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USJ Theses and Dissertations
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  • Macao, a developing city, has been undergoing rapid and significant changes economically, culturally, and socially, partly as a consequence of the changes to the economy brought about by the gaming and tourism industry. Changes in Macao have had a major impact on its schools. Parents have a significant impact on students in school, and Macao’s secondary schools are having to handle a range of challenges and problems brought by students and their parents, many of these as a result of the changes in the wider society of Macao. The response of many schools to the challenges faced is limited, and they understate and under-use the important role played by more developed forms of parental involvement in schools. This study examines the nature, scope and extent of the problems that secondary schools in Macao are having to handle from parents and students, how the schools are handling them, and what needs to be done in order to address the problems and handle them more effectively. Through a large scale survey, interviews and a small scale questionnaire, the thesis identifies key problems facing the schools from students and parents, and it reveals that many of Macao’s secondary schools are ill-equipped to handle these, and there are many signs that the problems are becoming more acute. The thesis finds that negative parental behavior has had a stronger effect on students than positive parental behavior, and it finds that there are several reasons why the schools, in their present state, cannot address these matters effectively. A significant gap is found between what the schools indicate they should be doing and what they are actually doing to address increased parental involvement in order to impact positively on Macao’s students. Recommendations are made for intervention and action

  • This thesis articulates the development of a holistic approach to enhance learning and teaching in an object-oriented programming course. Starting with the premise that it is not possible to improve teaching without understanding how students learn programming, this thesis embodies the processes and reflections experienced while applying knowledge of how students learn programming, to design a learning environment that enhances learning outcomes. First, a theoretically based framework for the teaching of the course is developed. A holistic approach using a plurality of pedagogic theories, taxonomies, and instructional designs is employed to bridge the gaps between the bodies of knowledge relating to the ways that students approach programming and the application of this knowledge to design the course. Second, in two cycles of action research, the course is implemented and the analysis of its outcome is conducted using mixed methods data collection techniques. The evaluation is integrative and seeks multiple forms of evidence for student engagement and improved learning. The original contributions from this research in the form of new initiatives, perceptions, and understandings, as well as implications for theory and practice are described. A claim to knowledge is established by explaining the significance of the research to student learning, personal practice and beliefs, institutional influence, and potential for influence on computing education research. Quality criteria are applied to assess the validity and rigor of the action research project, and the research is appraised as a scholarly enquiry and a transformative process that led to innovative forms of thinking and acting

  • The current research study embraced the objectives to investigate the transformation of accounting in Macau from the first set of accounting legislations in 1970s, through the first set of accounting standards in 1983, until a year after the first application of international accounting standards, by 2008. From the transformation, the role taken by accounting in the economy and the factors that have influenced the transformation were intended to identify. Through the historical picture, findings have supported and expanded the theoretical concepts that accounting was taking both active and passive roles in the economy. Furthermore, they also supported the theoretical concepts that culture, economic environment, political environment and education influenced the transformation of accounting. The objectives have been structured through three research issues identified from the analysis of past literatures. Five qualitative and quantitative research studies have been carried out, using primary and secondary data from both primary and secondary sources. In-depth interviews on 13 representative respondents of the government, the profession, the industry and the academia, directly or in-directly related with accounting have been done. A case study on a company doing business in Macau since 1970s was included to enrich, supplement and evaluate the findings on the accounting practice of Macau. Based on the findings, a model has been constructed that represented the interaction between accounting and the different factors of the economy. Contributions from the research findings have enriched the research literatures on the area of accounting history. Implications from the findings have generated better insights for the business and economic histories of Macau

  • We live in an era in which critique of the West has become a deep-rooted phenomenon of the lives of non-Europeans. This paper contributes to the study of European women perception of South East Asia as mirrored in travel writing accounts and, independently but syncronic, of the Chinese women poets who wrote during a period a few decades before and after the mid nineteenth century. I shall be analysing the Western concept of femininity and domesticity in relation to and symultaneously attempting to reformulate Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism. Central to my research method is the fact that I am trying to add to to a traditional Western-oriented gender issues approach - baded on a review of the mid- nineteenth women travel writers - a reversed view, that being the representation of the Orient emerging from the vision of Chinese women literature. My research not only focuses on the literariness of travel writing, which has been widely neglected, but also on a vision of the Orient that is represented by some Chinese women writers in the nineteenth century –Gan Lirou 甘立媃 (1743-1819) and Lü Bicheng 呂碧城 (1883 – 1943). My research is not a survey study of Chinese literature, and it does not claim to be exhaustive. Instead, I attempt to systematize the problem of Western representations of the Orient by taking Ana d’Almeida’s diary, A Lady’s Visit to Manilla and Japan, as central reference and source of conceptual classification. From there, I am trying to further some gender issues drawn from Ana d'Almeida's text and identify symetric instances of those representations, if present, in Chinese literary texts written roughly in the same historical period. Expending Edward Said’s Orientalism, this paper tries to challenge the classic univocal Orient-Occident approach and to mirror Western Orientalist and pseudo- Orientalist ideas into contemporary Chinese writings. This is also meant to be an introduction to this cross-cultural comparative approach of feminity and domesticity open for further contributions in gender studies as well as in fields bordering social history, history of literature, literary theory and cultural anthropology

  • Inquiry-based Teaching and Learning is fundamental to modern western Science Education. This thesis argues that improving Science Education within a traditional Chinese educational setting can be realized by introducing Inquirybased Learning as a cross-cultural educational innovation - through the agency of a Science Learning Centre (SLC). The thesis evaluates the impact and uptake of the Inquiry-based approach, as seen through SLC activities that foster the professional development of Science teachers, and that build awareness of the approach at the community level. It also examines the process of establishing a SLC, and regional network, in Macau. The conceptual and substantive factors affecting the cross-cultural transfer of an Inquiry-based Teaching and Learning approach and the development of the SLC are explored through the theoretical lenses of Complexity Theory, Innovation and Change Theory; Social Networking Theory; and a range of Curriculum Development Theories. Central to the thesis is the analysis of three Episodes involving Inquiry-based training programmes facilitated by the SLC, and one Account of the development of the SLC itself: a series of Geoscience Inquiry-based learning workshops in Macau and Hong Kong; an invitational international professional development Training Programme provided in York by the National Science Learning Centre in England; an innovative Master’s in Education degree module which involved learning in an unfamiliar context; and finally, the creation of the Macau Science Learning Centre network as an agency for promoting Science Education in Macau. Furthermore, the thesis analyzes the multi-dimensional roles of the writer as participant, co-teacher, co-facilitator, researcher, ethnographer, theorist, and SLC manager. It incorporates aspects of educational innovation and change, teacher professional training, and the development of collaborative social networks. The research makes a unique contribution to the field of Science Education, especially in terms of the transfer and adaptability of an Inquiry-based approach into a traditionally Chinese educational setting through the agency of a SLC

  • This study focuses on curriculum development for competency-based training of advanced practice nursing and smoking cessation in Macao. The aims of this thesis are: (a) to link the core competencies of Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) to curriculum development; (b) to make recommendations for improved specialist nurse training to address current problems of nursing; and (c) to gather data to indicate the scope and the severity of the issues related to nurse training in Macao. The thesis presents a comprehensive literature review of theoretical frameworks of competency-based nursing curricula, curriculum development and design, quality assurance, best practice in competency based models of nursing education, theories of change and innovation, needs analysis and stakeholder satisfaction. The thesis develops and implements a needs analysis and situational analysis of nursing education in Macao, using a „mixed methods‟ approach that integrates quantitative and qualitative data to identify the needs for, and perception of, core competencies in Community Health APNs by the health professionals and clients of the community. This includes an empirical survey of stakeholders, semi-structured interviews with professionals in the field of nursing and nurse training, structured questionnaires from clients, observational data on training and implementation of competency-based curricula, and evaluation of a piece of curriculum implementation of an APN training program on smoking cessation. Through action research cycles, the thesis synthesizes a range of literature and empirical data, and, from these, gains feedback for improvement and refinement of the new curriculum to be implemented. As well as conducting client satisfaction surveys of the primary health care provision and services in Macau and how these could be improved, the thesis provides the framework for a competency-based curriculum for nursing education in Macau. The thesis argues that, in order to keep abreast with current developments in nurse training and practice worldwide, it is essential for APN education and training to adopt a competency-based approach and for curricula to be framed in terms of competencies and outcomes. It indicates that these are currently under-developed in Macao, and that there is an urgent need for them to be addressed, in terms of general, core and specific competencies (e.g. smoking cessation). The thesis argues that, for such developments to iii happen, fundamental changes will be required to curricula and to APN nursing practice, as, even though there may be changes to curricula, the opportunity to put general and specific competencies into practice by APNs is currently severely restricted because of a range of constraints in Macao. The thesis argues that there is an urgent need for APNs to receive competency-based training and practice for smoking cessation, and the opportunity to put this training into practice. It indicates that even short workshops and training programs can be effective. The thesis argues that current obstacles to such practice can be identified, but that overcoming them presents serious challenges to the current system, and will require action on many fronts, including revisions to local legislation, nurse credentialing, facilitation by senior managers of the health service, and an increase in the supply of nurses. The thesis indicates that there is a strong and united will for changes to be made to bring about competency-based training, curricula and practice in Macao, but that there are many practical barriers to be overcome in order to bring about these changes

  • In the past three decades there have being an increase in the number of Bilateral Trade Agreements (BTAs) globally. These agreements involve huge human and financial movements and are essentially based on trade and investment. This phenomenon has brought new dimension to global business environment by changing the landscape in whichfirms from emerging markets operate in another emerging market. In the light of this, this dissertation is to examine how bilateral trade agreementsprovisions influence choice of foreign market entry mode of resource seeking Chinese Multinational Enterprises operating in Nigeria. This study adopts a qualitative design, collecting data using semi-structured interviews. The data are analyzed with content analysis and explanation building to identify themes through application of replication logic. The data obtained from the interviews regarding the research questions are presented and discussed as major findings and adoptedfor the creation of the new model for the study of resources seeking firm’s choice of market entry modes in emerging markets The model developed in this dissertation makes a contribution to theory for the study of market entry modes of MNEs from developing countries entering another developing country. In this case, Chinese resources seeking multinational firms entering Nigeria. Elements of Dunning’s OLI theory, Resources Dependency Theory, and Institution theory extended for the purpose for the theory development process. This investigation also provides important information to assist state policy actors in their development of bilateral trade agreements between China and Nigeria. Implications for firms and their involvement in developing countries and with framework where bilateral trade agreements exist are also provided

  • This thesis investigates the Language Learning Strategies (LLS) used by English as a Foreign Language (EFL) nursing students of higher education in Macao and the effectiveness related to students’ learning outcomes by Strategy Instruction (SI). To date there has been no literature in the area of SI among the Macao Chinese EFL higher education students on teaching all LLS groups, and on four main English skills to look at its effects on learning processes and outcomes at the same time, and this study starts to fill the gap. The research uses an embedded mixed methods research design in phase one and an embedded mixed methods quasi-experimental design in phase two. Phase one aimed to identify students’ LLS use. The findings revealed that students’ cognitive, metacognitive and compensatory strategies were used more than affective, memory-related and social strategies, and overall they used a medium to low level of LLS. In phase two, the effects of SI on students’ changes of LLS use, their proficiency and English learning processes were identified. After SI, students used LLS both more widely and frequently in all four main English skills. Most students’ motivation and self-confidence were enhanced. After SI the affective group of strategies in the treatment group statistically significantly improved, with a moderate effect size, from that of the comparison group. It was found that the widely used Strategy Inventory for Language Learning questionnaires by Oxford (1989c) had limited statistical power and some conceptual confusion. Recommendations are made for policy and practice of EFL instruction

  • Esta dissertação reporta uma investigação realizada com o objectivo de se compreender a persistente dificuldade de integração sentida no patamar transnacional de um projeto educacional europeu Comenius, de parceria entre escolas. A Grounded Theory foi a metodologia selecionada para orientar a recolha e análise de dados. Os dados empíricos primários foram extraídos de entrevistas abertas, não estruturadas, realizadas aos professores europeus envolvidos nas atividades do projeto. Identificou-se, como principal fator obstrutivo da unidade operacional a esse nível no projeto, a existência de significativas barreiras à comunicação entre os diferentes parceiros europeus, latentes, pouco compreensíveis, mas extraordinariamente operativas. Implicações do estudo e sugestões para esforços subsequentes visando evitar ou, pelo menos, contornar o mesmo tipo de problema, ou problemas similares, estão incluídas

  • Hong Kong and Macau were politically reunified with Mainland China in 1997 and 1999, respectively. These two cities culturally originated from Mainland China, but due to their own colonial experiences, the Chinese cultural identities within Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China became different. The nature of Chinese cultural identities within Hong Kong and Macau were hybridized, and they have formed their own Chinese cultural identities with their own peculiarities. The Internet is a popular communication medium and it facilitates cultural communication inside and outside of these three places. The high-speed development of modern technology leads to the variety of services that emerge in the Internet, such as discussion forum, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. These new and open spaces serve as a platform for ordinary people to express themselves in different ways. General observations in the Internet reveal that the discussion on Chinese cultural identity among Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China exists. The combination of self-identity and reconstruction of self-cultural identity are happening in these differently colonized places. Some local Chinese people in Macau, and Taiwanese in Taiwan, share this kind of experience as well. Meanings in different issues via different symbols are formed and they can be seen from the photos that circulate in the Internet using threads posted in Blogs or discussion forums. All these kinds of images or contexts become symbols of recognizable identities. Internet use, therefore, has facilitated the cultural communication between Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan. It has also intensified the enlightenment of Chinese cultural identity, showing and highlighting in effect the remnants of recognizable traits in these territories that were once colonized by different states. In essence, they may arguably have formed heterogeneous Chinese cultural identities. This study presents the uniqueness of the formation of Macau identity in comparison to Hong Kong, and how different it was from Hong Kong after the end of the colonial period. This ‘awakening process’, it is argued, provides a new perspective for understanding the attendant connotations and evaluations of cultural identities, and the different perspectives used to understand how the Internet is reshaping the social world. The reconstruction of cultural identity is a global issue and cultural hybridity is an essential element for reconstruction of self-cultural identity in the postcolonial period. This study employs postcolonial theory, along with observation, in-depth interview and online data collection and content analysis that were adapted during the course of the research, in order to discuss this phenomenon

  • This thesis reports a mixed methods empirical research which included a university-wide survey and action research in form of a quasi-experiment in collaborative blended learning (CBL) with Macau undergraduate students. The intervention embodied the principles of social constructivism and investigated the putative benefits and challenges of CBL. The purpose of the study was to identify how to promote effective CBL in undergraduate students and to increase effective learning, motivation, autonomy, empowerment, and communication. It found that only small improvements to students’ CBL took place over time, and found that the students needed specific instruction, practice and development in how to collaborate, both with and without online learning. Despite being in a world-leading, enriched digital environment, the students were new to collaboration and online learning. Students discovered and appreciated the benefits and challenges to collaboration and CBL largely by doing it. The thesis shows that CBL does not release teachers from their instructional and pedagogical roles; rather they place teachers at the heart of effective practice and improvements. The study underpins the need for explicit training of students in CBL. It identifies several strategies and tools which can be useful to promote effective genuine CBL

  • This doctoral dissertation focuses on teacher education in the context of experienced tertiary English language teachers in mainland China. It investigates the changes in teachers’ beliefs and attitudes, and in their classroom practice, that result from an external inservice education and training (INSET) course. It follows up subsequent change in teachers’ classroom practice, and in their beliefs and attitudes, in their teaching contexts one year after the INSET course. This dissertation presents a review of the literature in the field of second language teacher education, shifts in research paradigms in the field, and the characterisation of inservice teacher professional development. The nature of teachers’ beliefs and attitudes, and of teachers’ classroom practice, are synthesised from the literature, and are related to research on stages of innovations. Models of change (from beliefs and attitudes to classroom practice, as well as alternative pathways) are discussed, and a conceptualisation of the processes of teacher change in the context of innovations for experienced inservice teachers is proposed. The research presents a case study of one group of teachers attending an INSET course, and uses qualitative data collection, analysis and interpretation. Findings are discussed which provide insight and guidance for INSET provision in the context of experienced teachers, and which add to the research in the field of teacher education in the context of China. The findings suggest that in the complexity of INSET among individual teachers any one model of the process of teacher change may not be applicable, but rather that multiple possible models of change exist for each teacher—in beliefs and attitudes, and in classroom practice—and for each innovation. It is likely that each individual teacher experiences different change models for different innovations during the same INSET course. The significance and implications of the findings are discussed in relation to INSET provision, teacher change, and theories of teacher education and development, as well as the limits of the study, and future research areas suggested

  • Nowadays, many university students (in Macau) are required to attend computer literacy courses to develop their basic skill levels and knowledge as part of their literacy foundation requirements. To be effective, such courses, which are very staff intensive and require access to expensive equipment and software, necessitate high levels of individual teaching. Evidence gathered at two study sites during this research, strongly suggests that many students may not be benefiting sufficiently from their computer literacy courses. Teachers frequently complain about the weak IT skills of many course graduates. This research proposes an innovative model for designing and delivering computer literacy courses based on constructivist principles, using peer-tutoring and blended learning to increase cost effectiveness and to improve student outcomes. Central to the model being proposed is the training and deployment of former course graduates as peer instructors and assessors. Constructivist principles provide a conceptual framework to ensure that the curriculum content, teaching strategies, learning styles and assessment procedures are properly aligned and fully understood by both the instructors and students to achieve high quality learning outcomes. An action research approach was used during the pilot and trail phases of the research to monitor the implementation of the model and evaluate its effectiveness using mixed methods. The planned two–phase action evaluation used a questionnaire to investigate the effectiveness of knowledge and skill transfer to students, and tutors’ learning progress; in-depth semi-structured interviews were used to survey, interpret and evaluate students’ and tutors’ perceptions of the new teaching and learning approach. Most respondents had a Confucian Heritage Cultural Background. For the first time, the research provides new insights into ways in which Confucian Heritage Cultural factors, interact with constructive principles in developing peer-tutoring methods in a university setting inMacau, and more widely

  • Religion and migration are both phenomena that have endured perennially in the experience of humanity. However, studies on the relationship of these two subjects are not as prevalent compared to how widespread international migration has become especially among people coming from religious societies. This work contributes to the knowledge base on the significance of religion within the context of international migration by looking at how religious faith and practice evolve as a result of the experience of migration. Interviews about the migration narratives of Filipino Catholics working in Macau were conducted. These were supported by data collected through the use of survey questionnaires that look into changes in religious practices of respondents as well as their attitudes towards faith and belief. The study has found that there is constancy in the religious faith and practice of Filipino Catholics even amidst external changes to the physical and social environment brought about by moving to a predominantly secular society. Through recourse to anthropological analysis, this immutability of faith is attributable to the unique ethnographic feature of Filipinos’ high regard for the centrality and importance of interiority in their life. Keywords: migration, immigrant religion, faith, Filipino religiosity

Last update from database: 1/17/22, 10:13 PM (UTC)