Newsletter No. 526

08 # 5 2 6 | 0 4 . 1 1 . 2 0 1 8 口 谈 实 录 / V iva V oce 怎样结缘心理学? 我本科在中大念化学,偶然在图书馆发现心理测验的书籍, 让你涂鸦或画一幅包括屋、树、人的图,就能分析出连你自 己也不知道的性格,我觉得神秘又有趣。修读教育文凭时开 始接触教育心理学,到念博士时专攻心理学。 你的研究总是以数据为本,为何如此重视数据? 质量管理之父爱德华兹 · 戴明有句名言:「上帝以外,人人 都得靠数据说话。」只有数据能反映问题的症结,从而对症 下药。 能举例说明吗? 很多人以为,要解决小学生功课压力问题就得找出功课多的 学校。但数据告诉我们,学校之间的功课量只有1%至5%的 差异。其余九成来自学生之间的差异—同样的功课,有人 花十五分钟完成,有人花两三小时。由此而知解决问题不在 于查找功课多的学校,而是查找做功课特别慢的学生,帮助 他们学会专注和时间分配。 学习动机方面有哪些有趣的研究发现? 同样考八十分的两个学生,一个进好学校,一个进差学校, 谁的自信心会更强?数据显示,进名校平均而言会打击自 信,因为发现比自己优秀的大有人在。就算极注重面子的中 国人,「名校光环」仍抵消不了同学间较量的负面影响。 关于正向心理有哪些补充? 「正向」不是一味期待愉快和成功经验,还要乐于拥抱磨 炼与失败。凡事向好看的同时,必须勤勤恳恳学本领,打根 基,让自信与能力并驾齐驱。 STEM教育大行其道,对此有何见解? 许多人把STEM教育等同于鼓励创意,然而创意不是做梦、 空想粉笔的一百种用途,而要以自律、刻苦为基础。就像科 学家需日以继夜在实验室埋头苦干才能有所发明,而非躺 在床上空想创意点子。 是什么驱动你在中大一待三十年? 我享受每次学习新事物的机会。尤其当透过分析数据打破 迷思、找到看问题的新视角,都令我无比快乐。 这些年来最感自豪的成就是什么? 如果上到天堂,上帝问我这辈子干过什么,我会回答推动过 学童吃早餐。我们的调查印证医学研究,吃早餐与否对学业 成绩大有影响。 教研以外身兼多个教育中心主任、政府委员会成员,如何分身 有术? 我打中学起就没有休息日,从不知电视在播什么剧、流行哪 位歌星。但我不觉得工作是痛苦或惩罚,最重要是自己的专 长能派上用场。 你对两个儿子是哪种家教作风? 我相信身教。我对自己要求高,儿子看在眼里,也养成努力 的习惯,我们仨都是工作至凌晨两三点才肯睡的。当然这并 非值得提倡的习惯。 How did you get into psychology? Back in my undergraduate days at CUHK when I was a chemistry major, I came across a psychological test book in the library. It was intriguing to see how it could unveil your hidden personality traits simply by asking you to doodle, or draw a house, tree and person. I got acquainted with educational psychology while reading for the postgraduate diploma in education, and psychology became the field I specialized in for doctoral studies. Your research invariably speaks through data. Why do you place so much emphasis on them? W. Edwards Deming, a statistician and father of quality management, pronounced famously, ‘In God we trust; all others must bring data.’ Only data can reveal the crux of a problem and enable us to tackle it head on. Can you give us an example? Many people take the view that to relieve primary students’ homework stress, we have to identify schools with the most assignments. But data show that the variance in the amount of homework among schools is only 1–5%, while more than 90% of the variance comes from students within a school—the same work on the plate is finished by some in 15 minutes, and some in two to three hours. Hence the solution to the problem lies not in singling out schools with much work to do, but identifying students who procrastinate and teaching them to focus and manage their time well. Any interesting discovery from your studies of motivation? Suppose there are two students who score 80 in a test, with one entering a high-performing school and another a low-performing one. Guess who will become more confident in himself? Data tell us that on average, getting into an elite school takes a toll on self-confidence, as students realize there are far more brilliant souls in the class. Even for the Chinese who obsess about ‘face-saving’, the glory coming with elite schools fails to offset the negativity brought by social comparison. What do you have to say about positive psychology? Staying positive does not mean to wait for good things to happen to oneself. Rather, one has to proactively embrace trials and failures, to look on the bright side while working hard to achieve goals. Confidence should go in tandem with ability. What is your take on STEM education which is the hype of these days? Many people equate STEM education with encouraging creativity. But creativity is not born of daydreaming, or of coming up with 100 uses of a chalk. It has to be based on discipline and perseverance, just like scientists have to toil away in laboratory day and night in the hunt for a discovery. Pipe dreams won’t get you anywhere. What makes you stay at CUHK for three decades? I enjoy learning new things. There is no greater joy than using data to debunk myths and discover new perspectives on old problems. Name the accomplishment you are most proud of in your career. If God asks me what I have done in this life when I go to heaven, I will say I have promoted eating breakfast among schoolchildren. Our investigation affirms the medical research that shows breakfast has a huge impact on academic results. Besides teaching and research, you head quite a few education centres and serve as member in government committees. How do you juggle multiple roles? Day-offs have been banished from my schedule since high school. I never knew which TV programmes are showing, or who the most popular singer is. But I never regard work as a punishment, as long as my expertise is of use to this world. How do you educate your two boys? I teach by my own example. I impose stringent standards on myself, and my sons follow suit. All three of us work till two or three in the morning before going to bed, though it may not be a healthy habit to have. Christine N. 侯 杰 泰 教授 Prof. Hau Kit-tai • 教育心理学卓敏讲座教授 Choh-Ming Li Professor of Educational Psychology • 教育数据研究中心主任 Director of EdData X Research Centre • 美国教育研究学会院士 Fellow of American Educational Research Association

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