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Tranquil forest


Current Areas of Study by Team Members

Projects: Research
Clapping Game

Implementing social skills with gratitude

Mark Harrison, Ronnel King, Gordon Tsui & Anna Susanne Cheng

Recent research has suggested that gratitude promotes motivation, engagement, achievement, and connectedness to others in children. In this project, we are working with a local DSS school to develop and deliver a course that integrates a gratitude intervention with an Academic and Social Skills Building programme. The programme aims to provide primary school children with skills and attitudes which will assist them in various domains of their school life. We are looking to work with other schools. If your school is interested in working with us, or if you would like to find out more, please contact us.

Email Team
Image by Kuanish Reymbaev

Gratitude and humility in teaching and learning

Mark Harrison, Carla Briffet-Aktas, Fei Yan, Yumjyi Ying, Gordon Tsui & Anna Susanne Cheng

This project investigates the ways in which teachers conceptualise and enact the virtues of humility and gratitude in classrooms and other interactions with students and colleagues. A large body of psychological research has been conducted into gratitude, but relatively little work has been carried out into how teachers utilise gratitude in their teaching practice. There is also a paucity of research into humility in school settings, despite scholars having drawn attention to the importance of intellectual and cultural humility in education. We are interested in differences between cultural settings, so the project involves local and international schools in Hong Kong, and schools in mainland China. We adopt a qualitative approach, gathering data by means of interviews with teachers.  We are looking for participants to join our study. If you are interested or would like to find out more, please contact us.

Asian Water Garden

Humility in Educational Philosophy and Theory

Liz Jackson and Jae Park

Humility is regarded as beneficial for individuals, relationships, and society. It is believed to increase personal well-being and tolerance of difference, and enhance interpersonal relationships. Scholars recommend that schools educate young people for “cultural humility”, “democratic/civic humility”, and “intellectual humility”. Cultural humility involves self-reflection when interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds.  Intellectual humility refers to accurate and sincere recognition of epistemic limitations of oneself and others. Educating for humility could be regarded as an important element and goal of education as it helps students realise their limitations and consider different (even opposite) perspectives. However, as with other virtues, humility may be conceptualised and expressed differently across diverse cultural communities. In relation, how to educate for humility may look different in schools around the world. Meanwhile, some evidence suggests that education actually decreases people’s level of humility, particularly in western societies, at odds with the goals of those interested in moral and values education. This call for papers invites explorations of the philosophical and theoretical roots underpinning different conceptions of humility, and their implications for education.

Image by Jess Bailey

What do humility and gratitude do in schools?

Elke Van dermijnsbrugge and Stephen Chatelier

This project is focused on researchers and practitioners working together to critically and creatively examine how it is that the concepts of humility and gratitude work within a particular international school in Hong Kong. We are interested in foregrounding the question: what do humility and gratitude do in schools? Working very closely with one international secondary school, we as researchers are guided by the school leaders' desire to think about humility and gratitude differently, and to therefore respond to the enactment of these practices differently. The principles of relationality, interconnectedness and solidarity are central to our way of working and are underpinned by a commitment to make changes right here and now, bottom-up. In practice, this means that researchers and school-based practitioners work together on a series of initiatives that are co-constructed as the project progresses. As such, this research is not rigidly planned and nor does it work towards pre-determined and specific intended outcomes (more details about this type of practice can be found below).

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