Prof. Wai-Chung Ho zб
Music Education, Sociology of Music
Music Education Concentration Coordinator
Office: AST817
Tel.: (852) 3411-7048

Wai-Chung Ho received her PhD in music education from the University College London Institute of Education, under the tutelage of Professor Lucy Green, and is now a professor in the Department of Music at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her substantive research interests include the sociology of music, sociology of education, China’s music education, and the comparative study of East Asian music education. Her research has focused on interlinked areas of social and political development, education policy, and reform in school education, as well as on values in education across school curricula in Chinese contexts, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In particular, her research focuses on education and development, with an emphasis on the impact of the interplay between globalisation, nationalisation, and localisation on education and development in various areas, which cut across cultural development and music education, education policy and reform, China’s education, and music education.

Wai-Chung is a frequent contributor to leading international research journals in the fields of education, music education, and cultural studies, and has been published in such top-ranked journals as Comparative Education, Popular Music & Society, Social History, British Journal of Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Journal of Popular Music Education, and Music Education Research. Her book School Music Education and Social Change in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (Brill, 2011) examined education reforms and innovations in school music education within these changing Chinese societies and compared, from a sociopolitical perspective, how music education in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei has adjusted to the forces of globalisation, localisation, and Sinicisation, as well as the complex relationship between cultural diversity and political change in these three localities. Her second book, Education, Society, and Cultures (Nova, 2016), addressed the overriding issues concerning the consequences of links between higher education and social change. The main objective of this book was to present information and scholarly research on the development of and challenges to social change, culture, and higher education in Hong Kong. Questions such as the extent to which students can be guided in recognising the formation of diverse cultures as a social accomplishment in a globalised world and acknowledging global citizenship education and other values education in higher education in a changing world were also raised. Her third book, Popular Music, Cultural Politics and Music Education in China (Routledge, 2017), examined how social changes and cultural politics have affected the transmission of music in Beijing, Shanghai, and Changsha, which share a common historical culture but have more recently had diverse sociopolitical experiences. The empirical study presented in the book explored Chinese adolescents’ popular music preferences in their daily lives in these three cities, and to what extent and in what ways they preferred experiencing and learning about popular music, rather than more traditional music, in school curricula. It also addressed the power and potential use of popular music in school music education as a producer and reproducer of cultural politics in the music curriculum in Mainland China. Her fourth book, Culture, Music Education, and the Chinese Dream in Mainland China (Springer, 2018), focuses on the rapidly changing sociology of music and music education as manifested in Chinese society. It drew on the broad outlines of a theoretical framework that expanded traditional analyses of cultural politics, cultural memory, and cultural identity in response to the sociopolitical changes in China’s music education. The book investigated how social changes and cultural politics affect the way culture, music, and education are currently being used in connection with the Chinese dream. The data were drawn from the content analysis of official approved textbooks adopted by primary and secondary schools, together with interviews from a particular study on Beijing’s school music teachers and values education between 2014 and 2015. Her forthcoming book, Globalization, Nationalism, and Music Education in the Twenty-First Century in Greater China (Amsterdam University Press, in press), adopted a multilevel-multidimensional framework that included questionnaire surveys and one-on-one interviews with school music teachers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to facilitate an understanding of the current cultural politics of these three regions in relation to the recent development of school music education through the study of their respective education policies and practices. The conclusion of the book suggests that an understanding of social-cultural models and values in music and music education in these three Chinese territories can be enhanced by seeing music as a sociopolitical construction between nationalism and multiculturalism. In this time of great need for mutual cooperation between nations and cultures, my book will without doubt increase communication and collaboration between these Chinese regions.

Wai-Chung’s present research project involves exploring China’s school music education in response to social change, culture, and creativity in evolving society. This project intends to examine the under-researched relationships between social transformation, cultural diversity, creativity, and education reforms. In response to social change, the study will investigate the development of school music education in a few selected cities in China, focusing on culture-based creativity. The concept of culture-based creativity in education goes beyond artistic achievements in thinking imaginatively and metaphorically, challenging the conventional and calling on symbolic and affective elements to communicate. Based on an examination of the nature of creativity and diverse cultures in music education and reforms, this study will explore the challenges of fostering creativity in school music education in general. The essential elements of music education include perception and creativity, stimulation, the enjoyment and adventure of seeing and hearing and of trying things out, the integration of musical creativity in diverse cultures, and achieving new effects in school education. These initiatives and changes have also seen ever-increasing dynamism in the artistic creation of cultural reforms in school music education. To analyse the impact of relevant social change on creativity in music education, this study will employ multiple research and data-collection methods, including the analysis of official documents and official approved music textbooks; other relevant literature; a student questionnaire; and in-depth and semi-structured interviews with students, teachers, and school leaders. This empirical approach will focus on the investigation of how teacher training and knowledge is related to informed pedagogical decisions, and how specialist knowledge can guide teachers’ subsequent teaching actions in classroom music teaching.

In addition to her research and writing, Wai-Chung greatly enjoys her teaching responsibilities. She believes that teaching is more than the mere development of skills and communication of knowledge, and that a liberal arts education should nurture the qualities of the mind that will help students build their self-esteem, develop their critical thinking skills, support their intellectual and professional development, and create positive learning environments that respect and promote intellectual diversity, within and beyond their university education. Wai-Chung follows the aspect of the research-led teaching and learning principle, which sets out to examine the reality of university rhetoric concerning the relationship between research and teaching. Her teaching philosophy is also influenced and guided by humanistic approaches to learning and by experiential and socio-constructivist learning theories in the social world. Research-informed teaching and teaching-informed research are key to helping her ensure that students are taught in an engaging and challenging manner, as shown in her book Education, Society and Cultures (2016), which addressed student learning and teaching practices in Hong Kong’s higher education. Between 2018 and 2019, Wai-Chung created a knowledge transfer project titled “Developing the Creativity of Secondary School Students through Education in Music and the Arts”. This project intended to help students develop their creative and social life by increasing multicultural and creative diversity through music and arts education.

Wai-Chung continues to make changes to her course contents every time she teaches her students, for she believes that we never really get it just right. To create a warm and creative classroom environment, she always strives to provide students with challenging materials, patient guidance, and the encouragement needed to help them embrace values, grow, and learn. In doing so, she hopes to gain a deeper and clearer understanding of what the university means by research-led teaching and learning by making use of teacher-disciplinary research to benefit student learning and outcomes.

Click here to view Wai-Chung Ho's CV
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