collected
979
947
790
898
894
801
842
835
865
844
820
736
758
11,009
Note: All p < .001.
100
Daniel TL Shek and Hildie Leung
For the overall evaluation of teachers, all three attributes were found to be significant
predictors, yet teacher attributes yielded the strongest predictive power. Similarly, while
subject, lecture, and teacher attributes were all predictive of students‘ overall satisfaction
toward the lecture, subject and teacher attributes were stronger predictors. The above findings
are in line with research highlighting instructors‘ influence on perceived program
effectiveness (30). Hill and colleagues (31) identified the excellence of teachers as one of the
most influential factors of quality higher education. Students felt that it was important for
lecturers to demonstrate mastery of the subject area, be supportive, and communicate
effectively with students. In an investigation of the effects of transformational teaching
(conceptualized as teaching involving inspirational motivation, idealized influence,
individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation) on adolescent health promotion,
researchers found that students who reported transformational teaching behaviors displayed
by their teachers also enjoyed physical education and related activities more (32). Lee (33)
also found that teachers‘ innovation characterized by the use of lively and diversified teaching
methods stimulated students‘ proactive learning and enhanced their learning satisfaction. In
addition to teacher attributes, subject attributes was also identified as a strong predictor of
students‘ overall satisfaction toward the lecture.
Feldman (34) identified factors related to effective teaching, factors of conceptual
relevance to subject attributes included the value of course materials, perceived outcome or
impact of teaching, and intellectual challenge. This was supported by Jackson and colleagues‘
(35) study that showed the value of the taught materials (operationalized as whether the
course has been of value in relationship to students‘ major, other courses, or life in general) as
one of the dimensions of effective teaching. Our findings concur with the above, where
students‘ perceptions on whether the content has impacted on their personal growth and
development of psychosocial competencies predicted their levels of satisfaction toward the
lecture. Taken as a whole, the regression results highlighted the importance of being
assiduous in the development, implementation, and evaluation, of university subjects in order
to achieve successful educational and developmental outcomes.
The present university subject encompassed many of the components pertinent to
successful positive youth development programs as identified by Roth et al. (36). The
developers of the subject perceived young people as resources to be developed and teachers
of the subject create a place of hope for youngsters to discover and nurture their potentials.
The subject espouses the positive youth development philosophy, evidenced by the
observation of ―individual attention, cultural appropriateness, and choice and responsibility
given to adolescents‖ (36, p. 442). Most of the existing school-based positive youth
development programs have been developed in the West, targeting mainly secondary school
students. It is not until recently, that few practitioners have ventured to integrate a structured
positive youth development program in the formal curriculum in a university setting. Choate
and Smith (37) designed a one-credit ―college success course‖ for first-year students. In this
course, the dimensions of the Wheel of Wellness (38) were incorporated, including
spirituality (i.e., human existence is more than the material possessions), self-direction, work,
recreation and leisure, friendship (connectedness), and love. With reference to self-direction,
there are 12 subtasks, namely, sense of self-worth, sense of control, realistic beliefs,
emotional awareness and coping, problem-solving and creativity, sense of humor, nutrition,
exercise, self-care, stress management, gender identity, and cultural identity. Findings
revealed that the subject had a positive impact on students. The developers of ―Tomorrow‘s
Post-lecture subjective outcome evaluation of a University subject on leadership … 101
Leaders‖ agreed that ―students need not only academic skills training, but also a holistic
approach to both intrapersonal and interpersonal development‖ (37, p. 181).
As students graduate and mature to become leaders, it is important that they are equipped
with more than just the ―hard‖ leadership skills (e.g., task competencies) or textbook
knowledge of leadership theories which have been the focus of traditional leadership courses
in university. Koehler and Burke (39) asserted that ―the basic competence of reading
critically, writing and speaking clearly, and computation are essential, but of equal
importance are knowing how to learn and the social/emotional competencies of personal
management, group effectiveness and influence‖ (p. 5). Crosbie (40) acknowledged the
enduring value of ―soft skills‖ and intangible outcomes of leadership, and is echoed by
Heslam and colleagues (41) who highlight the importance of spiritual, moral, relational, and
institutional capital in leadership. Findings reported in this paper provided empirical support
for the effectiveness of ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖, a university subject on leadership and
positive youth development. The current study serves as an important contribution to the
positive youth development, leadership, and teaching evaluation literature, and being one of
the pioneers in the rigorous development, implementation, and evaluation of such a university
subject in a Chinese context.
Despite the important contributions of this study, the above findings should be interpreted
with caution because of the limitations of the study. First, as the present post-lecture
subjective outcome evaluation adopts a client-centric focus where students‘ perceptions are
assessed via self-report measures, the inclusion of more diverse sources of information (e.g.,
from teachers, tutors, or peers) on student learning outcomes would allow external validation.
Second, all post-lecture data are reported in an aggregated manner, where all respondents are
treated as a homogenous population. However, university students enrolled in this subject
come from different backgrounds and disciplines, such as local students, students from
mainland China, as well as exchange students. Future studies could investigate whether the
subject would differentially impact students from various backgrounds and disciplines.
Lastly, as the current study is limited to the use of quantitative methodologies, qualitative
research can help gain a deeper understanding of how students perceive the subject. Despite
the limitations, findings yielded in this present study were consistent with those from the two
piloting phases (18-25), where students reported that they had opportunities for selfreflection, learned and grown from the subject, enjoyed the different activities during lectures,
and had positive perceptions of their teachers.
In the last lecture, students were asked to use a metaphor to describe the subject, and a
student said that he felt ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was like a mirror which granted them the
opportunity to self-reflect, and become aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and potentials of
being a leader. This metaphor clearly echoes Kafka‘s opening quote underscoring the
importance of the life-long pursuit of finding beauty.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authorship of this paper is equally shared by the first author and second author. This
work and the subject on ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ are financially supported by The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University. This chapter has been published as a paper in the International
102
Daniel TL Shek and Hildie Leung
Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained
from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 9
THE ROLE OF TEACHERS IN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT:
REFLECTIONS OF STUDENTS
Daniel TL Shek*, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1,2,3,4,5,
and Florence KY Wu, EdD1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
The purpose of this chapter was to examine students‘ reflections on a subject on leadership
and intrapersonal development at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Based on 66
personal reflections collected, the data were analyzed using the "framework analysis"
methodology. The respondents generally showed positive attitudes towards the subject and
the lecturers and they perceived that the subject promoted their overall development in
different domains. With particular reference to their reflections on the instructors teaching the
subject, several emerging themes were identified, including a) caring and supportive attitude,
b) professional pedagogical arrangements, and c) personal engagements and connections.
Exemplars are presented in this paper to support the conclusions. The findings are in line with
previous research that teachers play an important role in positive youth development
programs.
*
Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences,
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hung Hom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
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Daniel TL Shek and Florence KY Wu
INTRODUCTION
Students‘ evaluations of teaching effectiveness are commonly conducted in the higher
educational settings and are increasingly being adopted in universities all over the world (1).
To monitor and improve the quality of teaching, educational accountability needs to include
periodic evaluations of the effectiveness of the curriculum and the quality of delivery (2). It is
believed that positive influence on teaching and learning would be attained from the
feedbacks of students (3-5), which are able to provide an outcome or a process description for
research on teaching (6). In addition, systematic and carefully planned students‘ evaluation of
teaching effectiveness is likely to lead to improvements of teaching by diagnosing teachers‘
strengths and weaknesses, and providing impetus for professional development that aims at
improving teaching (6). Among different types of evaluations in higher educational settings,
there is a rising concern in the curriculum evaluation by using students‘ written feedbacks as
a valuable source for refining and improving the curricula in different disciplines (7-8).
Through systematic collection of evidence, analysis and interpretation, the nature, impact and
value of the curriculum is assessed and thus more learner-centered measures for advancing
the curriculum would be derived. Indeed, understanding and addressing the needs of students
is valuable and the inclusion of students‘ voices is helpful in evaluating and further
developing the curriculum.
Regarding the collection of students‘ feedbacks in improving the curriculum in
university settings, there is a wealth of literature on the reliance on quantitative methods of
gathering information like standardized assessment scales or questionnaires for subjective
outcome evaluations (6-9). Traditionally, quantitative evaluation is viewed as the ―gold
standard‖ for evaluating curricula or programs (9). The generalizability of the findings
provides the basis for more generalizable profiles and the assessment of changes over time for
faculties and departments in higher educational settings. Furthermore, the use of rapid
assessment instruments in quantitative evaluations maintains its efficiency where expenses
and manpower could be saved economically when carrying out students‘ evaluations in a
large scale. In short, quantitative evaluations are still the dominant form of research in
collecting students‘ feedbacks in the higher educational settings (10).
Nevertheless, researchers of the students‘ evaluations became aware of the limitations
of quantitative evaluations, whereby they might oversimplify the complexities of students‘
learning experiences and might not necessarily respond to their greatest concerns (11). Thus,
researchers made an attempt to explore potential ways of extending the evaluations by
including the records of students‘ shared learning experiences. There is a growing emphasis
on the use of qualitative evaluations, such as students‘ written comments or personal
reflections of their learning experiences within the undertaken courses in the higher
educational settings (8). Although researchers conducting qualitative evaluations have
concerns about these qualitative methods being criticized as ―too subjective‖, ―lengthy and
time consuming‖ (6), this exercise provides useful and reliable information; and this highly
idiosyncratic information is viewed as the ―most useful diagnostic information for making
course changes‖ (12, p.280-281). Qualitative researchers argued that through narrating their
learning experiences, the ―thick description‖ would be formulated by revealing the multilayered understanding of the students‘ learning experiences and the meaning-making
The role of teachers in youth development: Reflections of students
107
processes. This thick description might complement what the quantitative data reveals and
facilitates a holistic understanding on the meanings of students‘ evaluations.
Narrating personal experiences as a research methodology is commonly employed in
the field of teacher education to advance both teachers‘ personal and professional
development (13-15). The autobiographical narration of personal experiences is usually used
both for the gathering and representation of data, creating a platform for the researchers and
the informants to collaborate in depicting the multi-layered meanings of the personal
experiences. However, there is scant qualitative research, especially in the field of students‘
evaluations research in higher education in investigating the written learning experiences of
university students (6, 16-17).
Hall (7) emphasized that students‘ written reflections of their learning experiences aid
the comparison of student performance with specific standards, as well as how their
performance meets the stated course objectives from their perspectives. The involvement of
students' voices into the curricula planning and evaluation fosters students' active
participation by developing their competencies and enhancing their commitment to learning
and learning outcomes (6, 8). In the arena of improving the teaching quality, students' written
reflections offer a communicative rationality serving as a rational anchor to mutually
understand the teaching and learning experiences by minimizing the teachers' presuppositions
of the "expected" students' learning outcome (13). In the research process, the inclusion of
students' voice allows students to take part in the research process and collaborate with the
researchers to enrich the inquiry process (15). Thus, evaluating the students' written
reflections becomes one of the convincing methodologies for evaluating teaching
effectiveness and teaching quality in higher education settings. Of course, while students‘
reflections have many advantages, there are also views suggesting that they may not give a
valid picture about program effectiveness (18).
To promote holistic development of university students, a subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s
Leaders‖ was developed at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to help students fulfill the
General University Requirements of the new curriculum. The course covers different topics in
positive youth development, including self-understanding, personality, emotional
competence, cognitive competence, resilience, moral competence, spirituality, positive and
healthy identity, social competence, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, teambuilding and relationship-building. Brief lectures, experiential learning activities (such as role
plays, individual reflection and group reflection), group presentation and individual
assignments were used to promote the psychosocial competence of university students. After
completing the course, the students are expected to be able to integrate the theories, research
and concepts covered in the course, develop a sense of self-awareness and self-understanding
through reflection, acquire interpersonal skills and recognize the importance of active pursuit
of knowledge on intra- and interpersonal leadership qualities.
With the launching of the new 4-year Undergraduate Curriculum, the subject
―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was offered to more than 2,100 students in 2012-2013. To evaluate
the subject, multiple evaluation strategies were used, including quantitative and qualitative
evaluation methods. Besides objective outcome evaluation based on the one-group pretestposttest design using the Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale, post-lecture subjective
outcome evaluation at the end of every lecture and post-course subjective outcome evaluation
at the end of the course were carried out. For qualitative evaluations, several sets of data were
collected. These included qualitative comments collected in the post-lecture and post-course
108
Daniel TL Shek and Florence KY Wu
subjective outcome evaluations, focus groups based on the students, reflection forms using
―descriptors‖ and ―metaphors‖ written by the students, and qualitative reflection journals
composed by the students. These evaluation strategies were used in the previous two piloting
exercises (19-21).
This paper examines the students' written reflective journals on the subject "Tomorrow's
Leaders" and presents the related findings with particular reference to their views on the
instructors. The examination of the narratives was based on the assumption that it is important
to hear students' voice in their learning journeys which would in turn promote teaching
quality. The contents of the personal reflections are rich and informative. Craig et al. (15)
pointed out that the curricular situations are composed of four crucial elements, which are
teacher, learner, subject matter and milieu. In this paper, the focus is put on the advocators of
the curriculum (i.e., the teachers) and addresses how they foster student learning, personalize
and advance the subject matter and how they have provided a caring and understandable
milieu for students to learn and grow.
Shek, Tang, and Han (18) pointed out that the quality of qualitative social work
evaluation studies was not high. They also suggested that the quality of a qualitative
evaluation study has 12 attributes: explicit statement of the philosophical base of the study,
justifications for the number and nature of the participants of the study, detailed description of
the data collection procedures, discussion of the biases and preoccupations of the researchers,
description of the steps taken to guard against biases or arguments that biases should and/or
could not be eliminated, inclusion of measures of reliability, such as inter-rater reliability and
intra-rater reliability, inclusion of measures of triangulation in terms of researchers and data
types, inclusion of peer checking and member checking procedures, consciousness of the
importance and development of audit trails, consideration of alternative explanations for the
observed findings, inclusion of explanations for negative evidence, and clear statement of the
limitations of the study. In this study, a general qualitative orientation focusing on the
narratives of the informants was adopted (attribute 1). Regarding biases and preoccupation,
we acknowledged their possible existence. Hence, the first author was not involved in the data
collection and data analyses. Besides, the data were triangulated with other evaluation
strategies and alternative explanations and limitations of the study were addressed.
OUR STUDY
In the 2012-2013 academic year, the subject "Tomorrow's Leaders" was offered to 2,100
freshmen taking the 4-year program and there were altogether 31 classes. Toward the end of
each semester, students were invited to write a personal reflective journal about the subject in
a voluntary manner. The reflections could include how the students viewed the subject matter,
delivery of the subject, lecturers' performance, arrangements for the lectures, what they had
gained throughout the subject, areas of improvements and their own overall personal
reflections of their life experiences, and the strengths or weaknesses discovered during the
learning journey in this subject. The students could use Chinese or English to write the
reflection (200-400 words) and the reflections could be handed in by sending soft copies to
the lecturers or by hard copies. There was no need for the student to put down their names
and they signed a consent form before writing the personal reflection.
The role of teachers in youth development: Reflections of students
109
Data analysis
This paper focuses on investigating the personal reflections collected at the end of the first
semester. The students' written reflections were analyzed using the "framework analysis"
method which could be applied in a short timescale (22). This analysis method systematically
analyzes the data in an inductive manner, targets on drawing the specific information needs
and provides recommendations. This method is stage-stratified and there are five key stages
of analyzing the data, which are (a) familiarization; (b) identifying a thematic framework; (c)
indexing (coding); (d) charting and (e) mapping and interpretations. This method also allows
for the inclusion of a priori as well as emergent concepts when coding (15).
The second author read the students' written personal reflections a number of times to
familiarize herself with the thorough meaning of the data (8). Notes were written along the
margins of the reflections to identify and induce some initial emergent themes. Since the
focus of the present study was to investigate teaching effectiveness, teachers' delivery and
teachers' performance, this identification aided the author to develop some key codes.
An initial coding framework was based on the preliminary understanding of the contents
related to lecturers. Emerging themes were incorporated into the framework and the author
performed a second level of coding to identify more specific themes. The main themes
emerged from the data were in relation to (a) caring and supportive attitude; (b) professional
pedagogical arrangements and (c) personal engagements and connections.
FINDINGS
The qualitative data generally showed that students‘ comments on teaching effectiveness,
teaching delivery and teaching performance were mostly positive. The results are presented
according to the emergent themes identified from the data analysis. Under each theme,
excerpts of the exemplar cases without alterations are given as a support of the findings and to
illustrate the theme concept unless there are vague meanings or confusions (presented in
brackets [ ]). In order to uphold the principle of confidentiality, exemplar cases are given
anonymously and the names of the lecturers are replaced by the terms "the lecturer" or "the
tutor".
General Theme 1: Caring and supportive attitude
The adjectives used frequently and extensively by the students to describe the lecturers of the
subject "Tomorrow's Leaders" are "caring" and "supportive". Most of the students expressed
their gratitude in the personal reflections to the lecturers, who cultivated a caring milieu for
them to learn and grow. Some narratives are presented below:

―Despite that some topics discussed in class may not be familiar to us, our lecturer
had do[ne] her best to make it interesting and easy to understand in a direct
explanation. In our group presentation, we have done a great job together and I am so
proud of my group. Our lecturer and tutor gave us full and valuable support and
110
Daniel TL Shek and Florence KY Wu





helped us to find out our mistakes and improve our presentation. Although I was
scared to death when you [the lecturer] informed me our work had some problems,
but our presentation changed from head to toe after listening to your advice. This
made us better! Thank you, the lecturer and the tutor. Look at our group photo, you
are in our team too! Thank you for working with us!‖
―What impressed me the most is the last moment of preparing our group presentation.
There is only a week before our presentation and we have done a lot of useless things
during the preparation. At last, we could compromise the direction and worked
together in the library till mid-night. I understand what "team work" really means.
During the process of the preparation, we always bumped into our lecturer's office
directly. The lecturer always put down her work in hand and listened to us. Here I
would like to express my gratitude to the lecturer. Another breakthrough in class is
the in-class participation. Although I am not good at and confident in expressing
myself, I could do that with the lecturer's encouragements.‖
―I have to show my deepest gratitude towards the lecturer and the tutor. The lecture
has changed me completely. With the care and guidance of the lecturer and the tutor,
I [am] gradually determine[d] to build up self-confidence. During the class, the
lecturer and the tutor passed the microphone to me. This act provided me a chance to
speak up even though I am timid yet eager to share about my reflections. When I left
the classroom, the lecturer patiently and genuinely told me that I have changed,
changed to be a more open and confident person. I was so touched and grateful!
Finally, there is someone who recognized my efforts. This really impressed me a lot.‖
―During the "sharing period" of the lecture, no one took the microphone, nor me,
even though I have struggled in mind to speak. The lecturer was disappointed with
our performance and was upset. I sent her an email to clarify my mental endeavor
and apologized for my silence and promised to share something next lecture. I made
it. I presented my thoughts and recommended my favorite song. Afterwards, the
presentation came, I together with my teammates and tutor's great help, we did a
great job …I extend my greatest appreciation to two teachers in my class--the
lecturer and the tutor. They are so considerate and help me achieve more than
expected. Their caring words make me realize that people can enjoy their
harmonious [relationships] that I never imagined before.‖
―The teachers here are so warm-hearted and kind to us. They are like friends in need
helping us and inspiring us to find the truth and ourselves. To sum up, I have gained
a lot of unforgettable memories from this class "TOMORROW'S LEADERS", and I
have developed my skills during this class, and I have known a lot of facts about the
characteristics a good leader should have. So it's wonderful and I suppose it [is]
worth[while] to take a seat to have a class like this if we want to strengthen
ourselves.‖
―In my opinion, the course "Tomorrow's Leaders" is a student-centered course,
providing many chances for students to develop leadership… Moreover, the time of
reflection in the lecture allowed me to make through reflection of my personal
experience. The guidance provided by the lecturer and tutor helped me to confront
the sad experiences and learn from my past experience. They kept on raising
The role of teachers in youth development: Reflections of students


111
inspiring questions to help us to evaluate our past performance and cultivate a proper
value towards life.‖
―The lectures in the subject are interactive and relaxing which each student has got a
chance to talk about their opinion and discuss with their group mates. The activities
with a large variety also help students to learn in a fun way and understand the
concepts more easily. The lecturers are caring and try their best to help students with
their needs.‖
―I enjoyed each lectures of tomorrow's leader and thanks to the encouragement given
by the lecturer and group mates, I was able to express my ideas in front of others and
I found myself that I have grown up.‖
General Theme 2: Professional pedagogical arrangements
The written reflections, the diversified teaching methods, richness of in-class activities,
careful arrangement of groups, the in-class reflection time and professional delivery of
curriculum contents were the pedagogical arrangements made by the lecturers that the
students appreciated most. The students did not only learn the theories of leadership qualities.
They also advocated a sense of self-leadership by better understanding themselves through
reflections. Some of the narratives are as follows:



―Normally, these purely theoretical courses are hard to get students' interests or
attention since the topics and contents are quite boring. However, it is not true in
"Tomorrow's Leaders" and this should be attributed to our lecturer. She uses
different methods to make the boring contents become interesting. Unlike other
lecturers, the lecturer likes teaching us through playing games, doing some casestudies, or having some sharing and I can say her methods are successful. Although
getting up early to have an eight-thirty class is quite toilsome to me, I am still
looking forward to having her lecture.‖
―I realize that it is not only a course to guide you to become a successful leader, but
also motivate us to reflect ourselves and have self-improvement. In every lecture,
there are different activities and games to let us have better understanding of
ourselves and discuss views from different perspectives. Through group cooperation,
there are more points of views which contribute us to develop high-level thinking.
The most impressive activity is that we have to use our creativity to design a poster
to promote effective leaders. Although all of us are not good at drawing, we have
tried our best and the process is full of fun and enjoyable. Therefore, the outcome
was really stunning and awesome.‖
―‗Tomorrow's Leaders‘ is also distinct from traditional lectures, which are usually
about listening to a lecturer talking a bunch of things for a few hours till the end
without much interaction. On the contrary, this course allowed a big room for
interaction between lecturer and students. When I have participated in a game, the
lecturer would always comment on my performance and refer the game to some
theories that make the lecture more comprehensible.‖
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Daniel TL Shek and Florence KY Wu
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―As the lecture lasts for three hours, sometimes we are really tired. The lecturer
helped us to ‗stay awake‘ by organizing a lot of activities and games for us. I think
the experience [of] having this course is good as we have much time to do work in
groups. The activities allow us to experience the attribute. Also, there are online
assignments in which I think we can understand more about the topics and ourselves.
I think this course has really provided me a wonderful experience. The lectures were
really inspirational in which it provides us much time to reflect our lives and to
understand ourselves in different areas.‖
―I was arranged in Group 4 in the first lesson. I was confused because I don't know
each other and don't know how to get along with them. However, this course helps us
to build a good relationship through playing game together. Through this course, I
have understood my groupmates better, having a closer relationship.‖
―Not only with PowerPoint slides, the lecturer also went through the whole syllabus
with resources like clips and true stories, activities were also held so as to attract our
attention to class and made us easier to understand the topic.‖
―The intriguing games and role play activities provided a channel for me to learn
about the application of different leadership qualities such as resilience, interpersonal
communication skills. Moreover, the lecturer integrated the concepts of leadership
and the experience of some celebrities to help us understand the theories easily.‖
General Theme 3: Personal engagement and connection
The personal engagement and connection signify positive communications and interactions
between the lecturers and the students. These engagement and connection of the lecturers
offer students a trustworthy milieu to explore their inward lives and reflect on their own
strengths and weaknesses, facilitating their growth. Some exemplar narratives are shown
below:
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


―Apart from the great match of games and theories, the lecturer encouraged us to
actively share our ideas during lessons. She respected our views and gave lots of
encouragements to us when we told her the course was hard to take, as there were too
many personal attributes that were difficult to build on our own. After fourteen
weeks, we build a strong bond between student and teacher. We know a lot about
each other through discussion and sharing. I love the sharing part at the end of every
lesson.‖
―I especially love the lessons when my lecturer was not stingy to share with us her
own experiences and even her scores in some of the psychological tests. Those were
the times of how theories can be emerged into our daily life.‖
―The subject ‗Tomorrow's Leaders‘ is very important for university students because
they can share their problems with the lecturers so that the lecturers can help them to
solve their problems. Tomorrow's Leaders course really helps undergraduates to be
good leaders and have bright futures.‖
―For me, I acquired a lot of things in ‗Tomorrow's Leaders‘. All these included not
only knowledge, but elements for my personal growth. In the lessons, there were
The role of teachers in youth development: Reflections of students
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113
always opportunities for city dwellers in my opinion as most of the time we were not
aware of this. However, what helped all of us to learn better and learn more was the
way the teaching staff interacted with all of us. Unlike other classes, we have lots of
chances to talk with the teaching staff in the course, so as to share our opinions. From
them, I have learnt a lot of the ways to take care of people, be nice to people, as they
acted like that in the lesson, and we could always learn from them as role models.‖
―Unlike other courses in the University, the lecturer would not just teach us about the
theories in a three-hour lecture. The lecturer cares about whether we have fully
understood the contents. The lecturer always takes care of us and we feel being
respected.‖
―It [Tomorrow's Leaders] is a good example of interactive education. All the people,
including the students, lecturer and tutor, can communicate in the class and develop
their relationships.‖
DISCUSSION
To provide a caring and warm learning environment, which acts as a basis for the
establishment of security and trust, is one of the major tasks of elementary or high school
teachers. The social nature and the organizational characteristics of the classroom and the role
of the teachers differ significantly between the elementary or high school milieu and higher
educational settings (23). The lecturers or instructors enjoy higher status and their role is
almost solely teaching the subject matter and the field of expertise. At the same time, as
university students are young adults who may dare to challenge authority, teacher-student
relationship may be different from those in the primary and secondary school contexts.
Interestingly, it is rare to raise the issue of establishing a caring and supportive classroom or
lecture milieu in higher education as this education is voluntary and most of the students are
grown-ups and more mature.
To fill this vacuum, the present study revealed that students were grateful towards and
valued the caring and supportive environment established by the lecturers, as illustrated in
their written personal reflections about the subject. As Roger and Webb (24) stated, "Good
teachers care, and good teaching [is] inextricably linked to specific acts of caring" (p.174).
Quality teachers are effective educators who care about the students despite the level of
education. In striving for teaching excellence in higher educational setting, lecturers with
expertise might not be the sole contribution. The lecturers' care, support and understanding to
students are of the same importance. The caring milieu offers the opportunity for students'
nurturance of different competence. One example is the "creativity" that has been mentioned
several times in the exemplars of students' personal reflections. Excellent teaching in higher
education is not primarily an accomplishment of teaching aims and demonstration of
expertise, but as a lived accomplishment that is intimately linked to the way the students live
(13).
Teachers' enthusiasm has demonstrated a very substantial effect on actual student
learning (24). Besides the enthusiasm to care and support, lecturers' enthusiasm and strong
interest in delivering the subject and sharing their own feelings and experiences impressed the
students in this subject too. Lecturers' expressiveness can contribute to teaching effectiveness
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Daniel TL Shek and Florence KY Wu
by maintaining students' interests and elicit students' attention, and thus increase their
motivation to learn. In addition, the enthusiasm communicates the passion of the lecturers to
the students and the "strong bond" is developed. Teachers' immediacy, which is the degree of
physical and psychological closeness between people (24), contributes to the students'
reflections on their personal growth in this subject as reported in their personal reflections.
The self-disclosure of lecturers' experiences and feelings is an act of immediacy and this act
humanizes the lectures and fosters empathic understanding of the teachers and students (25).
The sense of "we" is established and the lives of teachers and students are communicating
empathically yet with respect. Under this safe and secure environment, students' are able to
reflect on their own growth and consolidate what they have learnt.
The importance of instructors in program success has been shown in previous studies on
positive youth development. Based on the framework of invitational education, Shek and Sun
(26) showed that factors related to program, people, process, policy and place were essential
to the success of positive youth development programs. Amongst these factors, ―people‖ was
identified as the most important one. The present findings echoed the previous findings.
There are two implications of this finding. First, there is a need to have systematic and
adequate training for teachers who teach this subject. Besides, there is a need to support the
teachers so that they can engage and connect with the students.
In relation to teaching and learning processes and methods, the format of lecturing may
make a difference in teaching effectiveness in higher educational settings. One lecturer who
teaches many students in one class is seen as cost effective and the dissemination of
information is well-accepted because of its perceived efficiency in higher education (8).
However, current studies show that the didactic teaching method is viewed as a "negative
experience" by students, who reported that sitting passively in lectures is the least effective
form of teaching (7-8). The reported personal reflections of the present study show that
interactive and fun activities arranged by the lecturers aided them to integrate what they have
learnt in lectures and reflect on their own personal growth. These findings echo with the
recent widespread recognition in higher education that lecturers have to move away from
traditional teaching methods and have the students actively participate in the learning
processes (8). In addition, the progressive sequential way of delivery of the lecture materials
in this subject was appreciated by the students. The students recognized the efforts of the
lecturers whom have prepared, reviewed and reflected in advance of presenting the lecture
materials to the students. The professional pedagogical moves facilitated students' learning
and elevated lecture atmosphere in the subject "Tomorrow's Leaders".
Despite the above strengths of the study, some limitations of the present study should be
realized. As the reflections were collected from 66 students only, more reflections could be
collected in order to understand the whole picture in greater depth. In fact, as the participants
volunteered to join the study, there might be some biases involved. It is possible that those
who did not have good evaluation might refuse to join the study. Besides, it would be
interesting to have an investigation on the "dialogue" between the students' personal
reflections and lecturers' reflections. This comparison might thicken the multilayered
understanding of the teaching and learning processes. To complete the evaluation and
increase the credibility of the present study, complementary studies should be advocated, such
as administering in-depth interviews for students and teachers in order to understand the
inside stories in a more substantial way.
The role of teachers in youth development: Reflections of students
115
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authorship of this paper is equally shared by the first author and second author. This
work and the course on ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ are financially supported by The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University. This chapter is based on an article published in the International
Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained
from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 10
PERCEIVED BENEFITS OF A UNIVERSITY SUBJECT
ON LEADERSHIP AND
INTRA-PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Daniel TL Shek*, PhD, FHKPS, SBS, JP1,2,3,4,5,
and Janet TY Leung, PhD, RSW1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
This chapter examines the perceived benefits of a university subject on leadership and
intrapersonal development (―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University) from the perspective of the students. Based on the reflections of 62 students,
several perceived benefits of the subject were identified, including promotion of selfunderstanding, enhancement of intrapersonal and interpersonal qualities, improvement of
relationships with peers and their families, cultivation of new perspectives towards life,
development of moral and ethical decision-making capacities, having better adjustment to
the university life, acquisition of knowledge and skills to be effective leaders, and
building up of competencies that were useful in their future lives and career. These
findings illustrate the importance of an effective university subject that attempts to
promote holistic development of young people.
*
Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences,
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hung Hom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
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Daniel TL Shek and Janet TY Leung
INTRODUCTION
Young people are the backbone of the world‘s future. This is especially true for university
students who are expected to contribute to the society after graduation. At the same time,
adolescence is a critical developmental stage for an individual to transform from childhood to
adulthood. They need to build up their self and social identity through learning and
experiences. According to the life course perspective, time, history and events constitute to
the major components of change that interplay with life span development (1). In other words,
the perspective addresses ―a sociological meaning of development‖ (2, p. 129).
During the past two decades, there were three distinct social factors that affected
adolescent development in the contemporary world: a) advancement of information
technology that stretched all spheres of our daily life (3); b) influence of globalization in
economic, political and cultural contexts (4); and c) care and socialization of the ―boomers‖
(born in 1943-1961) and the ―Generation-X‖ (born in 1961-1980) - generations who were
highly involved and intervened frequently in their children‘s lives (5). As a result, adolescents
in this generation grew up in a relatively prosperous, fast-paced, and protective environment.
Scholars used different terminologies to describe this cohort who was born after 1981 to the
present, including Generation ME (6), Generation Y (7), the Net Generation (8), and the
Millennials (9) who are distinctive from the previous generations. While the Millennials are
portrayed as special, confident, team-oriented, sheltered, achieving individuals (5), the
―Generation ME‖ are regarded as egocentric, narcissistic, cynical, depressed and not
empathetic (6).
Obviously, university students cannot escape from these influences. There was evidence
showing that university students were vulnerable to egocentrism, narcissism and cynicism.
For example, Twenge and her colleagues (10,11) found that there was a big increase of the
narcissism scores of contemporary university students when compared with students in the
nineties. Furthermore, in a meta-analysis of changes in dispositional empathy amongst
American college students over the period of 1999 to 2009, Konrath et al. (12) found that
there was a sharp decline of empathic concern and perspective taking of college students.
Similarly, Loeb (13) studied the college students in the U.S. and observed the inclination of
students to remain as passive, apathetic citizens who pursue for their personal gains over
social benefits.
How about the Millennials growing up in Hong Kong and Mainland China? Though
research on this area was not well-developed, critics on the ―dark-side attributes‖ (14) of this
young generation have never ended. The low birth rate of Hong Kong and Mainland China
created the ―4-2-1 indulgence‖ culture (i.e. four grandparents and two parents spoiling one
child) (15), and the popularity to employ maids to do housework and take care of the children
has helped to create the ―little emperors‖ in the family. These provide favorable climate to
protect the adolescents from risks and adversities, but at the same time, weaken the
adolescents to develop their intrapersonal and interpersonal attributes, such as resilience,
problem-solving ability, as well as emotional and social competence. Together with the
unavoidable Western individualistic influences that create challenges to the Chinese beliefs
and culture (16), adolescents were more vulnerable to the ―dark-side attributes‖ such as
egocentrism and narcissism. Fung et al. (17) found that the mean narcissism score displayed
by adolescents in Hong Kong was much higher than the mean score of adolescents in the
Perceived benefits of a University subject on leadership ...
119
United States. The adolescents today were labeled as the ―spoilt generation‖ who showed
signs of narcissist traits (18). Worse still, the ―Hong Kong Kid Syndrome‖ has been used to
describe Hong Kong adolescents as ―unable to look after themselves, have low emotional
intelligence and are vulnerable to adversity.‖ (19).
Being the skeleton of the future world, there is a need to prepare university students to
become critical thinkers, effective communicators, innovative problem solvers, lifelong
learners and ethical leaders. A holistic, positive, strength-based program for university
students is an attractive direction. Against this background, a general education subject
entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ was developed and implemented at The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University. The objectives of the subject include: (i) to enable students to learn
and integrate theories, research, and concepts of the basic personal qualities (particularly
intrapersonal and interpersonal qualities) of effective leaders; (ii) to train students to develop
and reflect on their intra-personal and interpersonal qualities; and (iii) to promote the
development of an active pursuit of knowledge on personal qualities in leadership amongst
students. It is expected that on successfully completing this subject, students will be able to: a)
understand and integrate theories, research and concepts on the basic qualities (particularly
intrapersonal and interpersonal qualities) of effective leaders in the Chinese context; b)
develop self-awareness and understanding of oneself; c) acquire interpersonal skills; d)
develop self-reflection skills in their learning; and e) recognize the importance of an active
pursuit of knowledge on intrapersonal and interpersonal leadership qualities. The 2-credit
subject was piloted twice with very positive results (20-28).
Under the new 4-Year Undergraduate Curriculum, a 3-credit subject was designed. As
the subject was changed and it was offered to new students who are relatively younger, a
basic question one should ask is whether a credit-bearing subject can help the university
students develop their intrapersonal and interpersonal qualities. In response to the social
demands where specialization, professionalism and competition are stressed, how does a
subject that focuses on holistic development of adolescents build up the assets of the
students? What were the gains they obtained from the subject?
To address to the above questions, evaluation of the subject plays an important role to
examine the effectiveness of the subject as well as to ensure the subject to be accountable to
the different stakeholders. Conventionally, quantitative methods of evaluation such as
objective outcome evaluation and client‘s satisfaction evaluation are commonly used to assess
the effectiveness of the subject. However, quantitative research methods have been criticized
on its ontological and methodological assumptions (29). Ontologically, the philosophical
assumption that reality is objective and ―out-there‖ is criticized and rejected by the
constructivists who believe that reality is created, constructed and enacted. Each person has
his/her subjective experience and unique interpretation of meanings, making the findings of
the research as ideographic rather than nomethetic. As a methodology, quantitative research is
criticized as ―methodologically inadequate‖ (30). Patton (31) criticized quantitative
evaluation as it oversimplifies the complexities of real-world experiences, misses the major
factors of importance which are not easily quantified and fails to portray a sense of the
program and its impacts as a ‗whole‘. Besides, respondents are turned into ‗units‘ or ‗objects‘
of study in quantitative research. The subjective experience and interpreted meanings of the
‗actors‘ are neglected. Lofland (32) criticized statistical portrayal of human acts by describing
―those people appearing as numbers in their (statistical sociologists‘) tables and as
correlations in their matrices!‖ (p.3).
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Daniel TL Shek and Janet TY Leung
Qualitative research aims at understanding how people perceive, experience, interpret,
and create the social world (33). It concentrates on the interpretive understanding (verstehen)
which involves the need to ―‗live through‘ or recreate the experience of others within oneself‖
(34, p.7). Patton (31) highlighted ten themes of qualitative inquiry that is worth noting. They
are naturalistic inquiry, inductive analysis, holistic perspective, qualitative data, personal
touch of the researcher, capturing the constant and ongoing changes of dynamic systems,
unique case orientation, context sensitivity, empathic neutrality and design flexibility.
Qualitative approach stresses on discerning the essences of experience and subjective
meanings of the participants as the most important components in understanding human
reality. There are some merits of qualitative approach. It allows the researchers to have a
detailed, holistic understanding of social reality committing to an ―emic, idiographic, casebased position that directs attention to the specifics of particular cases‖ (35, p. 12). The
‗grounded‘ data are more closely connected with reality. Furthermore, qualitative research
allows illumination of new insights by its emergent design, flexibility and inductive logic of
analysis that allows exploration and creative synthesis on the understanding of social reality
to be possible and comprehendible.
To understand the gains of the students obtained from the subject of ―Tomorrow‘s
Leaders‖, different evaluation strategies were employed to understand the impact of the
subject. In this study, qualitative data via student reflections were collected. Qualitative
research method based on student personal reflections was used for three reasons. First,
through personal reflections, students could have a chance to consolidate their learning
experience of the subject and do some self-reflections on the subject. Second, their ideas,
thoughts and feelings provided important pointers for teachers to assess the effectiveness of
the subject from the perspectives of the critical stakeholders, the university students. Third,
the students‘ voice and opinions were directly heard.
OUR STUDY
In the first semester of 2012/13 academic year, 16 classes of the subject ―Tomorrow‘s
Leaders‖ were offered to the first-year students of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
with 1,037 students enrolled in the subject. At the end of the subject, students were invited to
write down their personal reflections about the subject. The reflections could include the
students‘ experiences of participating in the subject, views about the lectures and lecturers,
their perceived benefits of the subject, changes after taking the subjects, and their overall
personal reflections. Students were invited to write 200-400 words, either in Chinese or in
English in a voluntary manner.
To analyze the personal reflections of the students, theme analyses pattern coding was
carried out. Miles and Huberman (36) suggested that pattern coding is ―a way of grouping
those summaries into a small number of sets, themes, or constructs...it‘s an analogue to the
cluster-analytic and factor-analytic devices use in statistical analysis‖ (p 69). Basically, the
broad themes in the reflections were extracted from the reflections of the informants. In this
paper, the focus was put on the perceived benefits of the subject to the students.
Perceived benefits of a University subject on leadership ...
121
FINDINGS
There were 62 pieces of personal reflections collected from the students. Generally speaking,
most of the personal reflections suggested that the students had positive changes after taking
the subject. In this paper, the benefits of the subject perceived by the students were presented.
Based on the reflections, eight themes were abstracted from the personal reflections. They are
presented in the following sections.
Facilitation of self-understanding
The subject required the students to have personal reflections on their possession of attributes
of positive youth development as well as their relationships with the significant others and the
society. Through self-reflections, students discovered more about themselves and identified
their strengths and weaknesses. There are some quotes from the students‘ reflections
illustrating this theme:
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―This course also benefited me in understanding about myself…reflection plays an
important role in self-development during these lectures. I also discovered I could
have some more in-depth reflection such as searching about my life target. Although
I am still searching for my life target in this moment, I hope in someday I would find
my way and explore my self-understanding while I have frequent self-reflection.‖
(Case 1)
―I love this course which shows the importance of self-reflection. Self-reflection is
certainly a basic factor for me to make improvement. This is because you have to
know what your weaknesses are before making adjustment of them.‖ (Case 8)
―It provided us with huge room to introspect ourselves and make some selfreflections on different topics. Striving to link up my personal experiences and
characteristics with the specific theme of each lecture, I had a better understanding
with my strengths and weaknesses in different aspects…I recognized that there were
some weaknesses in EC [emotional competence] in terms of expressing my inmost
feeling in front of others and its disastrous consequences. Therefore, I started to
make some changes to improve it.‖ (Case 13)
―Every time a class finished, I always feel inspiring and more determined to boost
myself. I can understand my strengths and shortcomings, and be clear of what I need
to do in following time.‖ (Case 16)
―After the completion of this course, I get to know about my own strength and
weakness. Indeed, I get so many rooms for improvement and I am going to apply
those [I have] learned in the course to better [improve] myself from now on.‖ (Case
42).
―I am glad to have such a nice chance to study the subject ‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘. It
contributes a lot to my journey of university life. The lecture is a key to open my
mind and let me think about myself. The most significant help is that it reminds me
the importance of self-understanding, which can be easily forgotten in busy
university life…I keep on trying to be more sensitive to the things and events around
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
me, as well as thinking of what I am. Now I notice both my demerits and merits
better. Hence, I developed a greater self-confidence… ‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘ should
not just be described as a lecture, but an inspiration that can help students to reflect
themselves.‖ (Case 50)
―‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘ is a very good programme. It provides us a chance to reflect
whether we possess the leadership qualities and to be aware of our strengths and
weaknesses.‖ (Case 61)
Enhancement of intra-personal and interpersonal qualities
Students shared that their intrapersonal qualities (e.g. resilience, confidence, positive identity)
were enhanced through different activities in the lectures. Moreover, their interpersonal
qualities (e.g. social competence, interpersonal communication) were also fostered when
interacting with other group-mates in the activities and presentation projects. There were
some examples of the students‘ reflections:
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―Before I joined ‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘, I had been lack of confidence. However,
Tomorrow‘s Leaders course has helped me to build up my confidence. I used to be a
person who easily gets mad in something which is difficult to do. In Tomorrow‘s
Leaders course, I learned how to control my emotion.‖ (Case 6)
―Through various activities, I can develop my interpersonal and intrapersonal
qualities. I am more willing to believe I can be a leader. I feel more confident in front
of others and use effective communication skills to discuss projects with my group
mates…I reflect whether I have clear and positive identity or whether I am not aware
of myself.‖ (Case 11)
―I learned something that is the basis of success - confidence…Even if we fail, we‘re
frustrated; we can still prove our value, our uniqueness by fighting back. The
rainbow exists where storm ends and the rainbow is confidence…And I‘m grateful to
this subject as well, it helped me challenge myself and learn a lot, more than just the
knowledge itself in the course. Be confident and strict to ourselves, be caring and
kind to others. This is what I learnt from this subject.‖ (Case 14)
―I am sometimes quite weak in problem-solving…Inflexibility is a rather serious
problem for me. The lecture [on cognitive competence] reminded me about this
problem and that I should ‗think out of the box‘.‖ (Case 18)
―The course is not only leadership, but a combined course about humanity,
personality and moral studies. I really learned a lot in this course, not only learn to
become a leader, but also to self-understanding, communicate with others and other
skills in leading people.‖ (Case 23)
―I learned a wide variety of abilities and skills with which I may never stand a chance
to get familiar with, such as interpersonal communication skills, cognitive ability,
resistance ability etc…This course gave me a deeper understanding of everyday-used
abilities, like the ability in communication and the way of thinking, which we human
always neglect. Actually, all the stuffs covered in this course are really important and
useful.‖ (Case 42)
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123
―Every topic taught is useful too. Social competence is an example. Before having
the lecture of this topic, I did not know how to show my empathy to others. From the
lecture, I know the different ways to respond with empathy which are beneficial to
develop better relationship with others…Resilience is another example…After this
lecture, I try to be resilient. I try to react positively to difficulties since resilience is
important in order to face the ever-changing world. The lesson really reminded me to
be strong.‖ (Case 61)
Development of competence on leadership
As the subject was related to leadership, it was obvious that students showed leadership
competence after participating in the subject. They learned the concepts, theories and skills of
leadership and prepared to become a competent leader. There were some examples of the
students‘ reflections:



―This course taught me how to develop into an all-round leader, and this really helps
me to live my life to its fullest…This course continued by projecting all the
leadership qualities in both practical and theoretical ways, teaching me the concrete
idea of how to become a competent leader.‖ (Case 8)
―The course of ‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘ is very useful to us. It enables us to learn and
integrate different theories, researches and concepts of basic personal qualities (both
interpersonal and intrapersonal skills) in order to help us to become effective leaders.‖
(Case 11)
―It is an eye-opening experience in which students learn theories about leadership
and have a valuable chance to discuss and research on specific leadership skills.‖
(Case 22)
Besides acquiring the leadership theories and skills, some of the students captured the
essence of self-leadership and suggested that they had learned to be a self-leader. They
developed their goals and took control over their lives. There were some quotes:



―Before taking this subject, I thought a leader is the one that the others follow to
achieve their goal. However, after taking this course, I understand a higher level of a
leader which is a self-leader. I think this is very important to us as we are required to
make different choices throughout our lives. Leading ourselves towards the right
direction, we can achieve our goal and become success.‖ (Case 7)
―With most of the programs being academic-orientated, this course stands out in
PolyU as it aids students to reach their potentials as being leaders. It is never enough
for a person to live only with academic achievement, he/she should know how to be
self-leading so as to live his/her life to the fullest.‖ (Case 8)
―I learnt from this course that, leadership can be applied to oneself. Even if a person
is reserved and likes to be a follower instead, one can always learn to become the
leader of himself/herself …[I] learn to face challenges in life with a positive attitude
and eventually become a more mature and composed person.‖ (Case 22)
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Daniel TL Shek and Janet TY Leung
Development of new perspectives about life
Some students suggested that the subject helped them discover new perspectives about life,
which created changes in their attitudes. There were some quotes referring to the changes of
life attitudes.


―I gained a lot from such a meaningful course, which is more than just knowledge…I
noticed a change of my attitude to new things and new people: that is, to open heart
and enthusiasm.‖ (Case 16)
―Through taking this course, I have a deeper understanding on myself as well as my
ability in different aspect of leadership. It also helps develop my positive self-esteem
and attitudes towards life.‖ (Case 27)
Promotion of moral and ethical decision-making
The students gained insights in their moral considerations to make an ethical decision. They
reflected on their own values and determined a moral standard that helped them make a right
decision. There are some quotes of the students‘ reflections:


―The most important thing that I learned from Tomorrow‘s Leaders course is I must
always do the self-reflection so that I know whether I had taken right or wrong
decisions.‖ (Case 6)
―My moral standard shifts a lot and I am usually confused about what the correct and
suitable standard to me is. When there is a contradiction between my interests and
the interests of others, or a contradiction between the interests of my love ones and
the society, I would feel very hard to determine the moral standard…I think it would
be important for me to learn more about how to love others, instead of how to please
others.‖ (Case 18)
Better adjustment to university life
As the subject was offered to the freshmen in the university, students revealed that the subject
helped them adjust to their new university life. Four aspects of adjustment were identified: a)
building friendship with classmates; b) bridging between the local and non-local students; c)
establishing a goal in university life; and d) building up confidence in their major study.
One of the adjustment tasks in university life is to engage the classmates and build up a
peer support system. Students found that they built up friendship with their classmates, and
this would help them adjust to the new university life. There are some examples of the
students‘ reflections:

―This course has in great extent helped me to adapt to my university life. I once
believed social intercourse, like making friends, is not as easy as we were in
secondary school. However, this course has changed my view as it provided me a lot
Perceived benefits of a University subject on leadership ...
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125
of opportunities to communicate and cooperate with my new classmates, which helps
me not to worry much about the new social circle. In each lesson, we discussed the
topic being taught and we chatted during the spare time…Learning with classmates
in a harmonious environment which made me feel comfortable and encouraged me to
build up friendships in the four-year university life‖ (Case 1)
―The friendship in the class [of Tomorrow‘s Leaders] can also be carried into
university life‖ (Case 58)
Some students also suggested that the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ helped to bridge up
the local students and the non-local students from Mainland China and overseas. An example
of the reflection was:

―Give a chance for local students to realize non-local students, to think more for each
other.‖ (Case 58)
Furthermore, some students suggested that the subject helped them establish a goal in
new university life, and promoted their confidence in their major study. There were some
examples:


―‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘ is an indispensable subject in our university life since we
may find ourselves lost being a fresher in the university lives and post-graduation
year. Apart from that we may not be able to find a goal as we just finished the DSE
[Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education] and achieved our previous goals.
Topics such as resilience, self-understanding, cognitive competence and spirituality
are taught in this subject that helped us find a way to solve the above problem faced.‖
(Case 7)
―Some local students may feel not good to study engineering, so it also gives them a
chance to enhance their confidence on themselves.‖ (Case 58)
Building up qualities that were useful to life and career
Students found that the subject did not only help them acquire knowledge, but also helped
them develop the personal qualities that were useful to their lives as well as their future career.
There were some quotes of students‘ reflections:


―The learning objective of this course is obvious and beneficial to my life…I can
gain not only the knowledge, but also the skills applied in my personal development.
I am glad to have this course in my university study to develop this specific personal
quality which is seldom developed in teenage.‖ (Case 19)
―‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘ makes me think more about my life. During the course, I
have learnt how to improve my strengths and strengthen [improve] my weaknesses.
In addition, I have also learnt how to handle complicated interpersonal relationship.
Although the course is named ‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘, it also teaches me how to be a
human [being]. The skills or things I learnt the course will be useful not only in my
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Daniel TL Shek and Janet TY Leung

U-life, but also in my future career. No matter I will be a leader or not, they are still
useful.‖ (Case 32)
―‗Tomorrow‘s Leaders‘ is inspiring. It teaches us how to be a leader by knowing
different leadership qualities. These qualities are helpful to our daily life and career‖
(Case 61)
Improvement of relationships with others
The subject - not only enhanced the students in building up friendship with their classmates,
but also helped to improve the relationship between the students and their family members.
There were some quotes:


―After I joined the Tomorrow‘s Leaders course, I also love my parents and brothers
more than before because I realized that my family is the one who always supported
me for all this time until I can study at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.‖
(Case 6)
―[I] think more on family … keep loving is important for us to deal with family
conflict‖ (Case 58)
DISCUSSION
The purpose of the paper is to examine the effectiveness of a university subject on leadership
and intrapersonal development (―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ offered at The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University) by analyzing the personal reflections of the students. From the
qualitative findings, it was found that the subject generally fulfilled its learning outcomes to
the students, particularly on the enhancement of intrapersonal and interpersonal qualities,
development of self-understanding through self-reflections, and acquisition of knowledge and
skills to be an effective leader. The students reflected that they had gained more selfawareness and confidence to make improvements in the future and become a good leader. It is
also noteworthy that students changed their perspectives in life and made ethical decisions
after participating in the subject. With reference to the observation that the young generation
has become more narcissistic and egocentric and they show less empathic concern and
perspective taking, the subject helps the students open their minds and hearts for new things
and people.
More importantly, the students opined that the enhancement of the intra-personal and
interpersonal qualities were vital in their adjustment to the university life. It was found that
university freshmen exhibited high levels of stress and depressive symptoms in their
adaptations (37,38). Thus, a good adaptation to university life not only reduces the stresses of
the students, but also helps them develop positive coping strategies in adversities and
difficulties. The subject provides a supportive environment for them to nurture their
friendship with peers, as well as being a booster that boost up the confidence and learning
goals of the students.
Perceived benefits of a University subject on leadership ...
127
Furthermore, students recognized an active pursuit of knowledge on intrapersonal and
interpersonal leadership qualities would provide significant impacts on their future lives and
careers in the long run. Many students experienced stresses and difficulties in their university
studies and often get loss of their life goals and search of meanings (39). As spirituality is an
important dimension of adolescent development (40), the benefit of the subject in helping
university students to find life meaning is important. Self-reflections and self-development
are powerful arms that help students build up their character and self-esteem, motivate them
to excel, and bounce back in adversity. Last but not least, the improvement on the relationship
between students and their families provide a good supportive platform for the adolescents to
face the challenges ahead.
Shek and Wong (14) criticized that the outcomes in tertiary education concentrate much
on academic and vocational domains, with holistic development of young people being
ignored. Chickering (41) also strongly commented that universities ―have generally ignored
outcomes related to moral and ethical development as well as other dimensions of personal
development‖ (p.1) and ―have failed to graduate citizens who can function at the level of
cognitive and moral, intellectual, and ethical development that our complex national and
global problems require‖ (p.3). In response to the criticisms, the findings illustrate how a
university subject that stressed on holistic development could benefit the students in their
present environment and in the long run. To offer holistic development to university students
is the paramount mission of the university to prepare the young people in their transformation
to adulthood, and to become ethical and responsible citizens in the future.
From an institutional perspective, the findings suggested that the subject helped to
facilitate mutual understanding between local students and foreign students. As the students
were coming from different cultures, mutual adjustment and social inclusion of the students
were needed to build up a harmonious social environment. The subject that focused on
holistic and affective development would help students build up respect and empathy towards
others. This is critical for them to build up harmonious social fabrics with other people from
different cultures, especially in the today‘s world where global perspectives are stressed.
Universities and colleges are micro-environments within the national and global contexts.
When it is important to cultivate a sense of social inclusion among the citizens of different
colors and cultures, fostering mutual respect and social inclusion between local students and
foreign students in the university is essential.
There are several limitations of the study. First, as the data were collected from only 62
students, there is a need to replicate the findings. The generalization problem of the findings
should also be noted. Second, since the students wrote their personal reflections in a voluntary
manner, there may be positive biases in the students because those who were more willing to
share their personal reflections would participate. There is a need to understand the views of
other students who did not participate in the study. Third, besides personal reflections, more
interactive forms of qualitative evaluation strategies such as individual interviews or focus
groups were encouraged to be used to understand the personal views and subjective
experiences of the students. Nevertheless, triangulation of evaluation finings based on
objective outcome evaluation, subjective outcome evaluation, and qualitative evaluation
consistently showed that the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ is able to promote the holistic
development of Chinese university students in Hong Kong.
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Daniel TL Shek and Janet TY Leung
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authorship of this paper is equally shared by the first author and second author. This
work and the course on ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ are financially supported by The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University. This chapter has been published as a paper in the International
Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained
from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 11
EFFECTIVENESS OF A CHINESE POSITIVE
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM:
THE PROJECT P.A.T.H.S. IN HONG KONG
Daniel TL Shek*, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP 1-5
and Cecilia MS Ma, PhD1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Adopting a static group comparison design, this chapter examined the effectiveness of the
Project P.A.T.H.S. using social survey data. In a longitudinal study, 3,328 students were
recruited from 28 secondary schools for the Wave 1 data, with 16 participating schools (P
Group) and 12 non-participating schools (NP Group). The data were collected roughly
four months after the inception of the Project P.A.T.H.S. and the data collection time for
the two groups was similar. Results showed that the two groups did not differ in their
school characteristics with the exception of student age, length of stay in Hong Kong and
family functioning. Analyses using analyses of covariance were conducted with the
removal of the effects of age, length of stay in Hong Kong and family functioning.
Compared with students in the non-participating schools, students participating in the
Project P.A.T.H.S. had better positive youth development and displayed less adolescent
risk behavior. Acknowledging the limitations of a static group comparison as a pre-
*
Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social
Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
132
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
experimental design, the present study provides supplementary evidence on the
effectiveness of the Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong.
INTRODUCTION
Adolescence can be regarded as a stage of transition. According to Erikson (1), adolescents
are confronted with the psychosocial conflict involving ego identity and role confusion. For
those who have successfully resolved the conflict, they would develop the psychosocial
strength of fidelity. Adopting a psychosocial approach, Newman and Newman (2) proposed
that while physical maturation, formal operations, emotional development, membership in
peer group and heterosexual relationship are developmental tasks in early adolescence,
autonomy from parents, sex-role identity, internalized morality and career choice are
developmental tasks in late adolescence. From a life span perspective, Simpson and
Roehlkepartain (3) outlined ten adolescent developmental tasks, which included adjustment to
sexually maturing bodies and feelings, development and application of abstract thinking and
skills, formation and application of a more complex level of perspective taking, development
and use of new coping skills including decision making, problem solving and conflict
resolution, identification of meaningful moral standards, values and beliefs and meaning
systems, understanding and expression of complex emotional experiences, forming mutually
close and supportive friendship, establishment of key aspects of identity, meeting the
demands of increasingly mature roles and responsibilities, and re-negotiate relationships with
adults in parenting roles. In short, adolescent developmental tasks are numerous and stressful
in nature.
With specific reference to the Chinese culture, while the above developmental tasks are
basically applicable, there are several additional features of the Chinese culture that would
make the development of Chinese adolescents even more difficult. First, as civil examination
has historically been regarded as the ladder for social mobility, there is a strong emphasis on
academic excellence in the Chinese culture. As such, academic stress is a unique
developmental issue for adolescents in Hong Kong. Second, under the influence of Confucian
thoughts, filial piety is emphasized in the Chinese culture. As such, how to balance between
psychological dependence and personal autonomy is an important developmental task for
Chinese adolescents. Finally, as Hong Kong is an international financial center and an
affluent society, materialism and wealth accumulation are emphasized in Hong Kong. Hence,
how to help adolescents to deal with the related issues such as material possession and quest
for spirituality are additional developmental tasks for Chinese adolescents.
Against the above background, there is a need to raise the question of how adolescents
can be nurtured in a holistic manner. In a review of adolescent prevention and positive youth
development programs in different Chinese contexts, Shek and Yu (4) concluded that there
were few validated adolescent prevention and positive development programs in different
Chinese communities, except the Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong. The Project P.A.T.H.S. is
a positive youth development program initiated by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities
Trust with the involvement of academics in five institutions in Hong Kong, with an
earmarked grant of HK$400 million. There are two tiers of programs (Tier 1 and Tier 2
Programs) in the project. For the Tier 1 Program, it is a positive youth development program
delivered to junior secondary school students in the participating schools (i.e., universal youth
Effectiveness of a Chinese positive youth development program
133
development programs). Normally speaking, Secondary 1 to Secondary 3 students
participated in a program with 10-20 hours of training. The Tier 1 Program was designed with
reference to 15 positive youth development constructs (5-7). These constructs include:
promotion of bonding, cultivation of resilience, promotion of social competence, promotion
of emotional competence, promotion of cognitive competence, promotion of behavioral
competence, promotion of moral competence, cultivation of self-determination, promotion of
spirituality, development of self-efficacy, development of a clear and positive identity,
promotion of beliefs in the future, provision of recognition for positive behavior, provision of
opportunities for prosocial involvement, and fostering prosocial norms. For the Tier 2
Program, the school social work agency concerned collaborated with the school to develop
the program utilizing the positive youth development constructs described above.
In view of the wide scope of the project and the huge financial resource involved,
systematic evaluation is an integral component of the Project P.A.T.H.S. Multiple evaluation
strategies were used to evaluate the project, including objective outcome evaluation,
subjective outcome evaluation based on the perspective of the program implementers and
participants, process evaluation, qualitative evaluation and repertory grid evaluation. Overall
speaking, the evaluation findings showed that the major stakeholders were satisfied with the
program and regarded the program to be beneficial to the development of the students.
Besides, compared with the control group, students in the experimental group showed better
positive development and less adolescent risk behavior (8-21). In fact, the positive program
effects were observed at the end of Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 (22-24).
Obviously, the findings reported previously (9, 10) are pioneer objective outcome
evaluation studies of the P.A.T.H.S. Project. However, as accumulation of evidence is
emphasized under post-positivism, there is a need to conduct more studies adopting the
objective outcome evaluation approach. While randomized trial adopting a true experimental
design is the ―gold‖ standard, it may not be feasible in reality for several reasons. First, it is a
long-term investment because longitudinal data are usually collected. Second, with the
collection of longitudinal data, much financial and manpower resources are needed. Third, the
use of randomized controlled trials is virtually impossible in practice settings where it is
difficult, if not impossible, to form a control group with random assignment of subjects.
Therefore, many researchers have used pre-experimental designs and quasi-experimental
designs to assess program effectiveness.
In the welfare settings, one popular pre-experimental design is the posttest only design
with non-equivalent groups (25) or static-group comparison design (26). A basic feature of
this design is that the dependent variable (e.g., depressive symptoms) is measured after
introduction of the intervention (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy) in the experimental group,
whereas the control group is not exposed to the intervention and may not be totally
comparable to the experimental group. As pointed out by Rubin and Babbie (26), ―it is not at
all uncommon to encounter program providers who, after their program has been
implemented, belatedly realize that it might be useful to get evaluative data on its
effectiveness and are therefore attracted to the posttest-only design with non-equivalent
groups‖ (p. 322). According to Shadish, Cook and Campbell (27), an argument for supporting
this ―weak‖ design is that ―pretest measurement may sensitize participants and so influence
their posttest scores‖ (p. 116), particularly when differential testing effects occur. However,
Singleton and Straits (28) cautioned that although the static-group group comparison ―does a
better job of controlling threats to internal validity than do the other two experimental designs‖
134
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
(p. 194), some threats such as possible pre-treatment differences and selection biases are
problems to be resolved.
Because of the overwhelming success of the Project P.A.T.H.S. in the initial
implementation phase (2006-2009 school years), the project was extended for another cycle
from 2009 to 2012 school years, with an additional earmarked grant of HK$350 million. As
far as evaluation is concerned, subjective outcome evaluation was mainly carried out to
examine the program effect. At the same time, as there is a paucity of longitudinal research
data on adolescent development in Hong Kong, a six-year longitudinal study was carried out
from 2009/10 school year. While the longitudinal study can enable researchers to understand
the long-term developmental changes of adolescents, the related data can also be used to
understand the effects of the Project P.A.T.H.S. by examining the development of the
students participating in the Project P.A.T.H.S. and not participating in the program.
Against this background, the primary purpose of this study was to examine the
differences between schools participating in the Project P.A.T.H.S. (P Group) and not
participating in the project (NP Group) on the various outcome measures adopting a static
group comparison design. Based on the assertions of positive youth development approach
and previous research findings that the Project P.A.T.H.S. was effective to promote
adolescent development and reduce adolescent problem behavior (9, 10), it was predicted that
students in the schools participating in the Project P.A.T.H.S. would display a higher level of
positive development and a lower level of adolescent risk behavior than did students not
participating in the program.
OUR STUDY
The data presented in this paper were derived from the Wave 1 data of a 6-year longitudinal
study which attempted to examine the personal, social and family well-being and
developmental trends of adolescents in Hong Kong. At Wave 1, 28 secondary schools in
Hong Kong were randomly selected to join the study via the multi-stage cluster sampling
method.
Participants
All Secondary 1 students (i.e., Grade 7 students) were invited to complete a self-administered
questionnaire. A total of 3,328 students (mean age = 12.59 years, SD = 0.74) completed the
questionnaire at Wave 1. They included 1,719 boys and 1,572 girls, with 37 students not
indicating their gender. The background demographic information of the participants in the
schools participating (P Group) and not participating (NP Group) in the Project P.A.T.H.S. is
summarized in Table 1.
Effectiveness of a Chinese positive youth development program
135
Table 1. Descriptive statistics about participants
Categorical variables
Gender
Male
Female
Place of birth
Hong Kong
Mainland China
Others
Parental marital status
First marriage
Divorced
Separated
Remarried
Others (not first marriage)
Family economic status
Receiving CSSA
Not receiving CSSA
Others
n
%
1,719
1,572
52.2%
47.8%
2,590
655
64
78.3%
19.8%
1.9%
2781
209
73
129
104
84.4%
6.3%
2.2%
3.9%
3.2%
225
2606
465
6.8%
78.3%
13.9%
Instruments and procedures
In the school year of 2009-2010, the participants responded to a questionnaire containing a
wide range of measures of youth development, family functioning and parenting attributes. At
each measurement occasion, the purposes and procedures of the study were introduced and
confidentiality of the data collected was repeatedly ensured to all participants using
standardized instructions. School, parental and student consent had been obtained before data
collection. The research assistant was present throughout the administration process to ensure
that the data collection procedures were professionally carried out and answer possible
questions from the participants.
The data collection process began four months after the school term commenced and the
data were collected at roughly the same time for the P Group and NP Group. Different areas
of adolescent development were measured in the study, including their personal, school and
family well-being. For individual well-being, measures of positive youth development and
adolescent risk behavior such as substance abuse, delinquency and Internet addiction were
used. For family well-being, family functioning was focused upon. The measures covered in
the present study are highlighted in the following paragraphs.
Participants’ demographic information
Questions on the basic demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, place of birth) and
family attributes (e.g., number of family members, parents‘ marital status, parents‘
educational level, and family financial situation) were included in this section of the
questionnaire.
136
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
Positive youth development measure
Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale (CPYDS): The modified version of the Chinese
Positive Youth Development Scale (CPYDS) is an instrument assessing different positive
youth development constructs. It consists of 15 subscales which include bonding, resilience,
social competence, recognition for positive behavior, emotional competence, cognitive
competence, behavioral competence, moral competence, self-determination, self-efficacy,
clear and positive identity, beliefs in the future, prosocial involvement, prosocial norms, and
spirituality. Each construct has three items in the questionnaire. The higher scores in the scale
denote a higher level of psychosocial competence. Details of the items can be seen in Shek
and Ma (29). Using multi-group confirmatory factor analyses (MCFA), Shek and Ma (30)
showed that the 15 basic dimensions of the original CPYDS could be subsumed under four
higher-order factors, including cognitive-behavioral competencies, prosocial attributes,
positive identity, and general positive youth development qualities. Evidence of factorial
invariance in terms of configuration, first-order factor loadings, second-order factor loadings,
intercepts of measured variable, and intercepts of first-order latent factor, was found in the
original scale in the previous studies.
Measures of adolescent psychological symptoms and risk behavior
Hopelessness Scale (HS): Five items were used to assess the sense of hopelessness in the
participants. Previous studies have shown that the scale possessed good psychometric
properties (31).
Substance Use Scale (DRUG): The respondents were asked to indicate the frequency of
using different types of substance in the past half a year such as alcohol, tobacco, ketamine,
cannabis, cough mixture, organic solvent, pills (including ecstasy and methaqualone), and
heroin. Previous studies have shown that this scale possessed adequate psychometric
properties (10).
Delinquent Scale (DE): The respondents were asked to rate the frequency of occurrence
of delinquent behavior such as stealing, cheating, truancy, running away from home,
damaging others‘ properties, assault, having sexual intercourse with others, gang fighting,
speaking foul language, staying outside the home overnight without parental consent, strong
arming others, and trespassing. Previous studies showed that this measure possessed good
psychometric properties (10).
Problem Behavior Intention Scale (BI): Five items were used to assess the participants‘
behavioral intention to engage in problem behavior including drinking alcohol, smoking,
taking drugs (such as Ketamine, cannabis or ecstasy), having sex with others, and gambling.
Respondents were asked to rate the likelihood that they may engage in these problem
behaviors in the next two years on a four-point Likert-scale, with ―1‖ representing ―never‖,
―2‖ for ―not likely‖, ―3‖ for ―likely‖ and ―4‖ for ―definitely‖. Previous studies showed that
this scale possessed acceptable psychometric properties (10).
Internet Addiction Scale (IAT): The 10-item Internet Addiction Test developed by Young
(32) was used. The Chinese version of this scale was validated by Shek, Tang and Lo (33)
who found that the scale was valid and reliable. In this scale, the respondent was asked to
answer ―Yes‖ or ―No‖ to ten items of Internet addiction, such as ―feeling a need to spend
more and more time online to achieve satisfaction‖ and ―feeling restless or irritable when
attempting to cut down or stop on-line use‖. Previous studies have shown that the scale
possessed good psychometric properties (34).
Effectiveness of a Chinese positive youth development program
137
Exposure to pornographic materials (PORN-I and PORN-NI): Twelve items were used
to assess the consumption of two types of pornographic materials during the last year. They
were Internet pornography (PORN-I) (e.g., pornographic stories, pictures, videos and
websites) and traditional pornography (PORN-NI) (e.g., pornographic movies, rental films,
movies on cable TV, magazines, books and comics). Participants answered on a 6-point
Likert-scale (0 = never; 1 = less than 1 time a month; 2 = 1-3 times a month; 3 = about 1 time
a week; 4 = several times a week; 5 = daily). Separate total scores for consumption of Internet
and traditional pornographic materials were computed. Previous studies have shown that the
scale possessed good psychometric properties (35).
Deliberate Self-Harm Behavior Scale (DSHS): This scale assesses the occurrence of 17
deliberate self-harm behaviors of the participants in the past year, such as cutting wrist,
burning oneself, carving words or pictures into skin, scratching and biting oneself, rubbing
sandpaper on body, dripping acid onto skin, using bleach or other chemical materials to scrub
skin, sticking sharp objects and rubbing glass into skin, breaking bones, banging head against
something to cause a bruise to appear, preventing wounds from healing, and other self-harm
behaviors. To differentiate self-harming behaviors without suicidal intention from suiciderelated behaviors, a note that the behavior should have been conducted without suicidal
intention is emphasized in each item. A composite score of DSHS was calculated for each
individual by averaging the 17 item scores, which ranged from 0 to 1 with higher score
representing more self-harm behaviors. Previous studies showed that this scale was valid and
reliable (36).
Suicidal Behavior Scale (SBS): Participants‘ suicidal behaviors were measured by a fouritem SBS in terms of three aspects: suicidal thought, suicidal plan, and suicidal attempt. The
first item measured suicidal thought, which asked about whether the respondents had
seriously considered committing suicide in the past one year. The second item asked the
participants whether they had made specific plan for suicide, i.e., suicidal plan. The third item
enquired about the number of actual suicide the participants had committed in the past year.
For the fourth item, if the participants reported having attempted suicide, they were asked to
indicate whether their suicidal behaviors needed medical treatment. Previous studies showed
that the scale was valid and reliable (37).
FINDINGS
Regarding the reliability of the different outcomes, analyses showed that they possessed good
internal consistency with acceptable mean inter-item correlation and mean item-total
correlation. The related findings are shown in table 2.
Before considering differences between the participating schools and non-participating
schools on the outcome measures, it is necessary to examine whether there were differences
between the participating schools and non-participating schools in terms of the background
demographic characteristics. Analyses using t-test and chi square analyses showed that the
two categories of schools were not different, except that students in the non-participating
schools were older and students in P Group had shorter duration of stay in Hong Kong.
Besides, the two groups were found to be different in family and parenting processes. The
differences between the two groups in terms of background demographic and family
138
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
characteristics are shown in Table 3. In the analyses of covariance performed, age, duration of
stay in Hong Kong and family processes were treated as covariates. As family functioning
and parenting variables were highly correlated, only overall family functioning was removed
in the analyses.
Table 2. Reliability of the outcome measures assessed at Wave 1
Measure
Mean Inter-item
correlation
Mean Item-total correlation
(average of corrected item-total
correation)
.57
.63
.73
.59
.55
.66
.53
.56
.58
.48
.61
.71
.65
.54
.77
.61
.60
.58
.68
.59
.67
.37
.41
.46
.47
.77
.68
Cronbach‘s Alpha
BO
.49
.74
RE
.55
.79
SC
.66
.86
PB
.52
.76
EC
.47
.73
CC
.59
.81
BC
.45
.71
MC
.48
.73
SD
.50
.75
SE
.48
.65
SI
.54
.78
BF
.64
.84
PI
.57
.80
PN
.46
.72
SP
.71
.88
CBC
.44
.87
PA
.45
.83
GPYDQ .36
.93
PIT
.54
.87
PYD
.37
.96
HS
.55
.85
DRUG
.35
.50
DE
.25
.70
BI
.36
.64
NET
.28
.79
PORN-I
.65
.92
PORN.55
.86
NI
DSH
.25
.44
.83
SB
.44
.53
.68
Note: BO: bonding; RE: resilience; SC: social competence; PB: recognition for positive behavior; EC:
emotional competence; CC: cognitive competence; BC: behavioral competence; MC: moral
competence; SD: self-determination; SE: self-efficacy; SI: clear and positive identity; BF: beliefs
in the future; PI: prosocial involvement; PN: prosocial norms; SP: spirituality; CBC: cognitivebehavioral competencies (second-order factor); PA: prosocial attributes (second-order factor);
GPYDQ: general positive youth development qualities (second-order factor); PIT: positive identity
(second-order factor) ; PYD: total score of 15 constructs; HS: Hopelessness Scale. DRUG: drug
taking behavior; DE: delinquency behavior; BI: problem behavior intention; NET: net addiction;
PORN-I: consumption of Internet pornographic materials; PORN-NI: consumption of non-Internet
pornographic materials; DSH: deliberate self-harm; SB: suicidal behavior.
Effectiveness of a Chinese positive youth development program
139
Table 3. Differences between the participating schools and non-participating schools on
the background demographic and family functioning measures
Variables
Participating
Schools
(N = 16)
12.57
55.6
46.06
41.70
4.10
Age (Mean)
Gender (% of male)
Father‘s Age (Mean)
Mother‘s Age (Mean)
No. of family members
(Mean)
No. of years living in
6.79
Hong Kong - from
Mainland (Mean)
No. of years living in
9.83
Hong Kong - from places
other than Mainland
(Mean)
Parental marital status
1,536
(first marriage)
Father‘s Educational
5.09
Level (Mean)*
Mother‘s Educational
4.97
Level (Mean)*
Welfare recipients
50.7
(percentage)
School Textbook
55.0
Assistance (percentage)
Father‘s working status
1,404
(full-time)
Mother‘s working status
864
(full-time)
* Educational level was measured by a 9-point scale
illiterate to 9 = with university education).
Non-Participating Schools
(N = 12)
Difference
Involved
12.62
44.4
45.98
42.07
4.05
Yes
7.44
Yes
9.25
No
1,245
No
4.94
No
4.94
No
49.3
No
45.0
No
1,112
No
706
No
No
No
No
from 0 to 8 (0 = without formal education and
Regarding positive youth development qualities, a MANCOVA was carried out with the
P Group versus the NP Group as the independent variable, the scores of CPYDS subscales,
higher-order factor subscales, and total scale as dependent variables, and age, length of stay in
Hong Kong and family functioning as the covariate (see Table 4). Analyses generally showed
that students in the participating schools had higher scores in several measures of the CPYDS.
Similarly, MANOVA with adolescent psychological symptoms and risk behavior as outcome
measures similarly showed that the NP Group performed worse than the P Group.
140
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
Table 4. Differences between participating and non-participating schools on different
outcome measures
Measures
NP Group
Mean
SD
P Group
Mean
SD
F value
Partial eta
square
0.11
------.001
.001
.001
--.002
--.003
.002
.003
----.001
Positive Youth Development (Omibus Test)
1.8*
BO
4.71
0.84
4.73
0.86
0.61
RE
4.62
0.89
4.69
0.90
1.95
SC
4.74
0.87
4.78
0.87
0.46
PB
4.30
0.95
4.39
0.97
2.82*
EC
4.22
0.94
4.32
0.94
3.54*
CC
4.28
0.90
4.35
0.89
2.83*
BC
4.53
0.82
4.55
0.82
0.01
MC
4.34
0.89
4.42
0.89
4.16*
SD
4.44
0.88
4.50
0.87
1.73
SE
4.30
0.92
4.41
0.91
7.28**
SI
4.03
1.02
4.15
1.02
6.03*
BF
4.33
1.03
4.47
1.03
8.81**
PI
4.35
1.00
4.43
1.02
2.26
PN
4.64
0.93
4.69
0.93
0.40
SP
5.08
1.32
5.22
1.28
3.17*
Positive Youth Development (Total Scale)
CPYDS
4.46
0.70
4.54
0.69
5.04*
.002
CPYDS (Subscales Based on Higher-Order Factors)
2.87*
.004
4.42
0.75
4.47
0.74
1.39
--CBC
4.49
0.87
4.56
0.87
1.55
--PA
*
4.54
0.71
4.61
0.70
4.85
.002
GPYDQ
**
4.18
0.95
4.32
0.94
8.97
.003
PIT
Psychological Symptoms and Risk Behavior
2.18*
.008
2.71
1.19
2.60
1.14
1.39
--HS
DRUG
0.09
0.20
0.08
0.23
0.24
--DE
0.42
0.50
0.35
0.43
6.94**
.003
BI
1.26
0.38
1.23
0.35
1.67
--NET
1.24
0.23
1.22
0.24
1.85
--PORN-I
1.08
0.37
1.09
0.33
1.11
--PORN-NI
1.02
0.22
1.02
0.10
0.94
--DSH
1.04
0.10
1.03
0.08
3.53*
.001
SB
1.08
0.21
1.07
0.20
0.13
--*
p < .05 (two-tailed); **p < .01 (two-tailed).
Note: BO: bonding; RE: resilience; SC: social competence; PB: recognition for positive behavior; EC:
emotional competence; CC: cognitive competence; BC: behavioral competence; MC: moral
competence; SD: self-determination; SE: self-efficacy; SI: clear and positive identity; BF: beliefs
in the future; PI: prosocial involvement; PN: prosocial norms; SP: spirituality; CBC: cognitivebehavioral competencies (second-order factor); PA: prosocial attributes (second-order factor);
GPYDQ: general positive youth development qualities (second-order factor); PIT: positive identity
(second-order factor) ; PYD: total score of 15 constructs; HS: Hopelessness Scale. DRUG: drug
taking behavior; DE: delinquency behavior; BI: problem behavior intention; NET: net addiction;
PORN-I: consumption of Internet pornographic materials; PORN-NI: consumption of non-Internet
pornographic materials; DSH: deliberate self-harm; SB: suicidal behavior.
Effectiveness of a Chinese positive youth development program
141
DISCUSSION
The basic objective of this study was to provide supplementary research findings on the
effectiveness of the Project P.A.T.H.S. via the use of a static group comparison design. In the
initial phase of the Project P.A.T.H.S., a randomized group trial was used where evaluation
data were collected on eight occasions. In Year 1, analyses of the pretest (Wave 1) and
posttest (Wave 2) data showed that participants in the experimental group generally
performed better on different outcome measures. In Year 2, analyses of the first four waves of
data using individual growth curve models showed that the participants had better positive
development and less adolescent risk behavior. In Year 3, utilizing the 6 waves of data
collected in the junior secondary school years, results showed that compared to students in the
control schools, students in the experimental schools showed better development in terms of
positive development and risk behavior. In Year 4, analyses of the seven waves of data
collected showed similar phenomena. Finally, analyses of the eight waves of data collected
over five years showed that students in the experimental schools had better positive
development than did the control group participants (9, 10, 22-24).
Consistent with the randomized group trial, findings of the present study showed that
students in the participating schools developed better than did students in the nonparticipating schools. Several observations deserve attention. First, using the total CPYDS as
the outcome measure, there was significant difference between the two groups. Second,
similar superior performance of the P Group students relative to the NP Group students on
different subscales measures was observed. Finally, students in the P Group showed relatively
lower level of risk behavior than did students in the NP Group. In short, the present study
provides supplementary evidence on the effectiveness of the Project P.A.T.H.S. in promoting
the holistic development and reducing risk behavior of Chinese adolescents.
Theoretically, there are conceptual frameworks highlighting the importance of positive
youth development (38). For example, Benson (39) proposed that both internal and external
developmental assets can promote adolescent development. Empirically, there are research
findings showing that positive youth development attributes such as psychosocial
competencies promoted positive developmental outcomes and reduced adolescent risk
behavior (40-44). In a recent review of the effectiveness of positive youth development
programs, Durlak et al. (45) found that positive youth development programs were able to
promote the holistic development of adolescents, including their academic performance.
Similarly, Catalano et al. (46) outlined the effective positive youth development programs in
the global context, with the Project P.A.T.H.S. listed as an effective program in the Chinese
contexts.
It is noteworthy that there are several limitations of the present study. First, only one time
point was involved in the analyses. It would be helpful if more time points could be included
in the analyses so that a longitudinal profile can be described. Second, without pretest scores,
differences between the two groups might be attributable to differences in background sociodemographic factors. Of course, this possibility may be partially dismissed because the
relevant background confounding factors were controlled in the analyses. In fact, it can be
argued that there may be other confounding factors contributing to the observed differences in
the two groups. Third, as the present data were confined to Chinese adolescents in Hong
Kong, generalizability of the findings to other Chinese communities is not clear. Despite
142
Daniel TL Shek and Cecilia MS Ma
these limitations, the present study provides additional information on the effectiveness of the
Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong. In view of the thin scientific literature in different Chinese
contexts, the present addition is an interesting addition to the literature.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The preparation for this paper and the Project P.A.T.H.S. were financially supported by The
Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. This chapter has been published as a paper in the
International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has
been obtained from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 12
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUBJECTIVE
OUTCOME EVALUATION AND OBJECTIVE OUTCOME
EVALUATION FINDINGS: EVIDENCE FROM CHINA
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1-5,
and Xiao Yan Han6
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
6
School of Social Development, East China Normal University,
Shanghai, PR China
The relationships between subjective outcome evaluation and objective subjective
evaluation measures were examined in this chapter. In a positive youth development
program (Tin Ka Ping P.A.T.H.S. Project), 1,083high school students responded to
objective outcome measures, including the Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale
(CPYDS) and measures of thriving and life satisfaction at posttest. The respondents also
responded to the Chinese Subjective Outcome Scale (CSOS) at posttest. Results showed
that different measures derived from the CSOS (lessons, subject, sharing and benefits)
had significant relationships with different measures of the CPYDS, thriving and life
satisfaction. The different dimensions of the CSOS scores also predicted different
objective outcome measures. The present findings provide additional evidence supporting
the linkages between objective outcome and subjective outcome measures.

Corresponding author: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social
Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong, PRC. E-mail:
[email protected]
146
Daniel TL Shek and Xiao Yan Han
INTRODUCTION
A review of the literature shows that developmental issues in Chinese adolescents are
intensifying. In the area of adolescent mental health, there are studies revealing that
significant proportions of Chinese adolescents displayed excessive mental health problems.
Based on a sample of 2,462 students recruited from the Shandong Province who responded to
the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), results showed that roughly 17% of the
respondents could be classified as depressive (1). In another study, Hesketh, Ding and Jenkins
(2) reported that amongst the 1,576 students responding to the measures, roughly one-third of
them showed symptoms of severe depression, 16% had suicidal ideation and 9% had
attempted suicide. They also found that the tendency to seek professional help was very low.
Besides, Chan (3) presented findings on the victimization and poly-victimization among
school-aged Chinese adolescents. Based on 18,341 adolescents recruited from 6 cities in
China, it was found that the lifetime prevalence with at least one form of victimization (i.e.,
single-victimization) and poly-victimization was 71% and 14%, respectively.
Besides scientific studies, news on youth problems also receives public attention. In the
past decade, there have been many cases of death poisoning in different universities in China:
a medical science graduate student at Fudan University was poisoned to death and his
roommate was suspected to have committed the crime; another undergraduate student at
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics was killed by his roommate; a hidden
decayed corpse was found in a hostel room of Nanchang Hangkong University; thallium
poisoning cases occurred in Tsinghua University, Peking University and China University of
Mining and Technology, where the victims and perpetrators were roommates (4). In such
cases, one general question that the general public has raised is why the educated young
―intellectuals‖ committed such crimes which would not even be committed by those without
receiving higher education.
Intuitively, several factors contribute to the adverse development of adolescents in
mainland China. First, with the one-child policy, there are views suggesting that the singlechild may be spoiled, hence becoming very self-centered and non-empathetic. Second, with
traditional emphasis on academic excellence in the Chinese culture, children and adolescents
usually work very hard to gain admission to universities. This has obviously created a highly
unbalanced development for children and adolescents in mainland China. Third, rapid
economic growth in the past three decades has also created much social stresses for the
society as a whole, such as growing poverty problem, high property prices and morbid
emphasis on competition. Obviously, from an ecological perspective, such macro social
changes would have adverse impact on the parents, which would further adversely affect the
development of their children. Fourth, economic growth has created a culture of materialism
which promotes the importance of material values over ethical values.
Against the above background, the question of how adolescents in mainland China
should be nurtured is an important question raised by policy makers, educators, teachers,
social workers, parents and the general public. In the context of positive youth development,
it is argued that by promoting the developmental assets, strengths and competencies of
children and adolescents, their risk behaviour can be reduced. Actually, this belief is very
similar to the belief of Chinese medicine that by strengthening the ―basics‖ and internal
organs of an individual, it would not be easy to get sick. In the international literature,
The relationship between subjective outcome evaluation and objective outcome … 147
Catalano et al. (5) argued that there are indeed effective programs of youth development in
the global context. Similarly, in a review of 213 school based programs aiming at promoting
psychosocial competences in children and adolescents (N = 270,034), Durak et al. (6) showed
that compared with control students, students who had joined the programs had better skills
and attitudes, better social and emotional behavior, and their academic performance was 11percentile-point higher.
With specific reference to different Chinese communities, Shek and Yu (7) showed that
there are very few validated adolescent prevention and positive youth development programs.
To promote positive development in adolescents in Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Charities Trust initiated a project entitled ―P.A.T.H.S. to Adulthood: A Jockey Club Youth
Enhancement Scheme‖ in 2004 with an earmarked grant of HK$400 million. Five universities
in Hong Kong were invited by the Trust to form a Research Team with The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University as the lead institution to develop a multi-year curriculum-based
program for junior secondary school students. The Research Team carried out tasks including
curriculum development, training of potential program implementers, program
implementation and program evaluation. As evaluation showed that the initial phase of the
project was very successful (8-14), the project was extended for another cycle in 2009 until
2012, with an additional earmarked grant of HK$350 million.
Although the Project P.A.T.H.S. was successfully implemented in Hong Kong, whether it
can be applied to other Chinese context is a legitimate question to be asked. As such, the
curriculum materials were used in Mei Long Secondary School in Shanghai for three years
(15-18) and different evaluation methods were carried out to assess the program effectiveness.
Overall speaking, the evaluation findings were very positive and they demonstrated that the
students and teachers could benefit from the program. To further test out the program, another
project entitled ―Tin Ka Ping P.A.T.H.S. Project‖ was initiated and funded by Tin Ka Ping
Foundation, with four secondary schools participating in the project, with one school from
Shanghai, one from Suzhou, one from Yangzhou and one from Changzhou.
In the first year of the project, different types of evaluation data were collected. For
objective outcome evaluation, data were collected from both pretest and posttest using a
quasi-experimental design. Analyses using different methods showed that students in the
experimental schools performed better than did students in the control schools (19). For postcourse subjective outcome evaluation, results showed that most of the students perceived the
classes, subject, instructors and benefits of the subject in a favorable light (20). Process
evaluation findings also revealed that the students and teachers enjoyed the subject very much
and they perceived the subject to be beneficial to the development of the students (21).
Overall speaking, the evaluation findings based on the first year of implementation were very
positive.
As both objective outcome evaluation and subjective outcome evaluation data were
collected at posttest, the data set would permit testing of the relationships between subjective
outcome measures and objective outcome measures. Shek (22) pointed out that although
subjective outcome evaluation was commonly conducted in human services settings, the
utility of such data is not clear in some studies (23). On the one hand, there are criticisms that
subjective outcome evaluation findings are misleading because the related scores are
commonly high and overall satisfaction is not equivalent to program effectiveness. On the
other hand, there are research findings showing that subjective outcome measures are
significantly related to objective outcome measures (22). For example, Trotter (24) concluded
148
Daniel TL Shek and Xiao Yan Han
that ―client satisfaction studies may have value beyond simply measuring client satisfaction‖
(p. 262) and that ―measures of client satisfaction do tell us something about effectiveness. If
clients are satisfied, other outcomes are likely to be better‖ (p. 272). Obviously, there is a
need to accumulate more research data on the relationships between subjective outcome and
objective outcome measures. Utilizing the objective outcome and subjective outcome data
collected at posttest the first year of the Tin Ka Ping Project, this paper examines the
relationships between these two domains.
Our study
This study utilized the data collected from the four experimental schools at posttest. At
posttest, there were 1,056 students in the experimental group. The basic demographic
characteristics are shown in Table 1.
At posttest, students in the experimental schools were invited to respond to a
questionnaire containing both objective outcome and subjective outcome measures. After
introducing the purpose of the study and confidentiality of the data collected, passive
informed consent was obtained from the students. All participants responded to the
questionnaire in a self-administration format. Adequate time was provided for the participants
to complete the questionnaire. Similar to pretest, students were not asked to put down their
names as they were sensitive about this requirement.
Instruments
At pretest and posttest, the participants responded to a self-administered questionnaire
including measures of positive youth development, thriving, life satisfaction, adolescent
problem behavior and demographic information. The measures covered in this paper are
described below.
Assessment of positive youth development
The Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale (CPYDS) was used to measure different
positive youth development constructs (25). In the original validation, the CPYDS was found
to possess adequate reliability and validity. This tool was used in another longitudinal study
with eight waves of data collected. Based on reliability analyses of the longitudinal study,
there were some slight modifications in the composition of the items of the 15 subscales of
the CPYDS as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Resilience Subscale (RE): 6 items.
Social Competence Subscale (SC): 7 items.
Emotional Competence Subscale (EC): 6 items.
Cognitive Competence Subscale (CC): 6 items.
Behavioral Competence Subscale (BC): 6 items.
Moral Competence Subscale (MC): 6 items.
Self-Determination Subscale (SD): 5 items.
Self-Efficacy Subscale (SE): 7 items.
Beliefs in the Future Subscale (BF): 7 items.
The relationship between subjective outcome evaluation and objective outcome … 149
Table 1. Demographic characteristics of the students in the experimental group
Age group
1
Age range in ≤10
years
Experimental group
No. of
0
participants
No. of girls
0
No. of boys
0
Percentage
0%
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
2
3
12
4
11
5
9
91
214
383
259
5
4
0.9%
52
39
9.1%
106
108
21.4%
169
214
38.4%
94
165
26.0%
13
6
14
15
7
16
8
17
9
18
10
19
Total
38
3
-
1
998
14
24
3.8%
0
3
0.3%
-
1
0
0.1%
441
557
100%
Clear and Positive Identity Subscale (CPI): 7 items.
Spirituality Subscale (SP): 7 items.
Bonding Subscale (BO): 6 items.
Prosocial Involvement Subscale (PI): 5 items.
Prosocial Norms Subscale (PN): 5 items.
Recognition for Positive Behavior Subscale (PB): 4 items.
Shek and Ma (26) performed confirmatory factor analyses and found that the 15
subscales in the CPYDS could be subsumed under four higher-order factors:
1. Cognitive Behavioral Competence (CBC): This higher-order factor includes the
Cognitive Competence Subscale, Self-Determination Subscale and Behavioral
Competence Subscale.
2. Prosocial Attributes (PA): This higher-order factor includes Prosocial Involvement
Subscale and Prosocial Norms Subscale.
3. Positive Identity (PIT): This higher-order factor includes Beliefs in the Future
Subscale and Clear and Positive Identity Subscale.
4. General Positive Youth Development Qualities (GPYDQ): This higher-order factor
includes the Resilience Subscale, Social Competence Subscale, Self-Efficacy
Subscale, Moral Competence Subscale, Bonding Subscale, Recognition for Positive
Behavior Subscale, Spirituality Subscale and Emotional Competence Subscale.
In the present study, the 15 individual subscale scores, four composite indicators, and the
scale score of the CPYDS were used to assess participants‘ positive youth development.
Higher scores represent for higher competences in the constructs. The reliability of the
CPYDS and its subscales can be seen in Table 2.
Assessment of thriving and positive behavior
1. Thriving Scale (TH): Lerner, Dowling and Anderson (27) argued that a person would
be regarded as ―thriving‖ if ―he or she was involved across time in such healthy,
positive relations with his or her community‖ (p. 173) and on the path to ―idealized
personhood‖. According to the Search Institute (28), eight thriving indicators were
proposed to assess the thriving process. These include: success in school (gets almost
straight A on report card), helping others (helps friends or neighbors one or more
hours per week), value diversity (places high importance on getting to know people
150
Daniel TL Shek and Xiao Yan Han
of other racial/ethnic groups), maintenance of good health (pays attention to good
nutrition and exercise), demonstration of leadership (has been a leader of a group or
organization in the last 12 months), resistance to danger (avoids doing things that are
dangerous), delay of gratification (saves money for something specific rather than
spending it all right away) and overcoming adversity (does not give up when things
get difficult). Based on literature, 22 items were developed to assess the concept of
thriving.
2. Life Satisfaction Scale (LS): Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin (29) designed five
items to assess a person‘s global judgment of one‘s quality of life. The Chinese
version of this scale was translated by the first author and acceptable psychometric
properties of this scale have been reported (30). A higher LS scale score indicates a
higher level of life satisfaction. According to Damon (31), life satisfaction is an
important indicator of positive youth development.
Table 2. Reliability analyses of the scales at posttest
Posttest
Cronbach’s Alphas Mean inter-item correlation
BO
0.88
0.56
RE
0.89
0.58
SC
0.86
0.51
PB
0.85
0.59
EC
0.87
0.52
CC
0.91
0.64
BC
0.72
0.40
MC
0.85
0.51
SD
0.85
0.55
SE
0.87
0.46
CPI
0.88
0.52
BF
0.73
0.28
PI
0.87
0.59
PN
0.88
0.60
SP
0.91
0.61
CBC
0.92
0.46
PA
0.91
0.52
GPYDQ
0.94
0.32
PIT
0.85
0.33
LS
0.88
0.61
TH
0.90
0.38
DE
0.82
0.42
Note: BO: bonding; RE: resilience; SC: social competence; PB: recognition for positive behavior; EC:
emotional competence; CC: cognitive competence; BC: behavioral competence; MC: moral
competence; SD: self-determination; SE: self-efficacy; CPI: clear and positive identity; BF: beliefs
in the future; PI: prosocial involvement; PN: prosocial norms; SP: spirituality;CBC: cognitivebehavioral competencies (second-order factor) subscale of CPYDS; PA: prosocial attributes
(second-order factor) subscale of CPYDS; GPYDQ: general positive youth development qualities
(second-order factor) of CPYDS; PIT: positive identity (second-order factor) of CPYDS; CPYDS:
The relationship between subjective outcome evaluation and objective outcome … 151
total scale of the Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale; TH: Thriving Scale; LS: Life
Satisfaction Scale; DE: delinquency behavior.
Assessment of adolescent problem behavior
Delinquency Scale (DE): In the original Delinquency Scale used in Hong Kong, 12 items
were used to examine the respondents‘ frequency of engaging in different problem behaviors,
including stealing, cheating, truancy, running away from home, damaging others‘ properties,
assault, having sexual relationship with others, gang fighting, speaking foul language, staying
overnight outside home without parental consent, strong-arming others, and breaking in
others‘ places. As ―having sexual relationship with others‖ was considered to be too sensitive
for secondary school students in mainland China, it was deleted from the questionnaire. As
such, 11 items were used in this study. Sun &Shek (32) showed that this scale possessed
acceptable construct validity.
Subjective outcome evaluation
The 20-item Chinese Subjective Outcome Scale (CSOS) was used to assess the participants‘
satisfaction with the course and instructor as well as their perceived benefits of the program at
posttest. Reliability analysis showed that this measure is reliable (Cronbach‘s =.98).
The items are as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
The atmosphere of the class was good.
There were many opportunities for students to exchange ideas during class.
I often had encouragement from the responses of classmates.
I think students actively participated in the class activities.
I think I actively participated in the class activities.
I think the discipline in class was good.
I think this course is very interesting.
I think this course encouraged me to reflect.
I like this course very much.
The instructor could arouse my interest in the course.
The instructor could arouse my learning motivation.
The instructor knew how to promote discussion and participation among the students.
I could get encouragement from the responses of the instructor.
I often share the things I have learned from the course with my friends.
I often share the things I have learned from the course with my family members.
I think this course can strengthen my ability to face the challenge of life.
I think this course can strengthen my ability to face adversity.
I think this course can increase my understanding about myself.
I think this course can promote my overall development.
Overall speaking, I think this course is helpful to me.
Conceptually speaking, the 20 items assess four areas of evaluation, including views on
―classes‖ (Item 1 to Item 6; alpha = .94), ―subject‖ which includes the instructor (Item 7 to
Item 13; alpha = .96), ―sharing‖ (Item 14 and Item 15; alpha = .86), and ―help‖ (perceived
benefits of the program - Item 16 to Item 20; alpha = .96). Exploratory factor analyses
showed that these four dimensions were intrinsic to this scale.
152
Daniel TL Shek and Xiao Yan Han
FINDINGS
Pearson correlation coefficients were computed to reveal the relationships between the
subjective outcome measures (indicators based on the total scores and sub-scale scores) and
objective outcome measures (CPYDS total scale and subscales, thriving, life satisfaction, and
delinquency scores). To guard against the possibility of inflated Type 1 error, a Bonferroni
correction with a more conservative alpha level was carried out. Results showed that the
subjective outcome measures were significantly correlated with positive youth development,
thriving, life satisfaction and delinquency scores at posttest (Table 3).
Table 3. Correlation between different measures of subjective outcome and different
measures of objective outcome
Variable
CLASS
SUBJECT
SHARE
HELP
SOE
CBC
.58
.58
.57
.63
.64
PA
.62
.64
.62
.66
.69
GPYDQ
.65
.65
.64
.67
.71
PIT
.47
.42
.44
.46
.49
CPYDS
.68
.68
.67
.72
.74
THRIVE
.64
.62
.64
.64
.68
LIFE
.32
.25
.30
.27
.31
DE
-.25
-.24
-.24
-.27
-.27
p < .0001 for all correlation coefficients. All of them were significant after Bonferroni correction
(p = .05/40 = .00125)
Note: CLASS: Class Subscale; SUBJECT: Subject Subscale; SHARE: Share Subscale; HELP: Perceived
Helpfulness Subscale; SOE: Subjective Outcome Evaluation Scale; CBC: cognitive-behavioral
competencies (second-order factor) subscale of CPYDS; PA: pro social attributes (second-order factor)
subscale of CPYDS; GPYDQ: general positive youth development qualities (second-order factor) of
CPYDS; PIT: positive identity (second-order factor) of CPYDS; CPYDS: total scale of the Chinese
Positive Youth Development Scale; THRIVE: Thriving Scale; LIFE: Life Satisfaction Scale; DE:
delinquency behavior.
Table 4. Prediction of objective outcome measures by different
subjective outcome measures
Dependent Variable
CPYDS THRIVE LIFE DELIN
Predictor
CLASS
.28***
.31*** .28***
-.12*
SUBJECT
-.03ns
-.04ns
-.16*
-.04ns
SHARE
.18***
.26***
.18**
-.05ns
HELP
.39***
.23***
.06ns
-.26**
*** p < .0001; ** p < .01; * p < .05; ns non-significant.
Regarding the relationships between different subjective outcome measures and objective
outcome measures, several multiple regression analyses were performed. Results showed that
perceived benefits (HELP) predicted positive youth development, thriving and delinquency
scores. In addition, views of the lessons (CLASS) significantly predicted positive youth
development, thriving, life satisfaction and delinquency scores (Table 4).
The relationship between subjective outcome evaluation and objective outcome … 153
DISCUSSION
The linkages between subjective outcome and objective outcome evaluation measures using
the evaluation findings of a positive youth development program implemented in mainland
China were examined in this study. There are several unique features of this study. First, this
is the first known scientific study on this topic based on the data collected in mainland China.
Second, a large sample size was employed in this study. This attribute is important because
small sample size was commonly employed in studies in this field which has adversely
affected the power of the statistical analyses. Third, the subjective and objective outcome
measures used in this study possess adequate psychometric properties. This point is important
because subjective outcome evaluation tools are not usually validated in the field (33).
Fourth, different aspects of subjective outcome evaluation, including views on the classes,
subject, sharing and benefits were covered in the study. Finally, different measures of
objective outcome were employed in the study.
The present study gives support to the intimate relationships between subjective outcome
and objective outcome measures. Pearson correlation analyses showed significant
relationships between the subjective outcome measures (views on lessons, subject, sharing
and benefits as well as overall satisfaction) and objective outcome measures (including
indicators of positive youth development, thriving, life satisfaction and delinquency).
Multiple regression analyses further showed that different subjective outcome measures
predicted different objective outcome measures. Generally speaking, views on the class and
benefits were found to be more important dimensions which could predict perceived benefits
of the program.
These findings are generally consistent with previous studies showing significant
relationships between subjective and objective outcome measures (34,35). On the other hand,
they are not consistent with those studies in which no relationship between subjective
outcome evaluation and objective outcome evaluation was found. There are several possible
explanations for the divergent findings. First, the lack of significant findings might be due to
the employment of measures without sound psychometric properties (23). Second, nonsignificant findings reported in the previous studies (36, 37) may be due to the employment of
small sample size. Third, as students rather than patients in the mental health field were
recruited, this may contribute to the observed discrepancies.
There are several limitations of the study. First, as only self-administered scales were
used in this study, it would be helpful if additional data could be collected by other methods
(e.g., interviews and observations) and from other stakeholders (e.g., significant others of the
informants). Second, as the sample was not randomly drawn, generalizability of the findings
to other populations should proceed with caution. In fact, replication of the present findings is
necessary. Third, to assess the relationships between subjective outcomes and objective
outcomes in a thorough manner, it would be helpful to collect longitudinal data.
Finally, besides the possible interpretation that subjective outcome measures can reflect
objective changes in clients, several alternative interpretations of the present findings should
be noted. First, as self-administered scales were used in the study, common method variance
may explain the significant correlations between measures of the two domains. Hence, data
collected by methods other than self-administered questionnaires (such as interviews and data
collected from other stakeholders) would help to give further insights into the problem area.
154
Daniel TL Shek and Xiao Yan Han
Second, based on the conjecture that there is ―cognitive laziness‖ when Chinese participants
responded to semantically similar items (38), the high correlation between subjective outcome
and objective outcome measures could be interpreted in terms of response bias. Despite these
limitations, the present study generates pioneer findings on the relationships between
subjective outcome and objective outcome measures in mainland China.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The preparation for this paper and the Tin Ka Ping East China Project P.A.T.H.S. were
financially supported by the Tin Ka Ping Foundation. This chapter has been published as a
paper in the International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4).
Permission has been obtained from De Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
―This chapter is based on an article published in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014‖.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 13
THE STUDENTS WERE HAPPY, BUT DID THEY
CHANGE POSITIVELY?
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1,2,3,4,5,, Lu Yu1
and Cecilia MS Ma, PhD1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
4
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics,
Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
At The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a 2-credit General Education subject entitled
―Service Leadership‖ was developed to promote service leadership qualities (including
leadership competencies, moral character, and caring disposition) in university students.
The subject was piloted in one class with 60 students in the 2012/13 academic year.
Pretest and posttest data utilizing measures of positive youth development, life
satisfaction, and service leadership qualities were collected. Positive changes in the
program participants were found, particularly for measures in behavioral competence,
moral competence, character strengths, general positive youth development qualities, and
overall service leadership qualities. The present study provides preliminary support for
the effectiveness of the subject in nurturing service leadership qualities of Chinese
university students in Hong Kong.

Corresponding author: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social
Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
158
Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu and Cecilia MS Ma
INTRODUCTION
With industrialization taking place a few centuries ago, the mode of economic production
changed. Before the use of machines, human beings had to rely on animals or themselves to
produce the goods necessary to their survival. For example, while the use of horses was
common in the pre-industrial period, people used automobiles to travel after inventing
engines. There are several characteristics of production in the industrial era. First, with the
help of machines, mass production was possible. Second, in the production process, human
beings were simply tidy ―screws‖ within a big system. Third, to ensure production could be
smoothly carried out, top-down management was necessary, with the ―experts‖ managing the
workers who were assigned to complete part(s) of the product. Fourth, there was
differentiation between ―skilled‖, ―semi-skilled‖, and ―unskilled‖ labors. Fifth, the production
process was relatively mechanical as revealed in the film ―Modern Times‖ of Charlie Chaplin.
Sixth, the workers were ―distant‖ from the products. For example, a worker who was
responsible for assembling the engine of a car would not see the final product. Finally, good
leaders under the manufacturing contexts usually had a good grasp of the production system
and top-down managerial skills (i.e., leading by managing and counting). In short, the
manufacturing context of production of ―goods‖ was relatively standard, in which technical
skills rather than creativity, flexibility, and self-leadership were emphasized.
With the gradual phasing out of an economy based on steam engines and electric motors
and with advances in information technology, the contemporary economy is often regarded as
the ―knowledge‖ economy. In contrast to the ―old‘ economy focusing on manufacturing, the
mode of production under service economy has several characteristics. First, while mass
production is still possible, it is no longer the only mode of production. In fact, a single
innovative production (e.g., Facebook, a new drug) can change the world. Second, in the
production process, human beings are the most important resources. Third, to foster
innovation and creativity, flexibility must be promoted and bottom-up communication is
valued. Fourth, while skills are important, attitudes and values are fundamental to production.
For example, an accountant with bad ethics may ruin a company. Fifth, the production
process is relatively non-mechanical and much creativity is involved. Sixth, the workers are
―close‖ to the products. For example, a teacher who prepares teaching materials can
experience the reaction of students. Finally, good leadership under the service industries
context includes leadership skills (e.g., interpersonal communication), moral character, and
caring disposition. In short, the context of provision of ―service‖ is varied, in which creativity,
flexibility and self-leadership rather than technical skills are emphasized (1).
After the Second World War, a lot of refugees and entrepreneurs fled to Hong Kong
from Mainland China. With the influx of cheap labor, capital, and industrial experience, Hong
Kong had gradually become an industrial city. However, with the rise in wages and
production cost as well as the adopting of the open door policy of China, Hong Kong has
gradually transformed to a service hub. While service industries constituted 67.5% of the
GDP of Hong Kong in 1980, it rose to 92.6% in 2009 (2, 3). Besides, roughly 93% of the
total workforce worked in the service industries in 2011 (4). Against this background, we
have to ask a very important question – how can we nurture leaders in the service economy?
This question becomes even more interesting when nurturance of university students is under
The students were happy, but did they change positively?
159
focus. Unfortunately, there are growing views suggesting that contemporary universities are
not able to nurture the holistic development of university students (5-12).
Hong Kong Institute of Service Leadership and Management (HKI-SLAM)
To strengthen leadership within the service economy in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Institute
of Service Leadership and Management (HKI-SLAM) was established to provide assistance
to educational institutions, non-government agencies, businesses, and individuals to promote
learning and practice in the areas of leadership, service, and service leadership. With the
vision that ―we are inspired by our dream that every individual possess the potential to
emerge as a service leader with valued task competencies, attractive character strengths, and a
caring disposition‖, the mission of HKI-SLAM is to ―establish Hong Kong as the Global
Fount of Service Leadership and Management (SLAM) education by creating a culture of
service leaders who possess expert service leadership competencies and character strengths
plus a caring social disposition‖ (http://hki-slam.org).
To carry out the mission, the HKI-SLAM is prepared to work with interested individuals
and organizations to achieve the following objectives: a) develop quality SLAM curriculum
and related materials; b) encourage the development of SLAM courses and programs at the
university level; c) promote the design of education guides and training programs to facilitate
the implementation of SLAM programs; d) encourage the development of SLAM education
materials to promote secondary school liberal studies projects; e) encourage and support
service sector agencies‘ efforts to develop, implement, and sustain professional development
of the SLAM events and workshops; f) facilitate service companies to develop, organize, and
promote events and workshops on service leadership; and g) foster sustainability to SLAM
communities of practice (13).
According to HKI-SLAM, leadership is defined as ―a service aimed ethically satisfying
the needs of self, others, groups, communities, systems, and environments‖. In contrast to the
traditional conception that a leader leads and influences followers to achieve some goals, the
element of self-leadership and ethical dimension are added in this definition. For the
definition of ―service‖, it is defined as the ―work done to benefit others and includes selfserving efforts aimed at ethically improving one‘s competencies, abilities, and willingness to
help satisfy the needs of others‖. There are two unique features of this definition – reflectionin and reflection-on practice as well as intentional efforts to improve one‘s abilities to satisfy
the needs of others in an ethical manner. Combining the definitions on ―leadership‖ and
―service‖, the notion of ―service leadership‖ is ―about satisfying needs by consistently
providing quality personal service to everyone one comes into contact with, including one‘s
self, others, groups, communities, systems, and environments … A Service Leader is a ready,
willing and able, on-the-spot entrepreneur who possesses relevant task competencies and is
judged by superiors, peers, subordinates, and followers to exhibit appropriate character
strengths and a caring social disposition‖ (14).
One of the key tasks undertaken by the HKI-SLAM is to promote the development of
service leadership education in Hong Kong. According to Po Chung, Co-Founder of DHL
International and Chairman Emeritus of DHL Express (Hong Kong) Limited, there are
several distinguishing characteristics of service leadership (http://hki-slam.org):
160
Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu and Cecilia MS Ma












It is maintained that ―true‖ leadership is a service which attempts to satisfy the needs
of oneself, others, groups, systems, and environments in an ethical manner.
Regarding the focus on satisfying one‘s own needs, it is argued that a leader is not
able to lead if he or she is not healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
In contrast to the traditional view that only few people are leaders, it is maintained
that everybody can be a leader and has the potential to improve one‘s leadership
qualities.
Leadership effectiveness is regarded as a function of possession of situational task
competences, character, and care judged by superiors, peers, and subordinates.
Differences between top-down authoritarian leadership models and distributed
models (such as bottom-up and side-to-side models of leadership), and the
advantages of adopting distributed models of leadership should be included in
service leadership education.
SLAM education should help people appreciate the importance of trust, fairness,
respect, care, behavioral consistency, and loyalty in positive social relationships,
leadership effectiveness, and service satisfaction.
SLAM education emphasizes ―the server is the service‖ where quality of leadership
is judged by one‘s character and caring social disposition.
Differences between goods-oriented leadership and management, and difference
between service-focused leadership and management, should be introduced in SLAM
education.
The notion that quality of service is determined by the server and people being
served is included.
Individuals, groups, and environmental systems are focused upon in the SLAM
education.
Mentor-apprentice and teacher-learner approaches are good ways to promote
knowledge and skills which are conducive to efficacy and confidence.
SLAM education should promote the message that the future of Hong Kong depends
on whether the Hong Kong Government and its citizens can deliver high-quality
service.
SLAM education should promote the message that personal prosperity in Hong Kong
is determined by the quality of service provided to all of the people one comes into
contact with.
To promote the development of service leadership education in Hong Kong, the HKISLAM initiated a project which is financially supported by Li and Fung Foundation, with
eight tertiary institutions supported by the University Grants Committee (15). At The Hong
Kong Polytechnic University, both credit-bearing and non credit-bearing programs are
proposed. For credit-bearing subjects on service leadership, a 2-credit General Education
subject entitled ―Service Leadership‖ was designed and offered to 60 students in the 2012/13
academic year. The objectives of the subject are to enable students to: a) learn and integrate
theories, research, and concepts of service leadership, especially the HKI-SLAM (service
leadership and management) conceptual framework; b) be familiar with essential knowledge,
skills, attitudes, and values covered in the SLAM curriculum; c) develop and reflect on their
moral character, psychosocial competences, and caring disposition; and d) cultivate an
appreciation of the importance of service leadership to the development and wellness of
oneself, other people, and the whole society.
The students were happy, but did they change positively?
161
For the intended learning outcomes, it is expected that upon completion of the subject,
students will be able to a) understand and integrate theories and concepts on service
leadership, particularly the key propositions, core beliefs and curriculum content strands of
the SLAM conceptual framework; b) acquire the skills intrinsic to service leadership; c)
identify strongly with the attitudes and values emphasized in service leadership; and d)
recognize the importance of service leadership to one‘s personal development and the
wellness of other people and the society, particularly the connection of learning in the subject
to one‘s own life (15).
To evaluate the subject, several evaluation strategies were used, including objective
outcome evaluation, subjective outcome evaluation, process evaluation, and qualitative
evaluation. With specific reference to objective outcome evaluation, a one-group pretestposttest design was used. The one group pretest-posttest design has been widely used in the
field of education and learning in different contexts (16-20). Within the context of positive
youth development, Shek (21) examined changes in the program participants in a positive
youth development program. Findings showed that the participants generally showed positive
changes after one year. Similarly, Shek and Sun (22) used a one-group pretest-posttest design
to examine changes in students who took a university subject entitled ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖.
Results showed that students showed positive changes in different areas after taking this
subject.
For the present study, process evaluation as well as post-course subjective outcome
evaluation findings generally showed that the students were very involved in class and they
had positive perceptions of the subject. For critics of this subject, they might simply argue
that although the students felt happy, they did not necessarily show positive changes. Hence,
findings based on pretest and posttest assessment can complement the process evaluation and
post-course subjective outcome evaluation findings to give a fuller picture about the
effectiveness of the subject.
Our study
The course titled ―Service Leadership‖ was piloted in the second term of the 2012/13 school
year in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The subject was offered to 60 students.
During the first lecture, a questionnaire containing items on service leadership qualities was
distributed to the students to complete the pretest assessment. The students were invited to
participate in the study in a voluntary manner and informed consent was obtained. They were
instructed to complete the questionnaire after class and returned the questionnaire in the next
lecture. To match the pretest data with the posttest data, informants were asked to put down
their date of birth (month and date) and the last four digits of their Hong Kong Identity Card
numbers. At Lecture 13, the same questionnaire was distributed to students who had
completed the questionnaire at pretest. Students were invited to return the questionnaire at the
last lecture (i.e., Lecture 14).
Instruments
At pretest and posttest, the participants were invited to respond to a questionnaire containing
measures on positive youth development, life satisfaction, and service leadership.
162
Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu and Cecilia MS Ma
Assessment of positive youth development
For the assessment of positive youth development, the Chinese Positive Youth Development
Scale (CPYDS) was used. In a review of 77 effective positive youth development programs in
the United States, Catalano et al. (23) showed that 15 positive youth development constructs
could be extracted from the effective programs. Modeled after the review, Shek et al. (24)
developed the Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale (CPYDS). In the initial validation
study, excellent psychometric properties of the CPYDS were reported. Shek and Ma (25)
further provided support for the factorial validity for the 15 subscales in the CPYDS. Through
multi-group confirmatory factor analyses, the 15 scales could be subsumed under four higherorder factors. The four higher-order factors include cognitive-behavioral competence,
prosocial attributes, positive identity, and general positive youth development qualities. In
this study, some of the items in some of the subscales in the CPYDS were used. These
included measures of social competence, emotional competence, cognitive competence,
behavioral competence, moral competence, self-determination, clear and positive identity,
beliefs in the future, spirituality, and resilience (31 items).
Table 1. Reliability the subscales in objective outcomes evaluation
Pretest
α (meana)
Positive Youth Development (PYD)
Social competence (3 items)
.82 (.60)
Emotional competence (3 items)
.66 (.41)
Cognitive competence (4 items)
.65 (.32)
Behavioral competence (2 items)
.60 (.42)
Moral competence (4 items)
.64 (.33)
Self-determination (3 items)
.42 (.20)
Clear and positive identity (2 items)
.76 (.62)
Belief in the future (3 items)
.65 (.37)
Spirituality (4 items)
.56 (.27)
Resilience (3 items)
.73 (.48)
Cognitive – behavioral competencies (9 item)
.79 (.30)
Positive identity (5 items)
.75(.38)
Positive youth development qualities (17 items)
.84 (.26)
Positive youth development (31 items)
.91 (.25)
Life Satisfaction (5 items)
.87 (.58)
Service Leadership Scale
Self-leadership (5 items)
.71 (.34)
Caring disposition (8 items)
.81 (.35)
Character (15 items)
.75 (.17)
Beliefs and values of Service Leadership (6 items)
.86 (.52)
Service leadership qualities (28 items)
.86 (.19)
b
Service leadership (34 items)
.90 (.21)
a
mean item-item correlation.
b
including 6 items related to students beliefs and values of service leadership.
Posttest
α (meana)
.67 (.43)
.66 (.40)
.75 (.43)
.40 (.25)
.58 (.32)
.83 (.63)
.77 (.62)
.67 (.40)
.51 (.25)
.76 (.52)
.80 (.32)
.78 (.43)
.83 (.26)
.91 (.27)
.82 (.50)
.86 (.55)
.86 (.43)
.89 (.36)
.92 (.67)
.94 (.36)
.95 (.37)
The students were happy, but did they change positively?
163
Cognitive-behavioral competencies include the subscales of cognitive competence, behavioral
competence, and self-determination; Positive identity include the subscales of clear and positive
identity and belief in future; positive youth development qualities include the subscales of social
competence, emotional competence, moral competence, spirituality, and resilience. Service
leadership qualities include the subscales of self-leadership, caring disposition, and character.
Table 2. Changes in the program participants based on the different measures of
positive youth development
Pretest
Posttest
t value
Mean SD
Mean
SD
Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale
Social Competence
4.70
.53
4.59
.57
1.08ns
Emotional Competence
4.35
.64
4.40
.62
-0.51ns
Cognitive Competence
4.49
.54
4.54
.51
-0.67ns
Behavioral Competence
4.27
.64
4.54
.59
-2.66*
Moral Competence
4.36
.62
4.50
.62
-2.02*
Self-determination
4.45
.55
4.46
.72
-0.14ns
Clear and Positive Identity
4.30
.75
4.35
.73
-0.50ns
Beliefs in the future
4.73
.60
4.85
.61
-0.61ns
Spirituality
4.43
.65
4.46
.61
-0.37ns
Resilience
4.44
.64
4.53
.60
-0.90ns
Cognitive-Behavioral Scale
4.40
.49
4.51
.47
-1.75a
Positive Identity
4.51
.58
4.60
.59
-1.24ns
Positive Youth Development Qualities
4.45
.45
4.50
.44
-0.83ns
Total Scale
4.41
.44
4.51
.42
-1.91a
Life Satisfaction
4.05
.82
4.38
.67
-3.30**
Service Leadership Scale
Self-Leadership
4.45
.51
4.59
.57
-1.62ns
Caring Disposition
4.62
.44
4.67
.46
-0.67ns
Character Strengths
4.37
.36
4.52
.47
-2.24*
Qualities of Service Leaders
4.48
.36
4.59
.43
-1.78a
Beliefs about Service Leadership
4.73
.54
4.81
.69
-0.81ns
Cognitive-behavioral competencies include the subscales of cognitive competence, behavioral
competence, and self-determination; Positive identity include the subscales of clear and positive
identity and belief in future; positive youth development qualities include the subscales of social
competence, emotional competence, moral competence, spirituality, and resilience. Service
leadership qualities include the subscales of self-leadership, caring disposition and character.
* p< .05 (two-tailed);
** p< .01 (two-tailed)
a p< .05 (one-tailed)
Variables / Subscales
Assessment of life satisfaction
Life satisfaction of the participants was measured using the 5-item Satisfaction with Life
Scale (SWLS) developed by Diener et al. (26) to assess an individual‘s own subjective
evaluation of one‘s quality of life. A higher score indicates a higher level of life satisfaction.
164
Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu and Cecilia MS Ma
The scale has been used in many studies on Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong and there was
support for the reliability and validity of the scale (27, 28).
Assessment of service leadership
According to the HKI-SLAM framework, there are three important service leadership
qualities, including self-leadership, caring disposition, and character strengths (28 items).
Besides, student beliefs and values of service leadership were also assessed (6 items).
Findings
In table 1 the reliability of the subscales in objective outcomes evaluation is presented. A
series of within-subjects t-test were carried out (table 2). For measures of positive youth
development, results showed that students changed in the positive direction in behavioral
competence and moral competence. Positive changes were also observed for the measure of
cognitive-behavioral scale based on the higher-order factors and the total scale. As far as life
satisfaction is concerned, positive change in the students was also found. Finally, students
showed positive changes in character strengths and overall service leadership qualities. In
short, the initial findings provided good support for the hypothesis that students would have
positive changes in holistic development and service leadership qualities after joining the
program.
DISCUSSION
The primary objective of this study was to examine whether there were changes in the
students who took a subject entitled ―Service Leadership‖ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University. There are two unique features of this study. First, as service leadership education
is quite a new approach in the field of leadership, this is a pioneer attempt. Second, the
subject was designed in accordance with the service leadership model developed by the Hong
Kong Institute of Service Leadership and Management.
Despite the small sample, the findings reported in this paper were generally positive and
they supported the original expectations. With reference to measures of positive youth
development, significant differences between pretest and posttest were found on the total
scale measure, subscale measure based on the cognitive-behavioral higher-order factor, and
subscale measures on behavioral and moral competence. The positive change in moral
competence is important because moral code is an important attribute of successful service
leaders. Besides, life satisfaction of the students also increased after completing the subject.
As mental problems are prevalent in Chinese university students (29, 30), the subject
appeared to serve as a protective factor for university students. Of course, it would be
interesting to know how the subject led to enhanced life satisfaction among the students. In
other studies based on Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong, positive youth development was
related to life satisfaction. Hence, it can be conjectured that the subject promoted positive
youth development attributes which in turn promoted positive development of life satisfaction
in the students. It is proposed that future studies should further examine this conjecture.
The students were happy, but did they change positively?
165
As far as service leadership is concerned, there was evidence showing that the students
displayed higher service leadership qualities (particularly character strength) after taking this
subject. The beneficial effect of the subject could be regarded as encouraging in view of the
short duration of the subject which lasted for about 14 weeks with 42 hours of direct contact.
With reference to the observation that university students had moral confusion and they had
problems with integrity (29, 30), the present study suggests that the credit-bearing course on
positive youth development is an attractive and effective strategy. It is noteworthy that this is
the first known scientific study which examined the effectiveness of a credit-bearing subject
on service leadership. With reference to the observation of Shek and Yu (31) that there are
very few validated positive youth development programs in Asia, the present study is an
important addition to the literature.
Although the findings of the study are encouraging, there are two limitations of the study.
First, a short-term cross-sectional design was used in this study. As such, there is a need to
understand the long-term effect of the subject on the holistic development of the students.
Hence, follow up data utilizing longitudinal designs is indispensable. Unfortunately, there are
very few studies in the Chinese context (32, 33). Second, there are alterative explanations for
the significant findings obtained. Without the use of a control group, the positive changes in
the students could be explained in terms of maturation and other uncharted events taking
place between pretest and posttest. As such, it would be desirable to add a control group to
rule out the explanations that the positive program effects are due to threats to internal
validity such as maturation. Besides, it would be helpful if qualitative data regarding the
benefits of the subject to the development of the students could be collected. In the Chinese
contexts, this approach has been used in positive youth development programs (34, 35). In
particular, whether the students are able to apply what they have learned in the subject to the
real world would be an interesting lead for further study. As evidence-based youth service is
still at its infancy in different Chinese contexts (36), the use of pre-experimental and quasiexperimental design is a useful starting point (37).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The development of the course titled ―Service Leadership‖ and the evaluation study were
financially supported by the Victor and William Fung Foundation. We would also like to
thank the Wofoo Foundation for providing one scholarship for the most outstanding student
taking this subject. This chapter has been published as a paper in the International Journal on
Disability and Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained from De
Gruyter to re-publish in this modified form.
This chapter is based on an article published in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014.
166
Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu and Cecilia MS Ma
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 14
SERVICE LEADERSHIP EDUCATION
FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN HONG KONG:
SUBJECTIVE OUTCOME EVALUATION
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1-5,*,
Li Lin1 and Ting Ting Liu6
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
4
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kentucky Children‘s
Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
6
Department of Sociology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, PRC
This chapter examined the perceptions of students taking a subject entitled ―Service
Leadership‖ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. After taking the subject, the
students were invited to respond to a subjective outcome evaluation measure assessing
the perceived program qualities, instructor qualities and perceived benefits of the subject.
Regarding the descriptive profile of responses to the items, students displayed positive
perceptions of the subject content and teachers, and most of them regarded the subject to
be beneficial to their development of service leadership qualities. While the three
dimensions of subjective outcome were significantly correlated, perceived program
qualities but not perceived instructor qualities predicted perceived effectiveness of the
program.
*
Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP, Chair Professor of The Department of
Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Room
HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected]
170
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin and Ting Ting Liu
INTRODUCTION
With the industrial transformation and globalization, Hong Kong has shifted its economic
structure from manufacturing to service-oriented economy. Financial services, trading and
logistics, tourism, and professional and producer services constitute the four key industries in
Hong Kong, which propel the economic growth and stimulate development in other sectors
(1). In the first half year of 2011, about 93% of the total workforce engaged in service
industries (2). The service industries contributed 93.1% of Hong Kong Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) with a total sum of 1,771 billion Hong Kong dollars in 2011 (3). Obviously,
the economic transformation demands a shift to a new type of leadership—service leadership
and further calls for corresponding education or training. Hence, a 2-credit General Education
subject on service leadership was developed and piloted at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of the piloted subject
through subjective outcome evaluation.
Under manufacturing industry, productivity and efficiency were highly emphasized in
every sector. Good-dominant logic was thus prevalent which weighed the utility of goods
over the quality of service in economic exchange (4). Accordingly, leadership was defined as
―great men and women with certain preferred traits who influence followers to do what the
leaders wish in order to achieve excellence defined by organizational goals‖ (5, p.95). In
other words, successful leadership is based on efficient manipulation of punishment and
reward regarding employees‘ performance (6). This view of leadership gives rise to
leadership education and training that emphasize management and bureaucratic efficiency as
well as self-interest (i.e., maximization of one‘s interest). Additionally, with the leadership
view of ―great men and women‖, the education is only offered to the elite (7).
In contrast, the shift of economic structure implies the transformation of mindset in
economic activities and demands for leadership shifting from good-dominant logic to servicedominant logic in business. Even in manufacturing industry, the emphasis on servitization in
addition to goods is growing in order to gain competitiveness (8, 9). Economic exchange
becomes a service process where the competencies to serve the benefit of another party gain
increasing importance (4). Organization leaders, employees and customers co-create kinds of
value rather than leaders determine the value alone. Thus, the mindset of service (i.e., serving
the needs of employees and customers) is required in leadership (6). Besides competencies,
other attributes such as credibility, trust, open communication, listening, empathy, and
encouragement are also important in effective leadership (6, 10-12).
Unfortunately, leadership education with reference to the service economy is inadequate.
According to Shek, Yu, Ma, Sun, and Liu‘s observation, due to the assumption that only
―cream of the cream‖ could be leaders, current leadership programs in Hong Kong
universities are predominately designed for ―elitists‖ (13). Besides, because of the assumption
that acquisition of leadership skills is adequate to lead others, most of the extant leadership
programs focus on competencies alone (e.g., intrapersonal competencies and interpersonal
competencies). Finally, universities in Hong Kong offered few credit-bearing subjects to
promote leadership in students, especially leadership that meets the demands of service
industry.
In response to the observations above, a 2-credit elective General Education subject
―Service Leadership‖ was offered in 2012/13 academic year to students at The Hong Kong
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
171
Polytechnic University. This subject is based on the framework of service leadership and
management (SLAM) and positive youth development perspective. SLAM framework was
developed by the Hong Kong Institute of Service Leadership and Management (HKI-SLAM).
Service within the SLAM framework is not limited to traditional service industries (e.g.,
retailing and catering industries). Instead, Po Chung (founder of DHL Hong Kong and the
major proponent of service leadership) regards service as ―any activity characterized
primarily by human interaction, including interaction by electronic means that satisfies a
need‖ (14, p.3). Accordingly, bankers, engineers, lawyers, teachers, and people in all kinds of
industry could be servers.
According to the definition in SLAM framework, service leadership is ―about satisfying
needs by consistently providing quality personal service to everyone one comes into contact
with, including one‘s self, others, communities, systems, and environments‖ (15, p.5), and a
service leader is ―an on-the-spot entrepreneur who possesses relevant task competencies and
is judged by superiors, peers, subordinates, and followers as having character and exhibiting
care in action situations‖ (15, p.5). In order to foster a leader who is qualified to provide
service, SLAM leadership education not only trains competencies of leadership, but also
nurtures (or even more emphasizes) moral character and caring disposition of students. It
targets at every university student under the core belief that everyone has the potential to be a
leader.
This subject also incorporates some positive youth development constructs in the
lectures. The perspective of positive youth development regards youth as resource to be
developed rather than problem to be repaired (16-18). Accordingly, a positively developing
youth is equipped with developmental assets under the themes of cognitive, behavioral and
socio-emotional competencies, confidence, positive social connections, character (i.e.,
integrity and moral centeredness) and care (5Cs; 18, 19). Hence, a successful positive youth
development program should facilitate the enhancement of these youth strengths or
developmental assets. The enhancement of developmental assets contributes to favorable
developmental outcomes as well as prevention of undesirable outcomes among youth, which
has been evident in considerable intervention programs in Western (16, 20) and Hong Kong
youth (21, 22).
The theories of service leadership and positive youth development are complementary as
they both argue for shaping holistic development of youth and stress on cultivating strengths
of youth. Integrating these two theories, the elective subject ―Service Leadership‖ was
designed to foster service leadership among university students with an emphasis on
nurturing their competencies of leadership, moral character and caring disposition. It offers
fourteen 2-hour lectures that cover diverse topics (e.g., intrapersonal competencies,
interpersonal competencies, character strengths, caring disposition, self-leadership; 13).
Experiential learning and self-reflection were adopted to facilitate students‘ learning during
the lectures. Students were expected to understand the theory, identify the values and core
beliefs of service leadership, acquire the skills intrinsic to service leadership, and recognize
the importance of service leadership to their personal development, wellness of others and the
society after taking the course.
To test out the effectiveness of this 2-credit subject ―Service Leadership‖, several
methods of evaluation were used, including objective outcome evaluation, subjective outcome
evaluation, process evaluation, and qualitative evaluation. In this paper, we concerns about
whether the students were satisfied with the subject (i.e., subjective outcome evaluation).
172
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin and Ting Ting Liu
Subjective outcome evaluation taps into ―program participants‘ perceived satisfaction
with the program attributes and/or perceived effectiveness of a program‖ (23, p.293). It is a
convenient way to gather rich information from program participants in order to improve the
effectiveness of program (22, 24, 25). This approach has been widely applied in program
evaluation or teaching evaluation with one universal purpose of improving teaching (25).
The famous assessment tools used in the West include, but are not limited to, Students‘
Evaluations of Educational Quality (SEEQ; 25, 26), Instructional Development and
Effectiveness Assessment (IDEA; 27), and Student Instructional Report (SIR; 28). In the
Chinese context, subjective outcome evaluation has been successfully used in the pioneer
projects promoting positive youth development in Hong Kong secondary school students
(i.e., Positive Adolescent Training through Holistic Social Programmes—Project P.A.T.H.S.;
29-31) and in Hong Kong university students (i.e., the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖; 22, 32,
33).
Well-conceived multi-dimensional student evaluation of teaching quality is useful to
provide diagnostic feedback for improving the teaching (34). Despite there has not been an
agreement about the nature and dimensions of subjective outcome evaluation on teaching
quality (35), previous measures often include items regarding content and organization of
lecture (e.g., values, interaction, class activities, workload) as well as the teacher performance
(e.g., teaching enthusiasm, teaching skills, support, encouragement; 25, 27, 28, 36).
Additionally, student report on their own learning progress toward course objective is also
included in IDEA (27). Although relatively fewer assessments tap into students‘ evaluation
on their own learning progress (24), it provides significant information about how much
students think they have acquired from the lecture. Previous studies have suggested that the
subjective outcome evaluation (including dimensions of lecture, teacher and perceived
benefits) was well associated with other methods of effectiveness evaluation such as objective
outcome evaluation, which has shown its validity. Specifically, the subjective outcome
evaluation was related with enhanced positive youth development of participating students
(21, 23).
In this study, the effectiveness of the subject ―Service Leadership‖ was examined via
subjective outcome evaluation including the dimensions on program content (i.e., lecture
content), program implementers (i.e., instructors), and program benefits (i.e., students‘
perceived benefits). The scale has been widely used in the previous studies in Hong Kong.
Besides the profile of responses to the items, inter-relationships among the dimensions of
evaluation were investigated. Based on the previous studies (22, 32), it was predicted that
there would be significant inter-relationships amongst perceived subject attributes, perceived
instructor attributes and perceived benefits of the subject. Furthermore, with reference to
previous studies, it was predicted that perceived subject attributes and perceived instructor
attributes would predict perceived effectiveness of the subject.
OUR STUDY
The subject ―Service Leadership‖ in its pilot stage was offered to 60 students from different
disciplines of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the second term of 2012/13
academic year. In the last lecture of the course, students were requested to respond to a
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
173
subjective outcome evaluation form to measure their perceptions of the subject. Prior to the
data collection, the purposes of the evaluation were clearly explained, and the confidentiality
of the data collected was repeatedly emphasized to the students. Informed consent was
obtained from the class to make sure all the respondents volunteered to participate in the
course evaluation. The subjective outcome evaluation form was completed by students in a
self-administered manner, with the assistance from teaching assistants available throughout
the whole process. Adequate time was given for the participants to respond to the
questionnaire.
INSTRUMENTS
The subjective outcome evaluation form used in the present study was an adapted version of
the Subjective Outcome Evaluation for students (Form A) developed for the Project
P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong. The evaluation form is composed of several parts as follows:






Participants‘ perceptions of the program, such as program objectives, design,
classroom atmosphere, interaction among the students, and the respondents‘
participation during class (10 items).
Participants‘ perceptions of the implementers, such as preparation, professional
attitude, involvement, and interaction with the students (10 items).
Participants‘ perceptions of the effectiveness of the program (e.g., promotion of
different psychosocial competencies and overall personal development) and
achievement of the intended learning outcomes (e.g., improvement of leadership
attributes; 18 items).
The extent to which the participants would recommend the program to other people
with similar needs (1 item).
The extent to which the participants would join similar programs in future (1 item).
Overall satisfaction with the program (1 item).
Table 1. Means, standard deviations, Cronbach’s alphas, and means of inter-item
correlations among the variables
Program content (10 items)
Program implementers (10 items)
Program benefits (18 items)
Total effectiveness (38 items)
Note: # Mean inter-item correlations.
Overall
M
(SD)
3.86
(0.55)
4.25
(0.44)
3.82
(0.54)
3.98
(0.44)
α
(Mean#)
.95
(.53)
.91
(.49)
.95
(.53)
.96
(.40)
174
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin and Ting Ting Liu
A large body of studies had shown that the scale was a valid and reliable tool for
subjective outcome of program evaluation (22, 36-38). In the present study, the Cronbach‘s
alphas of the subjective outcome evaluation form were .95, .91, and .95 for the subscales on
program content, program implementers, and perceived program benefits, respectively, and
.96 for the whole scale. Details on the reliabilities of the form are reported in Table 1.
Data analytical plan
To examine the responses of students to different dimensions of the subjective outcome
evaluation, descriptive statistical analyses were conducted. Profiles of responses regarding
participants‘ satisfaction with the course, such as willingness to recommend it to others,
desire to join similar courses in future, and overall satisfaction were also described based on
descriptive statistical analyses. Composite measures were created by adding up the total
scores on the items of each domain (i.e., perceptions of the program, perceptions of the
program implementers, perceptions of program benefits) divided by the number of items in
that domain. In order to investigate the inter-relationships among students‘ perceptions of
different aspects of the course, correlation analyses were performed among the evaluations on
course content, instructors, perceived benefits, and the overall evaluation. Multiple regression
analyses were then conducted to show the predictive effects of students‘ perceptions of the
lecture content and instructors on the benefits they perceived from the course. All the analyses
were performed using the statistical package of SPSS 20 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA).
FINDINGS
A total of 50 subjective evaluation forms completed by the students attending the subject
―Service Leadership‖ were collected. Based on the results of descriptive data analyses,
several observations in terms of how students perceived the course in different aspects can be
highlighted. First, as shown in Table 2, over 60% of the students held positive perceptions
toward the lectures. For example, 84% and 82% of them appreciated the carefully organized
class activities and the opportunities for peer interaction in class, respectively. To a large share
of students (78%), the objectives of the subject were very clear and the content design was
good. When invited to give overall ratings on the subject, 80% of the students showed
positive evaluation and 70% thought they liked it. Second, students generally took a favorable
view of the instructors. In terms of the aspects under evaluation, except teaching skills that
were rated relatively low (78%), students were overwhelmingly satisfied with the
performance of instructors with the positive responses ranging from 90% to 98% (Table 3).
Examples of the aspects students appreciated included encouraging student participation
(98%), good preparation for lectures (96%), good professional attitudes (94%), and much
interaction with students (94%). Overall speaking, 96% of the students indicated that they had
a very positive evaluation on the instructors. Third, the majority of students agreed that they
had benefited from the subject. As shown in Table 4, students generally acquired good
understanding of the concepts and theories related to successful leadership (82% to 88%).
A large percentage of them also thought their compassion and care for others (82%), social
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
175
competences (80%), and ethical decision-making (80%) were enhanced through the learning
experience in the course. Comparatively speaking, enhancements of emotional competence
(64%) and competence of making wise choices (62%) were a bit lower. With reference to
students‘ overall satisfaction with the program, Table 5 presents their responses in three
dimensions. As high as 76% of the students were satisfied with the course, 68% of them
would recommend the course to others, and 50% would join similar courses in future.
Table 2. Summary of the evaluation on lectures (N = 50)
1. The objectives of the curriculum are very
clear.
2. The content design of the curriculum is
very good.
3. The activities were carefully arranged.
4. The classroom atmosphere was very
pleasant.
5. There was much peer interaction amongst
the students.
6. I participated in the class activities
actively (including discussions, sharing,
games, etc.).
7. I was encouraged to do my best.
8. The learning experience enhanced my
interests towards the course.
9. Overall speaking, I have a very positive
evaluation on the course.
10. On the whole, I like this course very
much.
1
Strongly
disagree
N
%
0
0
2
Disagree
3
Neutral
4
Agree
%
62
5
Strongly
agree
N
%
8
16
Positive
response
(options 4-5)
N
%
39
78
N
0
%
0
N
11
%
22
N
31
0
0
3
6
8
16
34
68
5
10
39
78
0
0
0
0
1
1
2
2
7
10
14
20
37
32
74
64
5
7
10
14
42
39
84
78
0
0
2
4
7
14
24
48
17
34
41
82
0
0
0
0
17
34
28
56
5
10
33
66
0
2
0
4
1
3
2
6
17
12
34
24
20
30
40
60
12
3
24
6
32
33
64
66
1
2
1
2
8
16
32
64
8
16
40
80
1
2
2
4
12
24
27
54
8
16
35
70
Table 3. Summary of the evaluation on instructors (N = 50)
1. The instructor(s) had a good mastery of
the course.
2. The instructor(s) was (were) well prepared
for the lessons.
3. The teaching skills of the instructor(s)
were good.
4. The instructor(s) showed good
professional attitudes.
5. The instructor(s) was (were) very
involved.
6. The instructor(s) encouraged students to
participate in the activities.
7. The instructor(s) cared for the students.
8. The instructor(s) was (were) ready to offer
help to students when needed.
9. The instructor(s) had much interaction
with the students.
10. Overall speaking, I have a very positive
evaluation on the instructor(s).
1
Strongly
disagree
2
Disagree
3
Neutral
4
Agree
5
Strongly
agree
N
0
%
0
N
0
%
0
N
3
%
6
N
34
%
68
N
13
%
26
Positive
response
(options
4-5)
N
%
47
94
0
0
0
0
2
4
27
54
21
42
48
96
0
0
2
4
9
18
28
56
11
22
39
78
0
0
0
0
3
6
31
62
16
32
47
94
0
0
0
0
3
6
26
52
21
42
47
94
0
0
0
0
1
2
33
66
16
32
49
98
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
4
10
8
31
25
62
50
14
21
28
42
45
46
90
92
0
0
0
0
3
6
33
66
14
28
47
94
0
0
2
4
0
0
31
62
17
34
48
96
176
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin and Ting Ting Liu
Table 4. Summary of the evaluation on perceived benefits (N = 50)
1. It has enhanced my social competence.
2. It has improved my ability in
expressing and handling my emotions.
3. It has enhanced my critical thinking.
4. It has increased my competence in
making sensible and wise choices.
5. It has helped me make ethical
decisions.
6. It has strengthened my resilience in
adverse conditions.
7. It has strengthened my self-confidence.
8. It has helped me face the future with a
positive attitude.
9. It has enhanced my love for life.
10. It has helped me explore the meaning
of life.
11. It has enhanced my ability of selfleadership.
12. It has helped me cultivate compassion
and care for others.
13. It has helped me enhance my character
strengths comprehensively.
14. It has enabled me to understand the
importance of situational task
competencies, character strength and
caring disposition in successful
leadership.
15. It has promoted my sense of
responsibility in serving the society.
16. It has promoted my overall
development.
17. The theories, research and concepts
covered in the course have enabled me
to understand the characteristics of
successful service leaders.
18. The theories, research and concepts
covered in the course have helped me
synthesize the characteristics of
successful service leaders.
1
Strongly
disagree
2
Disagree
3
Neutral
4
Agree
5
Strongly
agree
N
0
0
%
0
0
N
2
2
%
4
4
N
8
14
%
16
28
N
36
30
%
72
60
N
4
4
%
8
8
Positive
response
(options
4-5)
N
%
40
80
34
68
1
0
2
0
2
6
4
12
11
13
22
26
31
27
62
54
5
4
10
8
36
31
72
62
0
0
4
8
6
12
31
62
9
18
40
80
0
0
3
6
15
30
27
54
5
10
32
64
1
2
3
6
11
22
28
56
7
14
35
70
0
0
3
6
10
20
31
62
6
12
37
74
0
1
0
2
3
3
6
6
12
12
24
24
31
26
62
52
4
8
8
16
35
34
70
68
0
0
1
2
11
22
29
58
9
18
38
76
0
0
2
4
7
14
36
72
5
10
41
82
0
0
2
4
12
24
31
62
5
10
36
72
0
0
1
2
5
10
37
74
7
14
44
88
0
0
1
2
12
24
29
58
8
16
37
74
1
2
1
2
12
25
28
57
7
14
35
70
0
0
1
2
6
12
32
64
11
22
43
86
0
0
2
4
7
14
30
60
11
22
41
82
Results of correlation analyses are summarized in Table 6, which showed that program
content (r = .62, p < .001) and program implementers (r = .58, p < .001) were significantly
associated with perceived program benefits. Using multiple regression analyses to examine
predictors of perceived benefits of the subject, it was found that program content was a
positive predictor of program benefits (β = .42, p < .01), while the predictive effect of
program implementers was insignificant (β = .29, p > .05), although the findings were in the
predicted direction (see Table 7).
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
177
Table 5. Overall satisfactions with the course (N = 50)
%
4
N
2
%
4
N
12
%
24
N
26
%
52
N
8
%
16
Positive response
(options 4-5)
N
%
34
68
4
6
12
17
34
21
42
4
8
25
50
0
2
4
10
20
33
66
5
10
38
76
1
N
1. Will you suggest your friends to
2
take this course? a
2. Will you participate in similar
2
courses again in the future? a
3. On the whole, are you satisfied with 0
this course? b
2
3
4
5
Note: a 1= Definitely will not, 2 = Will not, 3 = Not sure, 4 = Will, 5 = Definitely will.
b
1= Very dissatisfied, 2 = Moderately dissatisfied, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Satisfied, 5 = Very satisfied.
Table 6. Correlation coefficients among the variables
Variable
1. Program content (10 items)
2. Program implementers (10 items)
3. Program benefits (18 items)
4. Total effectiveness (38 items)
1
.68***
.62***
.89***
2
3
4
.58***
.85***
.86***
-
Note: ***p < .001.
DISCUSSION
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the subject entitled ―Service Leadership‖ offered at
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University using a validated scale. As far as the responses of the
students to the items are concerned, results showed that a high proportion of the respondents
had positive perceptions of the subject, including subject design, instructor, and perceived
benefits. The findings are in line with the findings of the objective outcome evaluation where
students showed growth in service leadership qualities after taking the subject. The findings
are also consistent with the qualitative evaluation findings that the subject was able to
promote the development of students.
While the above positive observations could be interpreted as evidence supporting
program effectiveness, several alternative explanations should be taken into account. First,
students might be afraid that negative evaluation of the instructor would lead to punishment.
However, this explanation is not viable because evaluation was anonymously done. Second,
demand characteristics may account for the findings. However, as negative findings were
observed, this possibility is not high. Finally, the positive observations may be due to random
reactions to the scale items. However, results of reliability analyses do not support this
possibility.
As far as the perceived benefits of the subject are concerned, there are several
observations deserving attention. First, most of the students agreed that their social
competence was promoted after taking this subject. As young people in Hong Kong are quite
egocentric (39), the findings are encouraging. Second, results showed that the ethical
decisions of students were enhanced. In view of the high materialism of adolescents in Hong
Kong (40), the findings suggest that ethical decisions of young people can be promoted via a
curricular approach. Finally, students felt that the subject was able to deepen their
178
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin and Ting Ting Liu
understanding of the nature of service leadership and the characteristics of an effective
service leader.
Consistent with our prediction, there were significant inter-relationships amongst
perceived subject attributes, perceived instructor attributes and perceived benefits of the
subject. These significant findings are generally in line with the previous findings (22, 41).
Regarding predictors of perceived benefits of the subject, findings showed that while
perceived subject attributes predicted perceived benefits, perceived instructor qualities did
not. Two points should be taken into account when the findings are interpreted. First,
although the findings were not significant, the trend was in the predicted direction. Second,
the insignificant findings may be due to the small sample size involved. Third, the
observation was also shown in the previous studies where perceived instructor qualities were
found to have no effect or even negative effect on perceived benefits. For example, perceived
instructor qualities positively predicted perceived benefits in Secondary 1 students whereas
perceived instructor qualities were negatively related and unrelated to perceived benefits in
Secondary 2 and Secondary 3 students, respectively (42, 43).
However, it is noteworthy that there are several limitations of the study. First, as the
sample was small, it would be desirable to accumulate more data to assess the effects of the
subject. Second, because only one class of students was involved, the generalizability of the
findings should be viewed in a cautious manner. Third, besides the views of the students, it
would be helpful to look at the subjective views of the teachers as well. Fourth, as only
quantitative subjective outcome evaluation findings are reported in this study, it would be
exciting if qualitative subjective outcome evaluation findings could be reported as well.
Despite these limitations, the present study represents a pioneer attempt to evaluate a pioneer
subject on service leadership in a Chinese context.
Table 7. Multiple regression analyses predicting program effectiveness
Program Benefits
Predictors
Program content
ßa
.42**
Model
Program implementers
ßa
.29
R
.66
R2
.43
Note: a Standardized coefficients.
**p < .01.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This chapter is based on an article published in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014. Permission has been obtained from De Gruyter to re-publish in
this modified form.
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
179
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 15
SERVICE LEADERSHIP EDUCATION FOR UNIVERSITY
STUDENTS IN HONG KONG:
QUALITATIVE EVALUATION
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1-5,*, Li Lin1,
Ting Ting Liu6 and Moon YM Law, BSSc, MSW, RSW 1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
4
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kentucky Children‘s
Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
6
Department of Sociology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, PR China
This chapter examined the perceptions of students taking a subject entitled ―Service
Leadership‖ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University which was developed using the
model proposed by the Hong Kong Institute of Service Leadership and Management
(HKI-SLAM). After taking this subject, students were invited to participate in a
qualitative study where they used three descriptors and a metaphor to describe their
experiences about the subject. Based on the reflections of 50 students, results showed that
96.1% of the descriptors and 90% of the metaphors used by the students were positive. In
conjunction with the objective outcome evaluation, subjective outcome evaluation and
process evaluation findings, the present study suggests that ―Service Leadership‖ is a
subject that can promote holistic development in Chinese university students in Hong
Kong.
*
Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social
Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong. E-mail: [email protected] polyu.edu.hk.
182
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
INTRODUCTION
We are living in a knowledge economy which is very different from manufacturing economy.
For example, interpersonal communication skills, creativity and many ―soft skills‖ are
essential to vocational development (1, 2). To promote holistic development in Hong Kong
adolescents, a 2-credit subject entitled ―Service Leadership‖ was piloted at The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University.
The development of the course is a response to several calls. First, the development of
service-oriented economy in Hong Kong generates a demand for human resources who are
competent in providing quality services. However, there is a lack of systematic leadership
education in Hong Kong which focuses on the cultivation of relevant qualities and targets all
students instead of ―elitists‖ alone. Hence, the pioneer attempt of offering service leadership
education to university students is of paramount significance in such a context (3). Second, as
pointed out by Shek (4), there are growing developmental problems in Hong Kong youth,
such as the rise of substance abuse and worsening of mental health. As service leadership is
consistent with positive youth development in its philosophy and core attributes, the provision
of the subject is an active response to the salient psychological needs of adolescents in Hong
Kong. Third, given that the prevailing materialistic culture is undermining the morality of
young people in Hong Kong, it is necessary to put more effort into moral cultivation among
adolescents (5). The development of service leadership curriculum echoes such a call, as
moral character is regarded as one of the essential qualities for effective service leadership.
The moral emphasis of service leadership is also in line with the value system of the Chinese
culture where ethics and virtues are strongly advocated.
To facilitate the development of service leadership education in Hong Kong, the Hong
Kong Institute of Service Leadership and Management (HKI-SLAM) was formed in 2011.
As defined in the Service Leadership and Management (SLAM) curriculum framework,
service leadership is about ―satisfying needs by consistently providing quality personal
service to everyone one comes into contact with, including one‘s self, others, communities,
systems, and environments‖ and a service leader is ―an on-the-spot entrepreneur who
possesses relevant task competencies and is judged by superiors, peers, subordinates, and
followers as having character and exhibiting care in action situations‖ (6, p.5). It is firmly
believed that quality service leadership is the most competitive advantage to a society like
Hong Kong in the service age today.
Based on the HKI-SLAM conceptual framework, a credit-bearing General Education
subject entitled ―Service Leadership‖ was developed to specifically help university students
to: a) understand and integrate theories and concepts on service leadership, particularly the
key propositions, core beliefs, and curriculum content strands of the HKI-SLAM conceptual
framework; b) acquire the skills intrinsic to service leadership; c) form strong identification
with the attitudes and values emphasized in service leadership; and d) recognize the
importance of service leadership to the development and wellness of oneself, other people,
and the whole society, particularly recognize the connection of learning in the subject to one‘s
own life. Obviously, to understand the impact of the subject on the students, evaluation is
indispensable.
Evaluation plays an important part in the field of human services. By using valid and
appropriate research methods, program evaluation answers a variety of questions that decision
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
183
makers desire to know, such as whether the program has successfully attained the goals, how
the participants perceive the program, what outcomes of the intervention are, what problems
exist, and what improvement can be made (7, 8). Evaluation takes two major forms. The first
is ―formative evaluation‖, which attempts to provide evaluative information that can help
program staff to improve the program. The second is ―summative evaluation‖ which is
conducted to provide judgment about the worth or merit of the program in relation to certain
criteria (9, 10).
Evaluation is widely adopted in school-based education programs. As the most common
strategy of educational evaluation, student evaluation is consistently acknowledged as valid
and reliable in providing useful information on the quality of courses and instruction (11-13).
Research has shown that student rating is related to a range of positive effects. For example,
feedback from students can help instructors identify problems in teaching and learn the needs
of learners, which would be beneficial to the improvement of instruction (14, 15). Inclusion
of student rating in education program was also found to have a positive meaning that the
excellence of teaching is recognized by the recipients (16). Besides, some evidence suggests
that student ratings can serve as an indicator of their learning achievement due to the positive
relationship between them (17-19).
Similar to general social sciences research, there are basically two research paradigms in
evaluation studies: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative query is
characterized by the use of standardized measures to fit the varying perspectives and
experiences of people into a limited number of predefined response categories, results of
which typically appear as numbers (20). The dominance of quantitative methods in evaluation
can be attributed to its apparent advantages that are well confirmed, including generalizability
of findings to a larger population based on a representative sample, determination of causal
relationship between given conditions and program outcomes, independence of results from
investigator‘s standpoint, and standardized instruments and procedures that can be repeated in
replication studies conducted by other researchers (21-23).
However, concerning understanding the meaning of social phenomena, especially the
subjective meanings perceived by people, quantitative approach is much less desirable than
qualitative methods. Qualitative scholars believe that ―meaning is socially constructed by
individuals in interaction with their world… There are multiple constructions and
interpretations of reality that are in flux and that change over time‖ (24, p.3). Qualitative
research generally aims to ―provide an in-depth understanding of people‘s experiences,
perspectives and histories in the context of their personal circumstances or settings‖ (23,
p.17). In the context of program evaluation, qualitative study can illuminate the views of
different parties involved in the services, and elicit expected and unexpected perceptions,
service needs, and ways of practice. These are all important issues to the development and
implementation of service programs but hardly addressed through quantitative research
methods (25). According to Patton (20), there are a wide range of possible applications of
qualitative evaluation, including process study and evaluation, formative evaluation for
program improvement, evaluation on individualized outcomes, case study to learn about
special interest, comparing programs to document diversity, implementation evaluation,
formulating a program theory of action, evaluability assessment, evaluation on program
quality or program participants‘ quality of life, quality assurance and quality enhancement,
legislative monitoring, prevention evaluation, and documenting development over time.
184
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
As ―Service Leadership‖ is a pilot subject committed to introducing the innovative
conception of leadership to university students in which experiential learning is emphasized,
it is of particular importance to know how students perceive the course on their own, which
would provide invaluable information for the program developers and instructors to reflect on
and improve the curriculum and teaching. Qualitative data can be collected in different forms,
such as in-depth interviews, observations, documents, and artifacts, which are usually
transformed into written text for further analysis (26).
In the present study, students were invited to use three descriptive words and one
metaphor to describe their perceptions or feelings about the subject in the last lecture of the
course. Descriptors, when applied in evaluation, can offer us a quick judgment about the
standpoints of the evaluators through identifying the nature of comments which can be
basically categorized as positive, negative, and neutral. Metaphor refers to some kind of
correspondence between two different phenomena (27), the use of which is regarded as an
effective way of grasping emotionally difficult concepts and discovering meaning in
intangible ideas (28).
In short, the present study was conducted to give a qualitative picture about the subject
from the eyes of students. The findings are expected to provide more evidence concerning the
evaluation of this subject, in addition to those generated from other studies adopting objective
outcome evaluation (29), subjective outcome evaluation (30), and process evaluation (31).
OUR STUDY
In the pilot stage, a total of 60 students registered the subject ―Service Leadership‖ in the
second term of 2012/13 academic year. Students who attended the last lecture of the course
were invited to respond to a reflection sheet in which they reported on their perceptions of the
course. Specifically, each of them was asked to use three words or phrases (i.e., descriptors)
to describe their feelings, perceptions, and experiences about this course (e.g., interesting,
helpful…etc.). Moreover, each student was requested to use one object, incident, or feeling
(i.e., metaphor) to stand for the course (e.g., light bulk, compass…etc.) and briefly explain the
meaning of the metaphor. This evaluation approach has been repeatedly used in the project
―Positive Adolescent Training through Holistic Social Programmes‖ (Project P.A.T.H.S.) in
secondary school students (32, 33) and the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖ (34, 35) in college
students in Hong Kong.
Informed consent from each participant was collected before the data collection with
instructions clearly stating the purpose of data collection, confidentiality of the data, and
voluntary nature of their participation. Students reported their perception of the course
individually and anonymously. Teaching assistants were present throughout the data
collection to answer students‘ questions. Finally, a total of 50 reflection sheets were collected.
Data analysis
The responses in the reflection sheets were transcribed and analyzed. To enhance reliability in
the coding process, the data were coded and analyzed by two research staff who were not
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
185
involved in the data collection process, and the final coding was further cross-checked by
another colleague with PhD degree. The unit of analysis was a meaningful unit instead of a
statement. For example, the statement that the subject was ―insightful and reflective‖ was
broken down into two meaningful units or attributes (i.e., ―insightful‖ and ―reflective‖). On
the other hand, descriptors with the same meaning (e.g., ―useful‖ and ―practical‖) were
grouped into the same category of attribute.
Considering the raw data and preliminary analyses, the current coding system was
developed. After initial coding, the positivity nature of the codes was determined with four
possibilities (―positive‖, ―negative‖, ―neutral‖, and ―undecided‖). To enhance the reliability of
coding on the positivity nature of the raw codes, 20 descriptors and 20 metaphors were
randomly chosen from the raw responses for the examination of intra-rater and inter-rater
reliabilities. For intra-rater reliability, the two research staff who coded the raw responses
recoded these 20 descriptors and metaphors at the end of the coding process. For inter-rater
reliability, another two colleagues who did not join the coding process coded these 20
descriptors and metaphors without knowing the original codes.
FINDINGS
This paper reported the qualitative findings based on the descriptors and metaphors (such as
object, incident, or feeling) used by the students to stand for the subject. First, a total of 152
raw descriptors were extracted from the valid reflection sheets, which were then grouped into
several categories (see Table 1). Among these descriptors, 96.05% (n = 146) were coded as
positive descriptors, 3.29% (n = 5) as neutral descriptors, while only 0.66% (n = 1) as
negative descriptors. Positive descriptors included ―inspiring‖, ―interesting‖,
―useful/practical‖, ―reflective‖, and ―educational‖, with only one negative descriptor observed
(i.e., ―not very meaningful‖). The intra-rater and inter-rater agreement percentages calculated
on the positivity of the coding were 95% and 95%, respectively.
As for the metaphors, a total of 50 raw metaphors were reported, which were then
grouped into several categories (see Table 2). Among these metaphors, 90% (n = 45) were
categorized as positive in nature, 8% (n = 4) as neutral, whereas only 2% (n = 1) as negative.
The explanations of the metaphors provided by the participants were also broken down into
meaningful units and coded.
To illustrate, one student named ―a tour‖ to represent the course, and explained that “I
have learned and gone through different processes of different components of Service
Leadership. And tutors have guided well in helping us to reflect on ourselves.‖ The
description was then separated into two meaningful units: a) ―I have learned and gone through
different processes of different components of Service Leadership‖; b) ―the tutors have
guided well in helping us to reflect on ourselves‖. Then, these two meaningful units were
coded, respectively, according to their positivity nature. Results showed that among 74 units,
90.67% (n = 68) of the codes were positive, 6.67% (n = 5) were neutral, whereas only 2.67%
(n = 2) were negative. The metaphors standing for the course varied across individuals,
including ―light bulk‖, ―book‖, ―an enjoyable/spiritual/delightful tour‖, ―book‖, ―mirror‖, and
―compass‖. Some examples of positive metaphors and the related illustrations given by the
students regarding their perceptions toward ―Service Leadership‖ are presented below:
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Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
Table 1. Categorization of descriptors used by the participants to describe the course
Descriptors
Nature of the Response
Positive
Neutral
17
14
13
11
10
9
8
7
6
6
6
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
Negative
Undecided
Inspiring
Interesting
Useful/Practical
Reflective
Educational
Helpful
Meaningful
Development / Growth
Enjoyable
Fun / Entertaining
Fruitful
Encouraging
Happy
Touching
Teaching Effort
Interactive
Communicative
Relaxing
Special
Supportive
Other positive
descriptors (e.g., care,
16
well-prepared,
constructive)
Relationship
1
Fast
#N/A
1
Different
#N/A
1
Complicated
1
Duty
1
Not very meaningful
1
Total Count (N):
146
5
1
0
Total Count (%):
96.05%
3.29%
0.66%
0.00%
Note: other positive descriptors included the positive descriptors reported once.



Total
17
14
13
11
10
9
8
7
6
6
6
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
16
1
1
1
1
1
1
152
100.00%
―A light bulk: I feel confused after I entered into university. This course gives me
many insights on how to communicate with others, and helps me discover more
about myself. This course gives me light when I am in dark.‖
―Delighted tour: The discussion is very free and the topics covered are broad, giving
us the chances to discover some seldom discussed insights into our lives.‖
―Book: Through this course, we were able to learn new knowledge and lesson. With
this experience, I will apply the learning to my life for a bright future.‖
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong





187
―Mirror: I can see my true self under this course. This course helps me to reflect on
my character clearly. At the same time, it may also reflect some of my classmates‘
characters which I may learn from.‖
―Compass: The course teaches us a lot of useful theories which give me a clear
direction on what a good service leader should be.‖
―Digger: It shows me lots of different characteristics, behaviors and attitudes that we
should know. This let us know more about ourselves. So, it helps us dig deeper and
wider for our life.‖
―Water: Water is an element of the life. And it is most important.‖
―Vitamin pills: Even if we don‘t have vitamin pills, we still can live. But with this
pill, we will be better. Just like this course, after I studied this course, I strengthened
my own competence.‖
Positive
6
6
11
6
6
9
Book/guideline/clear folder
3
3
5
Mirror
3
4
5
Compass/road sign
3
3
4
4
Digger/Hammer
2
2
3
3
Water
2
2
2
2
Other positive metaphors (e.g.,
Drama, vitamin pills, question
trigger)
Basketball match
20
20
29
31
1
Total
Undecided
Negative
Neutral
Number of Codes Derived from
the Metaphor and Its Nature
Undecided
Negative
Light
bulb/house/lantern/match/sun
A enjoyable/world travel/
spiritual/delightful tour/path
way
Neutral
Nature of the Metaphor
Positive
Metaphors
Total
Table 2. Categorization of the metaphors used by the participants to describe the course
10
2
11
5
1
6
1
1
1
1
Box
1
1
1
1
Kindergarten class
1
1
1
1
A bowl of rice in a fine dining
restaurant
Total Count (N):
1
45
Total Count (%):
90.00% 8.00% 2.00%
4
1
1
1
68
5
0
50
0.00%
100.00% 90.67% 6.67% 2.67% 0.00%
Note: other positive metaphors included the positive metaphors reported once.
2
1
0
75
100.00%
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Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
However, one student described the course as ―a bowl of rice in a fine dining restaurant‖,
because the student thought the course inflated the value of knowledge. The illustration of the
metaphor is shown below.

―The knowledge from the course is like a bowl of rice, a normal thing that is around
us every day without us paying much attention to it. The course is like a fine dining
restaurant, which sells ‗a bowl of rice‘ at a very high price, making it look like a
luxury goods. This is how the course makes the leadership knowledge look like
precious knowledge.‖
Reliability tests showed that the intra-rater and inter-rater agreement percentages
calculated on the positivity of the coding on metaphors were 95% and 90%, respectively. In
brief, the coding of descriptors and metaphors was reliable.
DISCUSSION
In response to the call for nurturing holistic development as well as leadership qualities
demanded by the growing service-oriented economy among university students (3, 6), a 2credit subject ―Service Leadership‖ was developed and implemented. The effectiveness of
this course has been tested through multiple strategies, including objective outcome
evaluation, subjective outcome evaluation, and process evaluation (29-31). In contrast to
quantitative ratings on the course effectiveness, this study examined course effectiveness
through qualitative evaluation, in which participating students used descriptors and metaphors
to describe their perceptions and feelings toward this course.
Two major conclusions of this study are worth noting. Primarily, the students‘
perceptions of the course in the form of descriptive words were very favorable, with the
overwhelming responses coded as positive in nature. Many students felt that the course was
inspiring, interesting, reflective, and useful. Only one student obviously expressed the
dissatisfaction with the course (i.e., ―not very meaningful‖), which suggests that the value of
the course may not be recognized by all students. As such, future research should be carried
out to understand the meaning of the subject according to different perspectives of students.
Second, regarding the metaphors used by the students, results showed that most of them were
related to the utility of the course (e.g., light bulk, book, and compass). Students not only
considered the course as useful in providing knowledge or direction, but appreciated the selfreflection exercises that could help them improve self-understanding (e.g., mirror, digger, and
question trigger). Similar to the pattern of descriptors, only one metaphor was negative in
nature. Overall speaking, the findings are very positive and encouraging for a pilot subject.
The present findings are consistent with those based on other evaluation strategies. Based
on some objective measures, Shek (29) showed that the students changed in the positive
direction after taking this subject. Similarly, post-course subjective outcome evaluation
findings showed that the students had positive perceptions of the lectures, teachers, and
benefits of the subject (30). Besides, process evaluation findings also showed that the subject
was implemented in an excellent manner and the students liked the subject very much (31).
Service leadership education for University students in Hong Kong
189
Taken together, these findings suggest that the subject can nurture service leadership qualities
of the students.
The success of the subject ―Service Leadership‖ may be due to the teaching methods
adopted. Reflective learning is one of the features of this course (3). The teachers of the
subject encouraged students to take an active role in learning and construct their meanings of
the course materials. It is based on the belief that learning in higher education is a social
process, in which undertaking critical reflection on previous knowing, feeling, and acting
helps students shift across the paradigm of knowledge and self, which would finally reach
transformative learning (i.e., a learning that results in new and transformed understanding and
perspective; 36, 37). Prior literature on higher education of adults has shown that reflective
learning is an effective learning approach. Mezirow (38) believed that critical reflection helps
students develop more accurate perceptions and avoid premature cognitive mindset, enhances
their flexibility, and facilitates their creativity. When speaking of managerial learning, Seibert
and Daudelin argued that ―for learning to actually happen, the manager must extract from
experience the lessons it provides. Reflection is seen as the primary way to do this‖ (39, p.5).
It is gratifying to find that students appreciated the reflection practices conducted in their
learning process.
Despite the inspiring results of dominantly positive responses toward the course,
alternative explanations of the results are possible (40). In line with the ideology of logical
thinking in post-positivistic thoughts and critical reflexivity in social constructionism, Shek
and colleagues (40) called for addressing the alternative explanations in qualitative research
(Criteria 10). In the present study, the most obvious possible alternative explanation concerns
the demand characteristics. Nonetheless, this possibility is not likely as the students were
encouraged to report their views freely and anonymously. Actually, one negative response
was detected. The second possibility involves the ideological bias of the researchers. As the
curriculum developers and implementers, the researchers might be preoccupied with the
expectation of positive findings. Nevertheless, safeguards were used to reduce such biases in
the data collection and analysis process. First, the researchers were aware of their ideological
preoccupations, and both data collection and analyses were conducted in a disciplined
manner. The first author was not involved in the data collection and analyses. Next, both
intra-rater and inter-rater reliabilities were calculated which showed high levels of agreement.
Last but not least, multiple research staff were involved in the data collection and analysis
process.
The present study demonstrates the merits of applying qualitative evaluation in assessing
the effectiveness of program implementation. Qualitative research enables researchers to
capture how participants construct subjective meanings of their experiences, which can hardly
be assessed in quantitative research (23, 25). Specifically, descriptive words can help
researchers to capture the nature of the evaluation perceived by the participating students in a
quick manner. Metaphors can reflect people‘s cognitive and even emotional constructions of
the world (e.g., consumer meaning of a product; 41). When perception or feeling about the
course is abstract and difficult to articulate using simple words and phrases, metaphor can
transform the abstract meaning into a concrete image. Using metaphor helps the students to
express their mental representations regarding the effectiveness of the course, which at the
same time allows researchers to access into students‘ cognitive representations.
However, it is noteworthy that there are several limitations of this study. Firstly, the
sample size was quite limited, as this course was offered to only one class of students in the
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Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
pilot stage. With the development of the course, there is a need to evaluate the subject in more
classes which might be influenced by many factors such as student construction and teaching
style. Secondly, as the students offered no explanation for their descriptors and simply brief
explanation for their metaphors, a few responses without showing salient positivity or
negativity had to be coded as neutral in nature (e.g., fast, complicated, and duty). As such, indepth individual interviews should be conducted in the future, which allows participants fully
elaborating their perceptions of the course. Thirdly, there is lack of peer-checking and
member-checking to improve the truthful understanding of the course effectiveness. If time
and manpower allow, these methods should be added in future studies. Despite the limitations
discussed above, the present qualitative study adds to the limited literature documenting the
application of descriptors and metaphors in program evaluation. Additionally, the current
results lend support to the effectiveness of the subject ―Service Leadership‖ implemented in
Hong Kong university students.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This chapter has been published as a paper in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained from De Gruyter to republish in this modified form.
This chapter is based on an article published in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014.
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In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 16
PROCESS EVALUATION OF A PILOT SUBJECT
ON SERVICE LEADERSHIP FOR UNIVERSITY
STUDENTS IN HONG KONG
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP1-5*, Li Lin1,
Ting Ting Liu6 and Moon YM Law, BSSc, MSW, RSW 1
1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong, PR China
2
Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
3
Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China
4
Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, PR China
5
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kentucky Children‘s
Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington,
Kentucky, USA
6
Department of Sociology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, PR China
To promote the holistic development of university students under the knowledge
economy, a subject entitled ―Service Leadership‖ was developed and piloted at The Hong
Kong Polytechnic University. Process evaluation was carried out for 10 lectures, with
each lecture observed by two independent observers who were registered social workers.
Inter-rater reliability across the two observers was high, suggesting the observations were
reliable. Results showed that program adherence was high in these lectures (mean =
97.8%) and ratings on the implementation quality of the subject were also high. Some of
the qualities of program implementation were significant predictors of the overall quality
and success of the program. Consistent with other findings, the present study suggests
that the implementation quality of ―Service Leadership‖ was high.
*
Correspondence: Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social
Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong, PRC. E-mail:
[email protected]
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Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
INTRODUCTION
The diffusion of innovative educational programs is a complex process which basically
contains four stages. The first stage is dissemination in which information about the program
is introduced to schools. The second stage is adoption where schools recognize the value of
the program and decide to adopt it. The third stage is implementation in which schools are
committed to deliver the program during a trial period. Finally, maintenance is the last stage
where the program is hopefully maintained by the participating schools over time (1, 2). A
survey of the literature shows that research effort is largely devoted into the dissemination
and adoption of program as well as evaluation focusing on program outcomes. Despite its
importance, evaluation of the process of implementation receives much less attention (2-4).
With reference to the existing research on prevention and intervention programs, some
scholars pointed out that the proportion of studies concerning implementation issues varied
from around 5% to 25% which was remarkably low (5-7). Thus, there is an urgent need to
call for more input into opening this ―black box‖ (8).
Whether a program is implemented in real world settings in accordance with its design
directly affects the attainment of the intended outcomes. Hornik (9) argued that the great
variation in success among programs could primarily be attributed to the details of
implementation rather than their intrinsic concepts. Based on a survey of over 500 studies,
Durlak and DuPre (10) concluded that the effectiveness of a program was most significant
when the program was carefully implemented and free from serious problems and that the
level of implementation predicted program outcomes. They also summarized eight aspects of
implementation that deserve attention (10), including: a) fidelity which refers to the extent to
which the program is delivered as originally planned; b) dosage which indicates the amount
of the program implemented in reality; c) quality which addresses how well the main
components of the program are delivered correctly and clearly; d) participant responsiveness
which means the degree of attractiveness of the program to participants or the engagement of
participants in program units; e) program differentiation which involves the uniqueness of the
program that differentiates it from the others; f) monitoring of control/comparison conditions
which emphasizes the documentation of the nature and amount of additional services received
by intervention and control groups; g) the program reach which refers to the rate of
involvement and representativeness of program participants; h) adaptation which indicates
modifications made to the original program during implementation.
Obviously, systematic examination of these ―process variables‖ can help evaluators to
understand the success or failure of a program. For example, in the evaluation of an antibullying program, Salmivalli, Kaukiainen, and Voeten (11) found that the effects of
intervention were stronger in participating schools where the program was delivered more
fully, which provided evidence in support of implementation effects instead of cohort effects
or sampling effects on program outcomes. Watson, Battistich, and Solomon‘s study (12)
examining a school-based project promoting child social-ethical development showed that
instructors‘ improvement in teaching skills significantly mediated the positive effects of the
program on student behavioral performance. Another study investigating the implementation
process of a social competence development program among primary school students
suggested that implementation quality including support from school principals and
classroom implementation by teachers played a vital role in the success of the program (13).
Process evaluation of a pilot subject on service leadership ...
195
With an increased awareness of the importance of program implementation, process
evaluation is adopted by evaluators as a valid approach to monitor, assess, and document the
process of program delivery. It is a necessary step to ascertain whether a program is indeed
implemented before any conclusion on the effectiveness of program is arrived at (14). Both
formative and summative roles can be assumed by process evaluation under the program
context (1). Primarily, the data collected in process evaluation can serve as an important
reference point for improving the program or enlightening decision-making in general (i.e.,
formative evaluation), such as what the strengths and weaknesses of the program are. In
addition, the assessment of whether the program is delivered as planned can help to
understand and analyze program outcomes (i.e., summative evaluation), such as what factors
and how they influence program effectiveness (4,15). Similar to the components highlighted
by Durlak and DuPre (10), Baranowski and Stables (16) suggested that process evaluation
should include at least the measurement of recruitment and maintenance of participants,
context within which the program functions, available resources, procedure of
implementation, reach of materials into the target group, barriers to implementation, initial
use of program activities, continued use of program specified activities, and contamination of
treatment and control groups.
With a focus on school-based positive youth development programs, Law and Shek (17)
proposed a series of attributes critical to the quality of implementation based on a review of
literature. These attributes include:
1. Student interest: A good program usually arouses the interest of students.
2. Active involvement of students: Students‘ active involvement is positively related to
achievement of program objectives.
3. Classroom management: Good classroom management is always a prerequisite for
program success.
4. Interactive delivery method: Compared with didactic method, interactive delivery is
more effective in achieving success in positive youth development programs.
5. Strategies to enhance the motivation of students: The use of varied strategies can
motivate students to engage in learning and lead to positive learning outcomes.
6. Positive feedback: The use of praise and encouragement can increase the motivation
of students.
7. Familiarity of implementers with the students: Familiarity with the students is
positively related to student engagement.
8. Reflective learning: A higher level of reflection promotes deeper learning, which can
lead to meaningful changes and growth among the students.
9. Program goal attainment: The goals in successful programs are usually attained.
10. Time management: Efficient time management in class always contributes to high
program adherence and program success.
11. Familiarity of program implementers with the implementation materials: Familiarity
with the materials ensures that the messages are conveyed effectively to the students.
Given the demand for competent leaders under the service-oriented economy in Hong
Kong and the needs of Hong Kong adolescents for more holistic development, a subject
entitled ―Service Leadership‖ was developed and piloted at The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University in 2012/13 academic year to foster service leadership qualities and promote
196
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
positive development among university students (18). With the Hong Kong Institute of
Service Leadership and Management (SLAM) curriculum as the conceptual framework, a
total of 14 lectures accompanied with a series of class activities were developed for this
subject (19). Teaching and learning approaches including interactive teaching, experiential
learning, and self-reflection are emphasized throughout the whole course. The overall
objectives of the subject are to enable students to: a) learn and integrate theories, research and
concepts of service leadership; b) be familiar with essential knowledge, skills, attitudes, and
values covered in the SLAM curriculum; c) develop and reflect on their moral character,
psychosocial competencies, and caring disposition; and d) cultivate an appreciation of the
importance of service leadership to the development and wellness of oneself, other people,
and the whole society.
To evaluate the pilot project in a comprehensive manner, diverse evaluation strategies
were used to assess the quality and effectiveness of the course. First, objective outcome
evaluation was conducted to judge the effectiveness of the education by comparing students‘
behavior at pretest and posttest (20). Second, subjective outcome evaluation was adopted to
capture students‘ personal perceptions toward the course (21). Third, qualitative evaluation
asking students to describe the course through descriptive words and metaphors was carried
out to elicit their thoughts and feelings about the learning journey (22). In the present study,
process evaluation was conducted to investigate the fidelity and implementation quality of the
subject with reference to the above-mentioned dimensions suggested by Law and Shek (17).
OUR STUDY
The pilot subject ―Service Leadership‖ was offered in the second term of 2012/13 academic
year, with 60 students in one class taking this subject. There are 14 lectures covering 12
topics, including intrapersonal competences (e.g., intelligence quotient, emotional
intelligence, adversity intelligence, and spiritual intelligence), interpersonal competences
(e.g., assertiveness, active listening, and conflict resolution), character strengths (e.g., basic
character strengths and Chinese virtues), and caring disposition (e.g., listening, love, and
empathy) according to the SLAM curriculum framework (see Table 1). A total of 10 lectures
from Lecture 3 to Lecture 12 were observed by two registered social workers with substantial
working experience. The raters observed how lectures were delivered and completed an
evaluation sheet during each lecture time independently.
This process evaluation form measures quality of program delivery as well as program
adherence and fidelity. The raters were ―blind‖ to the ratings of each other during the
observation, as they were not allowed to discuss with each other when completing the
evaluation forms. For each lecture under observation, quality of delivery was assessed by 13
items, including student interest, student participation and involvement, classroom control,
use of interactive delivery method, use of strategies to enhance student motivation, use of
positive and supportive feedbacks, instructors‘ familiarity with the students, opportunity for
reflection, degree of achievement of the objectives, time management, quality of preparation,
overall implementation quality, and success of implementation (see Appendix 1). For
program adherence and fidelity, the observers rated the degree of adherence to the original
curriculum and recorded the time used to implement the unit. This process evaluation form
Process evaluation of a pilot subject on service leadership ...
197
has been reliably used in the Project P.A.T.H.S. (17) and the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖
in Hong Kong (23, 24).
Table 1. The topics of lectures
Lecture topic
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: Core beliefs and components
Lecture 3: History, realms and models
Lecture 4: Basic leadership competences: Intrapersonal competences
Lecture 5: Basic leadership competences: Interpersonal competences
Lecture 6: Character strengths and Service Leadership
Lecture 7: Character strengths in Chinese philosophies
Lecture 8: Caring disposition and Service Leadership
Lecture 9: Factors leading to creation, development and maintenance of positive social
relationship
Lecture 10: Self-leadership and Service Leadership
Lecture 11: Developmental assets and Service Leadership
Lecture 12: Leaders as mentors
Lecture 13: Becoming a caring service leader
Lecture 14: Wrap-up lecture
Note: the process evaluation was conducted from lecture 3 to lecture 12.
FINDINGS
This study first examined the reliabilities of the measures. The 13-item process evaluation
scale assessing quality of program implementation was internally consistent (Cronbach‘s α =
.90, mean inter-item correlation = .41). The inter-rater reliability on this scale was then
examined based on the overall mean ratings across the 10 lectures. Spearman correlation was
computed, which demonstrated a strong positive correlation between the two raters
(Spearman‘s rho = .87, p < .01). Based on the overall adherence ratings across 10 lectures, the
correlation analysis also showed high inter-rater consistency on the ratings of implementation
adherence (Spearman‘s rho = .85, p < .01).
As the scale and the ratings were both reliable, the mean rating of each aspect of program
implementation was computed. For each lecture under observation, the ratings of each item
by the two independent observers were first averaged. Then, the ratings for each item across
all 10 lectures were further averaged to show an overall picture of the program
implementation quality and adherence (see Table 2). With further scrutiny of the mean
ratings, we found that except classroom management, lecturer‘s familiarity with students, and
opportunity for reflection, the ratings on different aspects of program implementation were
basically high. Both two observers regarded the program as successfully implemented. The
average overall adherence to the curriculum was very high as well (97.8%), which indicated
high program fidelity. The implementers basically followed the curriculum, while made some
minor modifications (e.g., revising the activity) which were regarded as reasonable by the
observers.
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Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
Table 2. Descriptive findings on the different dimensions of process evaluation
Items and adherence
1. Student interest
2. Student participation and
involvement
3. Classroom management
4. Interactive delivery method
5. Strategies to enhance student
motivation
6. Use of positive and supportive
feedbacks
7. Lecturer's familiarity with
students
8. Opportunity for reflection
9. Achievement of lecture
objectives
10. Time management
11. Lecture preparation
12. Overall implementation quality
13. Success of implementation
14. Degree of adherence (%)
Mean rating by Rater 1 Mean rating by Rater 2 Overall mean
across 10 lectures
across 10 lectures
rating
under observation
under observation
5.50
4.90
5.20
5.50
5.20
5.35
5.30
5.30
5.20
4.60
4.80
4.80
4.95
5.05
5.00
5.30
5.20
5.25
5.20
4.70
4.95
5.20
5.40
4.70
5.40
4.95
5.40
5.70
6.00
5.50
5.50
97.50
5.40
5.90
5.30
5.40
98.00
5.55
5.95
5.40
5.45
97.75
This study also examined the relationships of overall program implementation quality
and program success with other aspects of implementation quality of the program (see
Table 3). Based on each rater‘s ratings across 10 lectures (N = 20), results revealed that
student interest, student participation and involvement, classroom management, strategies to
enhance student motivation, use of positive and supportive feedbacks, and lecture preparation
were positively correlated with overall program implementation quality and program success,
respectively. Given the small sample size, the findings could be regarded as robust.
DISCUSSION
In response to the question regarding how successful the subject ―Service Leadership‖ was
implemented in the classroom setting, the current study examined the quality of the lectures
and the fidelity of teaching based on two independent raters‘ observations and assessment.
Considering the high reliability of the 13-item process evaluation scale and high agreement of
the two independent observers‘ ratings, the results of the present study can be regarded as
reliable. This constitutes the foundation upon which other analyses were performed.
With respect to the implementation quality and adherence, two major conclusions can be
drawn from the present findings. In the first place, the two observers perceived the lectures as
successfully implemented in terms of different aspects of implementation quality.
Specifically, they reported that student interest and participation (items 1, 2) were high in
Process evaluation of a pilot subject on service leadership ...
199
most of the lectures; teaching strategies (items 4-6) were effectively applied across 10
lectures; achievement of lecture objectives, time management, and lecture preparation (items
9-11) were satisfactory. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that more effort may be needed in
several areas, including classroom management, familiarity with students, and opportunity for
reflection.
Actually, similar ―low‖ ratings were observed from the positive youth development
program in university students (i.e., the subject ―Tomorrow‘s Leaders‖; 23) and in secondary
school students (i.e., the Project P.A.T.H.S.; 25) in their respective experimental
implementation phases as well. The undesirable ratings on classroom management and
familiarity with students may be due to the large classroom setting, where the instructor(s)
could not fully pay attention to class discipline or get familiar with every student. The
inadequate reflection opportunity may be due to the time limit and over-packing design of the
lectures. This finding could serve as a reminder for future instructors that more consciousness
of these problems and more training before the lectures are needed, while the design of the
curriculum should be refined as well. In addition, adherence to the original curriculum was
perceived to be high, which suggests that the majority of the content was delivered as
intended. In summary, the current findings, in conjunction with other evaluation studies
including objective outcome evaluation (20), subjective outcome evaluation (21), and
qualitative evaluation (22), suggest that the subject ―Service Leadership‖ was carried out
successfully at its pilot stage.
As far as the correlates of overall implementation quality and success are concerned,
results demonstrated that half of the dimensions of implementation were positively correlated
with them, respectively, including student interest, student participation and involvement,
classroom management, strategies to enhance student motivation, use of positive and
supportive feedbacks, and lecture preparation. However, these results should be interpreted
with caution. First of all, as the sample size was quite small in this study, although half of the
correlation coefficients were not significant, their magnitude was not small. Second, as most
of the lectures were delivered in a structured way with high fidelity, the opportunity for
reflection, time management, achievement of lecture objectives, and adherence to original
curriculum may not vary a lot, which may contribute to the insignificant correlations with
overall implementation quality and success.
Finally, some of the correlations were consistent with previous findings (e.g., strategies to
enhance student motivation, use of positive and supportive feedback; 23; lecture preparation;
23, 24), while the others were not (e.g., student interest, student participation and
involvement; 23, 24). The inconsistency may be due to different observers involved in
different evaluation studies. They might have different criteria for different programs to judge
whether the specific program was successfully implemented. For this subject, the extent to
which the instructor aroused and maintained student interest and involvement in the class,
how well the instructor managed the classroom and motivated and supported the students, as
well as how much effort the instructor made in preparation mattered a lot. Considering the
relatively low score in classroom management, it is imperative for future instructors to
improve their classroom management skills. On the other hand, as the current findings are not
conclusive, more studies regarding the implementation of ―Service Leadership‖ are needed.
While most of our evaluation studies demonstrated positive outcomes of the program (2022), this study unpackaged the ―black box‖ (8) of program by showing how it was
implemented in each lecture as observed by two raters. Process evaluation is not merely
200
Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
descriptive of how well the program is delivered, but also an indispensable aid to outcome
evaluation (26). It provides the curriculum developers, implementers as well as other
stakeholders with possible explanations about why the program outcomes are desirable or
undesirable (i.e., what happens during the implementation). The current results imply that the
implementers spent substantial effort in preparing for the course as well as motivating and
supporting the students during the class, which possibly contributed to the positive outcomes
of the course. As insufficient process evaluation was adopted in evaluation studies of tertiary
education, this study also makes a valuable addition to the literature.
The current findings should be interpreted within the context of several limitations. First,
only 10 lectures within one class were selected for observation, which somewhat limits the
generalizability of the findings. Ideally, process evaluation should include more lectures from
different classes. Second, the current findings were based on the observations of two raters
alone. It would be desirable if more observers, especially those who are unrelated to this
program, can be involved in the observation and evaluation process, while it is still worth
noting that the inter-rater reliability was impressively high in this study. Additionally, it
would be desirable to invite both program participants and implementers to voice their
opinions in the process of implementation (27). The use of multiple informants and evaluation
methods would enhance the triangulation. Last, the present results are quantitative in nature
based on ―numbers‖. Rich information regarding the reasons of ratings was thus hidden
behind the numbers. Qualitative approaches such as open-ended survey and content analysis
of videotape (4, 26) can be added to elicit more information about the strengths and
weaknesses of implementation as well as modifications made to the original plan during
implementation. As the raters in our study also made open-ended comments after each
lecture, further analyses of the qualitative data can be performed in future.
Table 3. Correlations between different dimensions of program implementation and
adherence and overall program implementation quality and success
Measures
Overall implementation
quality
1. Student interest
.484*
2. Student participation and involvement
.631**
3. Classroom management
.752**
4. Interactive delivery method
.370
5. Strategies to enhance student motivation .557*
6. Use of positive and supportive feedbacks .552*
7. Lecturer‘s familiarity with students
.353
8. Opportunity for reflection
.287
9. Achievement of lecture objectives
.432
10. Time management
.326
11. Lecture preparation
.593**
12. Degree of adherence
-.212
*p < .05, ** p < .01.
Overall implementation
success
.499*
.594**
.745**
.388
.530*
.569**
.385
.309
.419
.307
.544*
-.188
Process evaluation of a pilot subject on service leadership ...
201
Despite the aforementioned limitations, the present findings suggest that the subject
“Service Leadership” was implemented as it was designed with good performance at the pilot
stage. The implementation of this subject can be regarded as an effective response to the call
for nurturing all-round development of service leaders in university students in Hong Kong.
Besides, it demonstrates the importance of conducting process evaluation in the development
of a general education subject in higher education.
APPENDIX 1
Assessment form for program adherence and program implementation
quality
Program Adherence and Implementation Quality
Instructions:
1. Please fill in all the names of the activities and its expected duration in chronological
order as specified in the curriculum plan.
2. Please tick () „none‟ if the activity was not carried out at all;
please tick () „all‟ if the activity was carried out with strict or high degree of
adherence to the planned curriculum;
please tick () „part‟ if the activity was modified, and please specify the
modifications, for instance: alteration of teaching strategies, omission of key points
or role plays, discussions etc.
Objectives of the Lecture:
________________________________________
Topic of the Lecture:
________________________________________
Adherence to the Planned Curriculum
Activity
None
Part (Estimated %)
(specify modifications)
All
Original
Scheduled
Time
(mins)
Actual
Time
(mins)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Overall speaking, the estimated degree of adherence to the planned curriculum is
%.
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Daniel TL Shek, Li Lin, Ting Ting Liu et al.
Assessment of Curriculum Delivery
1. STUDENT INTEREST
How interested were the students in this lecture?
1
2
3
4
5
6
None or very
Half were
few were
interested
interested
2. STUDENT PARTICIPATION AND INVOLVEMENT
To what extent did the students participate in lecture activities?
1
2
3
4
5
6
None or
Half
very few
participated
participated
7
All or nearly
all were
interested
7
All or nearly
all actively
participated
3. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
To what extent was the lecture well managed?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Very poorly
In-between
Very well
managed
managed
4. INTERACTIVE DELIVERY METHOD
How interactive was the delivery method?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Not
Half
Very
interactive
interactive
interactive
at all
all the time
5. STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE STUDENT MOTIVATION
To what extent motivating strategies were used to motivate the students?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
No
Half the time
Motivating
motivating
strategies all
strategies at
the time
all
6. USE OF POSITIVE AND SUPPORTIVE FEEDBACKS
How often were positive and supportive feedbacks elicited from the students?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Not at all
Half the time
All or nearly
all the time
7. LECTURER’S FAMILIARITY WITH THE STUDENTS
To what extent did the lecturer know the students?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Not at all
Average
Very well
8. OPPORTUNITY FOR REFLECTION
To what extent was reflection encouraged?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Not at all
Half the time
All or nearly
all the time
Process evaluation of a pilot subject on service leadership ...
203
9. EVALUATION OF THE DEGREE OF ACHIEVEMENT OF THE OBJECTIVES
To what extent were the objectives achieved?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Not achieved
In-between
All or nearly
at all
achieved
10. TIME MANAGEMENT
How well was the time managed?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Very poorly
In-between
Very well
managed
managed
11. LECTURE PREPARATION
How well was the lecture prepared?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Poorly
In-between
Very Well
Prepared
Prepared
12. OVERALL IMPLEMENTATION QUALITY
Overall speaking, do you think the quality of implementation of this lecture was high?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Very low
Average
Very High
13. SUCCESS OF IMPLEMENTATION
Overall speaking, do you think the implementation of the subject was successful?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Very
Average
Very
Unsuccessful
Successful
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This chapter has been published as a paper in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014;13(4). Permission has been obtained from De Gruyter to republish in this modified form.
This chapter is based on an article published in the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development, 2014.
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SECTION TWO: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 17
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, SBS, JP, is Associate Vice President (undergraduate
Programme) and Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, Hunghom, Hong Kong, PRC, Advisory Professor of East China Normal
University, Honorary Professor of Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau and Adjunct
Professor, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of
Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, United States. He is Chief Editor of Journal of
Youth Studies and Applied Research in Quality of Life, past Consulting Editor of Journal of
Clinical Psychology, and editorial board member of Social Indicators Research, International
Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Asian Journal of Counseling, International
Journal of Disability and Human Development, and International Journal of Adolescent
Medicine and Health. He has served in many government advisory bodies, including the
Action Committee against Narcotics, Commission on Youth, Fight Crime Committee and
Family Council. He has published numerous books, book chapters and more than 500
scientific articles in international refereed journals. E-mail: [email protected]
Andrew MH Siu, PDOT, MSc, MCouns, PhD is Associate Professor in Rehabilitation
Science of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is an occupational therapist who
specialized in psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health counselling. He published and/or
edited over 55 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 15 book chapters and research
monographs in the area of emotional health and prosocial development in young people, selfmanagement of chronic illness and disability, and in development of rehabilitation and
psychosocial instruments. He serves as advisor to a number of government committees in
health promotion, primary care for children, AIDS Trust Fund, and licencing board, as well as
advisor for a number of rehabilitation and social service organizations. E-mail:
[email protected]
Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc, is professor of pediatrics, child health and human
development, Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Mt
Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel and Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, University of
Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky United States and professor of public health at the Center for
Healthy Development, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, United
States, the medical director of the Health Services, Division for Intellectual and
208
Daniel TL Shek, Andrew MH Siu and Joav Merrick
Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem, the
founder and director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in
Israel. Numerous publications in the field of pediatrics, child health and human development,
rehabilitation, intellectual disability, disability, health, welfare, abuse, advocacy, quality of
life and prevention. Received the Peter Sabroe Child Award for outstanding work on behalf
of Danish Children in 1985 and the International LEGO-Prize (―The Children‘s Nobel Prize‖)
for an extraordinary contribution towards improvement in child welfare and well-being in
1987. E-mail: [email protected]
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 18
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED SOCIAL
SCIENCES, THE HONG KONG
POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
The Department of Applied Social Sciences (APSS) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic
University is one of the largest and most vibrant centres in the region dedicated to the
education and training of professional social workers, social policy and welfare
administrators, psychologists and counselors in Hong Kong.
The Department started as the Institute of Social Work Training in 1973. It joined the
Hong Kong Polytechnic in 1977 and became its School of Social Work. The School was
eventually renamed the Department of Applied Social Sciences. APSS celebrated its 35th
anniversary in the academic year of 2007/08. Currently there are 93 full-time academics, over
80 research/project staff, 20 fieldwork supervisors and 34 colleagues in other categories,
including administrative and supporting personnel.
The Department has six thriving Research Centres: Centre for Social Policy Studies,
China Research and Development Network, Network for Health and Welfare Studies,
Professional Practice and Assessment Centre, Centre for Third Sector Studies, and the
Manulife Centre for Children with Specific Learning Disabilities, providing platforms for
collaborative research and practice projects with government departments and NGOs.
The Department of Applied Social Sciences offers taught programs in the fields of Social
Work, Social Policy and Administration, Counseling, and Applied Psychology, as well as
research degrees at MPhil and PhD levels. In 2008/09, APSS offered some 20 Programs for
Higher Diploma, Degree, Postgraduate, MPhil and PhD students. There are currently about
1,500 students enrolled in the various APSS programs and we have graduated more than
14,000 students over the years.
In the past decade, the Department has successfully expanded into the Chinese mainland.
The Department currently offers a MSW (China) Program in collaboration with Peking
University and a Joint PolyU-PekingU Social Work Research Centre has been established to
foster research in social work and social policy.
210
Daniel TL Shek, Andrew MH Siu and Joav Merrick
Contact
Professor Daniel TL Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP
Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences
Department of Applied Social Sciences
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hunghom, Hong Kong
E-mail: [email protected]
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 19
ABOUT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE
OF CHILD HEALTH AND HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT IN ISRAEL
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Israel was
established in 1998 as a virtual institute under the auspicies of the Medical Director, Ministry
of Social Affairs and Social Services in order to function as the research arm for the Office of
the Medical Director. In 1998 the National Council for Child Health and Pediatrics, Ministry
of Health and in 1999 the Director General and Deputy Director General of the Ministry of
Health endorsed the establishment of the NICHD.
MISSION
The mission of a National Institute for Child Health and Human Development in Israel is to
provide an academic focal point for the scholarly interdisciplinary study of child life, health,
public health, welfare, disability, rehabilitation, intellectual disability and related aspects of
human development. This mission includes research, teaching, clinical work, information and
public service activities in the field of child health and human development.
SERVICE AND ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES
Over the years many activities became focused in the south of Israel due to collaboration with
various professionals at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS) at the Ben Gurion University
of the Negev (BGU). Since 2000 an affiliation with the Zusman Child Development Center at
the Pediatric Division of Soroka University Medical Center has resulted in collaboration
around the establishment of the Down Syndrome Clinic at that center. In 2002 a full course
on ―Disability‖ was established at the Recanati School for Allied Professions in the
Community, FOHS, BGU and in 2005 collaboration was started with the Primary Care Unit
of the faculty and disability became part of the master of public health course on ―Children
and society‖. In the academic year 2005-2006 a one semester course on ―Aging with
212
Daniel TL Shek, Andrew MH Siu and Joav Merrick
disability‖ was started as part of the master of science program in gerontology in our
collaboration with the Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging. In 2010 collaborations
with the Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem,
Israel around the National Down Syndrome Center and teaching students and residents about
intellectual and developmental disabilities as part of their training at this campus.
RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
The affiliated staff have over the years published work from projects and research activities in
this national and international collaboration. In the year 2000 the International Journal of
Adolescent Medicine and Health and in 2005 the International Journal on Disability and
Human Development of De Gruyter Publishing House (Berlin and New York) were affiliated
with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. From 2008 also the
International Journal of Child Health and Human Development (Nova Science, New York),
the International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health (Nova Science) and the Journal of
Pain Management (Nova Science) affiliated and from 2009 the International Public Health
Journal (Nova Science) and Journal of Alternative Medicine Research (Nova Science). All
peer-reviewed international journals.
NATIONAL COLLABORATIONS
Nationally the NICHD works in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben
Gurion University of the Negev; Department of Physical Therapy, Sackler School of
Medicine, Tel Aviv University; Autism Center, Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center; National Rett
and PKU Centers at Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer; Department of
Physiotherapy, Haifa University; Department of Education, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan,
Faculty of Social Sciences and Health Sciences; College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel and in
2011 affiliation with Center for Pediatric Chronic Diseases and National Center for Down
Syndrome, Department of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Mount
Scopus Campus, Jerusalem.
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS
Internationally with the Department of Disability and Human Development, College of
Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago; Strong Center for Developmental
Disabilities, Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, University of Rochester School of
Medicine and Dentistry, New York; Centre on Intellectual Disabilities, University of Albany,
New York; Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Health Canada, Ottawa;
Chandler Medical Center and Children‘s Hospital, Kentucky Children‘s Hospital, Section of
Adolescent Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington; Chronic Disease Prevention and
Control Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas; Division of
Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York; Institute for the
About the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel
213
Study of Disadvantage and Disability, Atlanta; Center for Autism and Related Disorders,
Department Psychiatry, Children‘s Hospital Boston, Boston; Department of Paediatrics,
Child Health and Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead,
Australia; International Centre for the Study of Occupational and Mental Health, Düsseldorf,
Germany; Centre for Advanced Studies in Nursing, Department of General Practice and
Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom; Quality of Life Research
Center, Copenhagen, Denmark; Nordic School of Public Health, Gottenburg, Sweden,
Scandinavian Institute of Quality of Working Life, Oslo, Norway; The Department of
Applied Social Sciences (APSS) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong.
TARGETS
Our focus is on research, international collaborations, clinical work, teaching and policy in
health, disability and human development and to establish the NICHD as a permanent
institute at one of the residential care centers for persons with intellectual disability in Israel
in order to conduct model research and together with the four University schools of public
health/medicine in Israel establish a national master and doctoral program in disability and
human development at the institute to secure the next generation of professionals working in
this often non-prestigious/low-status field of work.
Contact
Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc
Professor of Pediatrics, Child Health and Human Development
Medical Director, Health Services,
Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,
Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services,
POB 1260, IL-91012 Jerusalem, Israel.
E-mail: [email protected]
In: Tomorrow's Leaders
Editors: D. T. L. Shek, A. M. H. Siu and J. Merrick
ISBN: 978-1-63321-880-2
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 20
ABOUT THE BOOK SERIES
“PUBLIC HEALTH: PRACTICES, METHODS
AND POLICIES”
Public health is a book series with publications from a multidisciplinary group of researchers,
practitioners and clinicians for an international professional forum interested in the broad
spectrum of public health issues. Books already published:





Merrick J, ed. Public health yearbook 2009. New York: Nova Science, 2011.
Merrick J, ed. Public health yearbook 2010. New York: Nova Science, 2012.
Merrick J, ed. Public health yearbook 2011. New York: Nova Science, 2012.
Merrick J, ed. Public health yearbook 2012. New York: Nova Science, 2013.
Merrick J, ed. Public health yearbook 2013. New York: Nova Science, 2014.
Contact
Professor Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc
Medical Director, Health Services
Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabailities
Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services
POBox 1260, IL-91012 Jerusalem, Israel
E-mail: [email protected]
SECTION THREE: INDEX
INDEX
#
21st century, 179
A
abuse, 208
academic performance, 141, 147
access, 20, 189
accountability, 106
accounting, 81, 96
acid, 137
acquisition of knowledge, 117, 126
active thinking, 56
adaptation(s), 126, 129, 194
adjustment, 71, 92, 117, 121, 124, 126, 127, 129, 132
administrators, 209
adolescent boys, 20, 78
adolescent development, 4, 6, 52, 53, 56, 65, 78, 92,
102, 115, 118, 127, 128, 129, 132, 134, 135, 141,
167
adolescent problem behavior, 134, 148, 151
adolescent psychopathy, 128
adolescents, 4, 9, 20, 26, 35, 52, 70, 71, 74, 78, 89,
92, 100, 102, 103, 118, 119, 127, 128, 132, 134,
141, 143, 144, 146, 147, 154, 155, 164, 166, 167,
177, 179, 182, 195, 204
adult learning, 192
adulthood, 118, 127, 192
adults, 10, 132, 189
advancement, 68, 118
adverse conditions, 84, 176
advocacy, 208
African American women, 166
age, 10, 15, 41, 78, 131, 134, 135, 138, 139, 182, 190
agencies, 159
aggressive behavior, 143
aging population, 34
AIDS, 207
alcohol consumption, 4, 79
alienation, 75
altruism, 27
anatomy, 8
anger, 57
ANOVA, 70
anxiety, 4, 8, 9, 78, 79, 89, 92, 102
apathy, 128
architects, 56
aseptic, 31
Asia, 39, 92, 142, 154, 165, 167
assault, 136, 151
assertiveness, 196
assessment, 17, 18, 44, 53, 59, 71, 75, 88, 106, 143,
161, 162, 166, 172, 180, 183, 195, 198
assessment tools, 88, 172
assets, 92, 119, 141, 142, 146, 171, 197
atmosphere, 13, 27, 56, 60, 63, 80, 83, 94, 95, 97, 98,
114, 151, 173, 175
attachment, 75
attitudes, 7, 15, 36, 39, 59, 83, 124, 147, 155, 158,
160, 161, 174, 175, 182, 187, 196
audit, 29, 45, 108
authoritarianism, 27
authority, 113
automobiles, 158
autonomy, 132
awareness, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 35, 93, 94, 97, 98, 100,
195
B
Bangladesh, 53
bankers, 171
barriers, 25, 41, 195
base, 45, 108
220
Index
behavioral competence, 4, 70, 133, 136, 138, 140,
150, 157, 162, 163, 164
behaviors, 92, 93, 100, 137, 187
beneficial effect, 71, 165
benefits, vi, 11, 13, 63, 77, 79, 81, 82, 117, 120, 121,
145, 147, 151, 152, 153, 165, 169, 172, 173, 174,
176, 177, 178, 188
BI, 89, 136, 138, 140
bias, 33, 34, 154, 156, 189
birth rate, 118
blame, 31, 35
bleeding, 30
blood, 30, 32, 34, 35
blood pressure, 32
body dissatisfaction, 20
body image, 20
body size, 20
bonding, 4, 133, 136, 138, 140, 150
bones, 137
bottom-up, 158, 160
Brazil, 191
brothers, 126
bullying, 44, 78, 194, 204
business model, 179
businesses, 159
C
Cabinet, 191
cannabis, 136
car accidents, 78
career counseling, 74
career development, 59, 75
case examples, 190
case studies, 190
case study, 40, 53, 65, 115, 183
catalyst, 13, 50
categorization, 48
causal inference, 143
causal relationship, 183
cbc, 90
Census, 166, 179
challenges, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 26, 27, 118,
123, 127
chemical, 137
Chicago, 143, 212
chicken, 49
child development, 4
childhood, 35, 75, 118
children, 4, 20, 39, 118, 143, 146, 204, 207
China, vi, 3, 4, 37, 39, 40, 43, 55, 67, 77, 91, 101,
105, 117, 118, 128, 131, 145, 146, 151, 153, 154,
155, 157, 158, 169, 181, 193, 207, 209
Chinese medicine, 146
chronic illness, 207
cities, 146
citizens, 5, 68, 73, 118, 127, 160
civic engagement, 4, 56, 73, 79, 102
civil society, 155, 179
classes, 9, 13, 16, 17, 33, 46, 52, 60, 79, 94, 108,
113, 120, 147, 151, 153, 190, 200
classroom, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 30, 38, 80, 93,
94, 97, 98, 110, 113, 173, 175, 194, 195, 196,
197, 198, 199
classroom management, 195, 197, 198, 199
clients, 7, 26, 27, 148, 154
climate, 12, 118
clinical trials, 44
cluster sampling, 134
coaches, 53
coding, 28, 44, 45, 46, 48, 109, 120, 184, 185, 188
cognitive abilities, 71
cognitive ability, 57, 122
cognitive competence, 4, 8, 16, 26, 29, 31, 38, 57,
61, 62, 63, 70, 107, 122, 125, 133, 136, 138, 140,
150, 162, 163
cognitive representations, 189
cognitive-behavioral therapy, 133
collaboration, 17, 25, 209, 211, 212
collectivism, 128
college students, 5, 6, 20, 68, 71, 72, 73, 75, 78, 89,
92, 102, 118, 128, 166, 184
colleges, 5, 6, 73, 74, 102, 127, 166, 179
common sense, 51
communication, 15, 25, 26, 31, 32, 33, 36, 38, 59,
61, 68, 79, 122, 158, 170
communication skills, 15, 32, 33, 38, 122
community(s), 34, 35, 40, 73, 74, 75, 132, 141, 142,
143, 144, 147, 149, 159, 171, 182
community service, 40
compassion, 85, 174, 176
competition, 119, 146
competitive advantage, 182
competitiveness, 170
complement, 107, 161
complexity, 14, 72
compliance, 27, 37
composition, 148
computation, 101
computer, 44, 46
computer software, 44
conception, 159, 184
conceptual model, 88
confidentiality, 29, 69, 79, 95, 109, 135, 148, 173,
184
configuration, 136
Index
conflict, 25, 26, 31, 33, 38, 107, 132, 196
conflict resolution, 107, 132, 196
congruence, 96
consciousness, 8, 26, 108, 199
consent, 28, 29, 33, 37, 95, 108, 135, 173, 184
construct validity, 151
construction, 26, 27, 39, 56, 190
consumers, 192
consumption, 78, 137, 138, 140
contamination, 195
content analysis, 28, 200
contradiction, 124
control group, 44, 72, 133, 141, 165, 194, 195
controlled trials, 133
cooperative learning, 71
coping strategies, 126
correlation(s), 87, 88, 96, 97, 119, 137, 138, 150,
152, 153, 154, 162, 173, 174, 176, 197, 199
correlation analysis, 87, 197
correlation coefficient, 152, 199
cost, 114, 158
cough, 136
counseling, 7, 9, 10, 20, 38, 74, 103
course content, 174
course work, 115
covering, 61, 196
CPI, 149, 150
creative thinking, 166
creativity, 15, 18, 64, 100, 111, 113, 158, 166, 182,
189
crimes, 146
crisis management, 26, 31, 33, 38
critical analysis, 18, 29
critical thinking, 17, 26, 32, 34, 64, 68, 70, 79, 84,
94, 97, 98, 176
criticism, 58, 64
CT, 39, 53, 65, 74, 89, 192, 204
cultivation, 4, 117, 133, 182
cultural influence, 25, 29, 33, 34, 37, 38
cultural values, 25, 38
culture, 25, 27, 33, 34, 37, 39, 41, 45, 73, 78, 118,
132, 146, 159, 182
cumulative percentage, 97
cure, 9
curricula, 26, 38, 79, 106, 107
curriculum, 8, 9, 13, 15, 19, 21, 27, 31, 36, 52, 64,
68, 69, 82, 83, 86, 88, 89, 92, 93, 100, 106, 107,
108, 111, 115, 116, 147, 155, 159, 160, 161, 175,
182, 184, 189, 190, 196, 197, 199, 200, 201, 204
curriculum development, 147, 155
customers, 170
cyber-pornography, 4, 79
221
D
dance, 40
danger, 150
data analysis, 28, 45, 109, 116, 129
data collection, 28, 29, 45, 46, 52, 69, 71, 79, 95,
108, 131, 135, 173, 184, 185, 189, 191
data set, 147
decision makers, 183
decision-making process, 36
deficiencies, 57
delinquency, 135, 138, 140, 151, 152, 153
delinquent behavior, 136, 144
demand characteristic, 51, 177, 189
demographic characteristics, 135, 137, 148
demographic factors, 141
Denmark, 213
Department of Education, 212
dependent variable, 133, 139
depression, 4, 9, 39, 78, 79, 89, 90, 92, 102, 146
depressive symptoms, 126, 129, 133, 154
deprivation, 92
depth, 28, 38, 48, 52, 114, 121, 183, 184, 190
destiny, 40
developmental change, 134
developmental needs, 4, 71
deviation, 87
didactic teaching, 114
diffusion, 194
dignity, 28
dimensionality, 96, 115, 179, 191
disability, 8, 207, 208, 211, 213
disclosure, 114
discrimination, 33
disposition, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162, 163, 164, 171,
176, 196, 197
dissatisfaction, 188
distress, 92, 102
distribution, 166
diversity, 18, 19, 72, 150, 183
doctors, 34, 37, 58
DOI, 53, 54, 74, 75, 89, 90, 103, 129, 154, 155, 156,
166, 167, 180, 191, 204
dominance, 58, 183
donors, 60, 61
dosage, 194
drawing, 109, 111
dream, 159
drug abuse, 204
drugs, 30, 31, 78, 136
durability, 72
dynamic systems, 120
222
Index
E
economic growth, 146, 170
economic status, 135
economic transformation, 170
ecstasy, 136
editors, vi, 38, 74, 89, 115, 116, 128, 129, 142, 155,
167, 179, 190, 191, 207
education, vi, 4, 6, 10, 13, 16, 19, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29,
31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 44, 53, 64, 65,
68, 72, 75, 78, 107, 113, 114, 115, 116, 129, 159,
160, 161, 164, 166, 169, 170, 171, 179, 181, 182,
183, 189, 196, 209
education reform, 39
educational institutions, 159
educational programs, 71, 194
educational settings, 106
educators, 5, 25, 38, 68, 71, 92, 113, 146
egocentrism, 4, 79, 118
elaboration, 14
emotion, 35, 57, 60, 61, 62, 122
emotion regulation, 57
emotional competence, 4, 8, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 38,
57, 59, 61, 62, 64, 70, 107, 121, 133, 136, 138,
140, 150, 162, 163, 175
emotional distress, 36
emotional experience, 132
emotional health, 207
emotional intelligence, 51, 119, 196
empathy, 19, 60, 68, 73, 118, 123, 127, 128, 170,
196
empirical studies, 115
employability, 190
employees, 170
employers, 58
employment, 63, 153
empowerment, 27, 155, 156
encouragement, 13, 16, 111, 151, 170, 172, 195
energy, 13
engineering, 57, 69, 125
entrepreneurs, 158
environment(s), 20, 28, 39, 53, 57, 68, 71, 113, 114,
118, 125, 126, 127, 159, 160, 171, 182
essay question, 15
ethics, 8, 16, 27, 29, 48, 61, 62, 68, 158, 182
ethnic groups, 150
everyday life, 58
evidence, 21, 27, 53, 70, 75, 80, 88, 106, 108, 115,
116, 118, 132, 133, 141, 145, 165, 167, 177, 179,
183, 184, 191, 192, 194
exercise, 5, 45, 51, 55, 56, 100, 106, 115, 150
experimental design, 44, 67, 72, 75, 132, 133, 143,
147, 165
expertise, 39, 113
exposure, 20, 33, 37, 93
expressiveness, 113
external validation, 101
F
Facebook, 61, 158
facial expression, 29
facilitators, 204
factor analysis, 96, 142, 155
FAI, 143
fairness, 160
families, 75, 117, 127, 128, 156
Family Assessment Instrument, 143
family characteristics, 138
family conflict, 126
family functioning, 131, 135, 138, 139
family life, 142
family members, 64, 126, 135, 139, 151
favorite son, 110
fear, 9, 13, 62, 73
feelings, 9, 11, 26, 31, 46, 58, 61, 92, 113, 120, 132,
184, 188, 196
fidelity, 132, 194, 196, 197, 198, 199, 204
filial piety, 37, 132
films, 45, 137
financial, 5, 40, 71, 78, 132, 133, 135
financial support, 5
five-factor model, 39
flexibility, 120, 158, 189
flight, 50
focus groups, 28, 31, 33, 34, 56, 108, 127, 191
force, 10, 68
formal education, 139
formation, 8, 132
foul language, 136, 151
free will, 26
freedom, 15, 19
friendship, 100, 124, 125, 126, 132
fruits, 72
funding, 52, 64
G
gambling, 136
GDP, 158, 170
gender identity, 100
general education, 53, 58, 61, 119, 201
generalizability, 72, 106, 141, 153, 178, 183, 200
generalized anxiety disorder, 92
Georgia, 3, 207
Index
Germany, 213
gerontology, 212
globalization, 118, 128, 170
glucose, 30, 35
goal attainment, 195
GPS, 48, 49, 51
grades, 63, 115
Gross Domestic Product, 170
group activities, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18
group cooperation, 111
group work, 36, 40
grouping, 120
growth, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 27, 44, 59, 100, 112, 114,
141, 143, 146, 177, 195
guidance, 12, 110
guidelines, 18, 29, 38, 48, 51, 57, 190
guilty, 30, 35
H
harmony, 27, 39, 78
healing, 137
health, vi, 36, 38, 39, 40, 69, 79, 92, 100, 102, 103,
144, 146, 150, 154, 167, 203, 204, 207, 211, 213,
215
health care, 38, 39, 40, 69
health education, 39, 40, 204
health problems, 79, 146
health promotion, 100, 103, 203, 204, 207
helplessness, 17, 21
heroin, 136
high school, 20, 71, 78, 113
higher education, 6, 45, 65, 68, 72, 73, 89, 90, 100,
103, 106, 107, 113, 114, 115, 116, 129, 146, 166,
179, 180, 189, 191, 192, 201
history, 38, 40, 118
holistic development, 4, 5, 6, 25, 35, 43, 53, 56, 64,
65, 67, 71, 74, 77, 78, 79, 88, 89, 91, 93, 102,
103, 107, 117, 119, 127, 128, 129, 141, 159, 164,
165, 167, 171, 181, 182, 188, 193, 195
homework, 10
hopelessness, 92, 136
horses, 158
hotels, 39
House, 212
hub, 158
human, 8, 10, 32, 34, 38, 39, 44, 58, 68, 100, 119,
120, 122, 125, 147, 158, 171, 182, 207, 211, 213
human behavior, 38, 39
human development, 207, 211, 213
human existence, 100
human resources, 182
hypothesis, 164
223
I
ID, 53, 54, 65, 74, 75, 103, 129, 142, 143, 154, 155,
167, 191, 204
identification, 109, 132, 182
identity, 4, 8, 12, 26, 33, 34, 35, 40, 61, 69, 70, 74,
75, 100, 107, 122, 132, 133, 136, 138, 140, 150,
152, 162, 163
ideology, 189
idiosyncratic, 106
illumination, 120
image(s), 26, 189
imagination, 166
immigrants, 128
improvements, 30, 106, 108, 126
income, 191
income distribution, 191
independence, 183
independent variable, 139
indexing, 109
individual differences, 38
individual students, 11
individualism, 128
individuals, 8, 9, 10, 15, 118, 159, 183, 185
industrial experience, 158
industrial transformation, 170
industrialization, 158
industry(s), 34, 56, 158, 170, 171, 179
infancy, 165
information technology, 12, 118, 158
informed consent, 79, 148, 161
initiation, 144
injury, 89, 92
inner development, 68
inner world, 52
institutions, 16, 72, 78, 132, 160
insulin, 30, 35
integration, 14, 15, 17, 27, 39, 52, 61, 115, 129, 143,
167, 191
integrity, 8, 27, 35, 165, 171, 203
intelligence, 196
intelligence quotient, 196
interaction effect, 44, 70
intercourse, 124
interface, 41
internal consistency, 137
internal validity, 72, 133, 165
internet addiction, 4
interpersonal communication, 8, 59, 61, 62, 94, 97,
98, 107, 112, 122, 158, 182
interpersonal conflict(s), 8, 61
interpersonal interactions, 68
interpersonal relations, 13, 59, 64, 85, 125
224
Index
interpersonal relationships, 64
interpersonal skills, 9, 56, 71, 107, 119
intervention, 28, 72, 75, 102, 133, 144, 155, 171,
183, 191, 194, 204
intramuscular injection, 37
introspection, 8, 14
introversion, 27
investment, 68, 133
irony, 33
Israel, vi, 3, 207, 211, 213, 215
issues, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, 37, 52, 53, 56, 65,
78, 79, 89, 92, 102, 128, 132, 143, 146, 167, 179,
183, 190, 191, 194, 215
J
Jordan, 68, 73, 156
K
kindergarten, 144
knowledge acquisition, 8
knowledge economy, 182, 190, 193
L
lack of confidence, 122
languages, 36
laws, 9
lawyers, 171
lead, 11, 36, 48, 56, 58, 106, 147, 160, 165, 170,
177, 195
leadership abilities, 36
leadership characteristics, 38
leadership development, 25, 27
leadership style, 25, 27, 32, 36, 39, 57
learners, 119, 183
learning environment, 53, 92, 113
learning outcomes, 35, 79, 80, 88, 101, 107, 126,
161, 173, 195
learning process, 14, 17, 32, 71, 114, 189
legs, 30
leisure, 100
level of education, 113
LIFE, 152
life course, 118, 128
life experiences, 108
life satisfaction, 67, 70, 71, 74, 144, 145, 148, 150,
152, 153, 155, 157, 161, 163, 164, 167
Life Satisfaction Scale, 150, 151, 152
lifelong learning, 68, 70, 85
lifestyle problems, 4, 79
lifetime, 146
light, 26, 38, 51, 147, 184, 185, 186, 188, 204
Likert scale, 70, 83, 84, 85, 86, 94
logistics, 170
longitudinal study, 92, 131, 134, 148
long-term memory, 32
love, 19, 100, 112, 121, 124, 126, 176, 180, 196
loyalty, 160
M
magazines, 20, 137
magnitude, 199
Mainland China, 118, 125, 135, 158
mainstream psychology, 8
majority, 32, 71, 82, 92, 96, 174, 199
management, 8, 18, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 38,
39, 40, 59, 68, 92, 100, 101, 158, 160, 170, 171,
195, 196, 198, 199, 200, 207
manipulation, 170
MANOVA, 139
manpower, 33, 37, 106, 133, 190
manufacturing, 158, 170, 182
mapping, 109
marital status, 135, 139
marketing, 166
marriage, 135, 139
Maryland, 204
mass, 12, 158
mass media, 12
materialism, 79, 132, 146, 177
materialistic values, 4
materials, 45, 51, 57, 59, 68, 93, 94, 95, 100, 114,
137, 138, 140, 143, 147, 158, 159, 189, 195
matrix, 98
matter, 10, 59, 61, 108, 113, 126
MB, 75, 129
meaning systems, 132
measurement, 133, 135, 195
media, 20, 59, 68
mediation, 39, 72
medical, 26, 27, 30, 34, 35, 36, 38, 58, 137, 146, 207
medical science, 146
medicine, 31, 32, 36, 40, 213
membership, 132
memory, 14, 20
mental disorder, 78
mental health, 4, 20, 78, 89, 92, 102, 146, 153, 182,
207
mental illness, 92, 156
mental image, 26
mental model, 192
mental representation, 189
Index
mentor, 13, 14, 31, 32, 36
messages, 57, 58, 195
meta-analysis, 68, 73, 118, 128, 144, 154, 191
metaphor, 43, 45, 46, 101, 181, 184, 188, 189, 191
methodology, 15, 29, 40, 93, 105, 107, 119, 191
Microsoft, 58
Minneapolis, 155
misconceptions, 35
mission, 4, 26, 27, 61, 68, 127, 159, 211
misunderstanding, 29
mobile phone, 11
modelling, 39, 44
models, 5, 113, 141, 143, 160, 197
moderators, 75
modifications, 148, 194, 197, 200, 201
mood disorder, 8
Moon, v, vi, 43, 52, 55, 64, 181, 193
moral code, 164
moral competence, 4, 70, 94, 97, 98, 107, 133, 136,
138, 140, 150, 157, 162, 163, 164
moral identity, 73
moral reasoning, 75
moral standards, 132
morality, 8, 16, 25, 26, 29, 31, 35, 38, 48, 61, 62, 63,
92, 132, 182
morbidity, 9
mortality, 9
motivation, 14, 36, 57, 85, 100, 114, 151, 195
MR, 38, 75, 103
MSW, 55, 209
multiple regression, 87, 96, 153, 176
multiple regression analyses, 87, 96, 153, 176
muscles, 8
music, 49, 51
mutual respect, 127
N
narcissism, 5, 118
narratives, 44, 45, 108, 109, 111, 112, 155
natural science(s), 11
negativity, 190
neglect, 122
negotiation, 60
Netherlands, 179, 191
neutral, 29, 46, 47, 184, 185, 190
next generation, 128, 213
NGOs, 209
Nobel Prize, 208
Northern Ireland, 41
Norway, 213
nurses, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 41
225
nursing, v, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35,
36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41
nursing care, 27, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38
nurturance, 113, 158
nutrition, 68, 100, 150
O
obedience, 27, 37
obesity, 30
obstacles, 11, 33, 78
omission, 201
online learning, 69
operations, 132
opportunities, 4, 9, 15, 17, 32, 36, 61, 94, 95, 97, 98,
101, 113, 125, 133, 151, 174
organizational justice, 39
organize, 159
organs, 146
originality, 15, 18
ownership, 27, 38
oxygen, 49
P
P.A.T.H.S., vi, 53, 54, 75, 80, 89, 116, 131, 132,
133, 134, 141, 142, 143, 145, 147, 154, 155, 156,
166, 167, 172, 173, 179, 180, 184, 191, 197, 199,
204
pain, 10
palliative, 191
panic disorder, 92
paradigm shift, 179
parallel, 89
parental consent, 136, 151
parenting, 132, 135, 137, 142
parents, 62, 118, 126, 128, 132, 135, 146
patient care, 26
pedagogy, 27
peer group, 132
peer support, 124
perceived outcome, 100
percentile, 147
permit, 147
perpetrators, 146
personal autonomy, 132
personal benefit, 64
personal development, v, 5, 13, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29,
30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 55, 57, 59, 80, 88, 94,
97, 98, 125, 127, 161, 171, 173
personal goals, 4
personal qualities, 10, 62, 119, 123, 125
226
personal views, 127
personality, 6, 8, 26, 39, 57, 58, 107, 122, 128
personality traits, 6, 128
personhood, 149, 155
pessimism, 143
photographs, 45
physical activity, 103, 115
physical education, 100, 115
physicians, 26
physics, 8
physiology, 8
platform, 7, 10, 16, 69, 107, 127
playing, 111, 112
pleasure, 64
PM, 89, 155
policy, 39, 114, 116, 142, 146, 158, 213
policy makers, 146
politics, 40
population, 20, 93, 101, 102, 183
positive attitudes, 105
positive correlation, 197
positive feedback, 58, 59
positive relationship, 183
positivism, 133
poverty, 52, 115, 129, 146, 191
power relations, 27
PRC, 3, 43, 55, 67, 77, 91, 105, 117, 131, 145, 157,
169, 181, 193, 207
preparation, 58, 59, 60, 72, 80, 110, 142, 154, 173,
174, 196, 198, 199, 200
preservice teachers, 166
president, 57, 68
prevalence rate, 78
prevention, 79, 132, 142, 144, 147, 154, 167, 171,
183, 194, 203, 204, 208
primary school, 57, 191, 194
principles, 20, 45
problem behavior(s), 136, 138, 140, 144, 151
problem solving, 68, 70, 79, 89, 132
problem-based learning, 53
problem-solving, 36, 71, 94, 97, 98, 100, 118, 122
problem-solving skills, 36
professional development, 106, 107, 115, 159
professionalism, 119
professionals, 15, 211, 213
program outcomes, 88, 183, 194, 195, 200, 204
program staff, 183
programming, 74
project, vi, 8, 51, 58, 59, 60, 61, 87, 93, 131, 132,
133, 134, 147, 160, 184, 194, 196, 209
proliferation, 68
promax rotation, 96
prosocial development, 207
Index
prosocial involvement, 4, 133, 136, 138, 140, 150
prosocial norms, 4, 70, 71, 133, 136, 138, 140, 150
prosperity, 160
psychological, 132
psychological well-being, 68
psychologist, 7, 10
psychology, 7, 8, 10, 20, 38, 39, 40, 72, 75
psychometric properties, 70, 88, 96, 136, 137, 150,
153, 162, 180, 190
psychosocial development, 35, 40, 70
psychotherapy, 10, 20, 38, 39, 75
public health, 79, 207, 211, 213, 215
public policy, 5, 40
public service, 211
punishment, 170, 177
Q
qualifications, 32, 36
qualitative research, 26, 28, 38, 40, 44, 45, 53, 65,
101, 107, 115, 120, 129, 189, 191
quality assurance, 183
quality of life, 150, 163, 183, 208
quality of service, 160, 170
quantitative research, 119, 183, 189
query, 183
questionnaire, 28, 67, 69, 70, 80, 88, 91, 94, 96, 134,
135, 136, 148, 151, 161, 173
R
radicals, 40
random assignment, 133
rating scale, 44, 156
rationality, 107, 115
RE, 20, 138, 140, 144, 148, 150
reactions, 177
reading, 51, 59, 101, 166
reality, 8, 12, 14, 17, 34, 45, 119, 120, 133, 183, 194
reception, 93
recognition, 4, 114, 133, 136, 138, 140, 150
recommendations, 37, 89, 109, 180
recovery, 30, 143
recreation, 100
reflexivity, 189
reform, 26
refugees, 158
regression, 87, 91, 95, 96, 100, 153, 174, 178
rehabilitation, 8, 207, 208, 211
relevance, 8, 26, 100, 102, 190
Index
reliability, 45, 46, 48, 52, 72, 88, 96, 108, 115, 137,
148, 149, 164, 177, 179, 184, 185, 191, 193, 197,
198, 200
remediation, 68
replication, 74, 144, 153, 155, 167, 183
representativeness, 194
requirements, 31, 93
researchers, 44, 45, 52, 92, 100, 106, 107, 108, 120,
133, 134, 183, 189, 215
reserves, 13
resilience, 4, 5, 8, 25, 26, 29, 31, 35, 38, 51, 61, 62,
63, 64, 70, 80, 82, 84, 92, 102, 107, 112, 118,
122, 123, 125, 133, 136, 138, 140, 150, 162, 163,
176
resistance, 122, 150
resolution, 14, 75
resources, 59, 74, 100, 112, 133, 158, 195
respiratory rate, 30, 35
response, 5, 52, 61, 64, 89, 94, 119, 127, 154, 156,
170, 175, 176, 177, 182, 183, 188, 189, 198, 201
responsibility for learning, 11
responsiveness, 194
rewards, 13, 18
RH, 38, 73
rights, 29
risk(s), 15, 20, 30, 54, 58, 78, 89, 92, 118, 131, 133,
134, 135, 136, 139, 141, 142, 144, 146, 155
risk factors, 92
role conflict, 32, 36
role playing, 59
S
scholarship, v, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 64, 115, 165, 179,
191
school, 4, 13, 21, 37, 53, 57, 69, 71, 75, 78, 79, 93,
100, 102, 113, 124, 131, 132, 134, 135, 137, 139,
140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149,
154, 159, 161, 167, 183, 194, 195, 203, 204, 213
science, 59, 115, 129, 144, 154, 167, 179, 212
scope, 31, 133
Second World, 158
secondary school education, 69
secondary school students, 20, 100, 132, 147, 151,
172, 184, 199
secondary schools, 78, 131, 134, 147
security, 113
seed, 51
self-awareness, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 25, 29,
31, 38, 56, 57, 68, 82, 84, 107, 119, 126
self-concept, 26, 92
self-confidence, 4, 11, 14, 79, 84, 110, 122, 176
self-consciousness, 38
227
self-determination, 4, 67, 70, 71, 133, 136, 138, 140,
150, 162, 163
self-discipline, 27
self-efficacy, 4, 39, 70, 133, 136, 138, 140, 150
self-enhancement, 51
self-esteem, 39, 92, 124, 127, 128
self-identity, 25, 29, 31, 33, 37, 38
self-image, 26
self-improvement, 111
self-interest, 20, 170
self-knowledge, 9, 12
self-perceptions, 93
self-reflection, 9, 10, 14, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 35, 38,
56, 59, 69, 93, 95, 101, 119, 120, 121, 124, 126,
171, 188, 196
self-regulation, 57
self-understanding, 8, 9, 13, 15, 19, 61, 64, 107, 117,
121, 122, 125, 126, 188
self-worth, 100
sensitivity, 29, 36, 120
servers, 171
service industries, 158, 170, 171
service organizations, 207
services, 9, 34, 38, 89, 147, 156, 170, 182, 183, 194
sex, 33, 37, 39, 40, 78, 132, 136
sex-role identity, 132
sexual behavior, 89
sexual intercourse, 78, 136
shape, 27
shelter, 50
shortage, 33, 37
showing, 5, 15, 52, 56, 57, 71, 78, 96, 118, 141, 147,
153, 165, 190, 199
signs, 5, 78, 79, 119, 143
simulation, 93
skeleton, 119
skills training, 68, 101
skin, 137
sleep patterns, 4, 102
smoking, 102, 136
social attributes, 152
social behavior, 38
social benefits, 118
social change, 73, 146
social circle, 125
social comparison, 71
social competence, 4, 8, 25, 26, 31, 32, 33, 38, 60,
61, 70, 82, 84, 107, 118, 122, 133, 136, 138, 140,
150, 162, 163, 175, 176, 177, 194
social construct, 189
social context, 26, 27
social desirability, 39
social environment, 127
228
social fabric, 127
social group, 8
social identity, 118
social information processing, 143
social network, 12
social phenomena, 183
social policy, 209
social psychology, 38
social reality, 120
social relations, 60, 160, 197
social relationships, 160
social responsibility, 73, 93
social sciences, 11, 40, 69, 183
social status, 34
social stress, 146
social welfare, 167
social workers, 146, 193, 196, 209
socialization, 118
society, 20, 79, 82, 85, 92, 118, 121, 124, 132, 142,
146, 160, 161, 171, 176, 182, 196, 211
software, 40, 58
solution, 18, 57, 60, 81, 96
sowing, 72
SP, 138, 140, 149, 150
specialization, 119
spending, 150
spirituality, 4, 8, 16, 26, 29, 31, 38, 61, 62, 63, 70,
92, 100, 107, 125, 127, 132, 133, 136, 138, 140,
150, 162, 163
SS, 39
stability, 96
stakeholders, 4, 119, 120, 133, 153, 154, 200
standard deviation, 87, 173
state, 9, 26, 46
statistics, 82, 135, 166, 179
stereotypes, 39
stimulation, 12, 27, 100
stream of consciousness, 8
stress, 9, 25, 26, 31, 32, 33, 36, 38, 41, 56, 57, 68,
92, 100, 102, 126, 129, 132, 171
stroke, 30, 35
structure, 13, 18, 34, 39, 59, 79, 80, 81, 88, 95, 170
student achievement, 191
student motivation, 196, 198, 199, 200
student populations, 52
style, 13, 14, 57, 190
subgroups, 102
subjective experience, 44, 52, 119, 127
subjective meanings, 120, 183, 189
subjectivity, 8
substance abuse, 78, 135, 182, 203
substance use, 102, 144
suicidal behavior, 137, 138, 140, 143
Index
suicidal ideation, 4, 92, 146
suicide, 9, 78, 137, 143, 146
suicide attempts, 143
suicide rate, 9
Sun, 6, 20, 52, 53, 54, 64, 65, 74, 78, 88, 89, 90, 102,
103, 114, 115, 116, 128, 129, 142, 143, 144, 151,
155, 161, 166, 167, 170, 179, 180, 190, 191, 204
supervisor(s), 30, 209
surveillance, 89
survival, 158
sustainability, 159
Sweden, 213
sympathy, 60
symptoms, 92, 136, 139, 146
synthesis, 103, 120, 129, 179
T
Taiwan, 37
talent, 190
target, 121, 195
teacher performance, 172
teachers, v, 11, 14, 17, 18, 27, 51, 59, 77, 80, 82, 88,
91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 100, 101, 105, 106, 107, 108,
109, 110, 113, 114, 115, 120, 146, 147, 169, 171,
178, 188, 189, 194
teacher-student relationship, 113
teaching effectiveness, 103, 106, 107, 109, 113, 114,
180, 191
teaching evaluation, 101, 172
teaching experience, 18
teaching quality, 107, 108, 172, 191
teaching strategies, 60, 199, 201
team members, 10, 29
teams, 26
techniques, 9, 44, 48, 191
technology, 68
tertiary education, 72, 102, 127, 200
testing, 44, 133, 147
textbook, 101
textbooks, 30
Thailand, 39
thallium, 146
therapist, 207
therapy, 166
think critically, 15, 57
thoughts, 9, 110, 120, 132, 189, 196
threats, 133, 165
time frame, 16
time series, 75
time use, 196
tissue, 34
tobacco, 92, 136
Index
top-down, 5, 158, 160
tourism, 170
training, 9, 32, 34, 36, 64, 75, 114, 133, 147, 159,
166, 170, 199, 204, 209, 212
training programs, 34, 159
traits, 119, 170
transformation, 127, 170
transition to adulthood, 20
treatment, 30, 32, 34, 44, 74, 103, 134, 137, 156, 195
trial, 133, 141, 143, 194
triangulation, 45, 46, 108, 127, 200
triggers, 192
Trust Fund, 207
trustworthiness, 29
U
unique features, 153, 159, 164
United Kingdom (UK), 103, 213
universities, 4, 5, 37, 68, 78, 102, 106, 127, 146, 147,
159, 170
university education, 88, 139
urban, 102
USA, 77, 169, 174, 181
V
vacuum, 113
validation, 16, 74, 148, 155, 162, 166
valuation, 191
variables, 72, 135, 138, 173, 177, 194
vein, 115
Vice President, 207
victimization, 146, 154
victims, 146
videos, 45, 137
229
videotape, 200
violence, 4, 79
vision, 4, 26, 27, 89, 159
W
wages, 158
Wales, 41
walking, 12, 14
war, 33, 37
Washington, 89, 191
water, 12, 49
weakness, 121
wealth, 106, 132
websites, 137
welfare, 133, 208, 209, 211
well-being, 19, 20, 70, 72, 129, 134, 135, 208
wellness, 34, 74, 103, 160, 161, 171, 182, 196
Western countries, 27
western culture, 34
William James, 8, 73
workers, 158
workforce, 34, 158, 170
workload, 10, 47, 48, 51, 63, 172
workplace, 27, 40
World Bank, 191
worry, 125
Y
young adults, 4, 9, 12, 19, 113
young people, 12, 62, 78, 100, 117, 127, 177, 182,
207
youth development programs, 4, 100, 114, 133, 141,
162, 165
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