EdUHK’s 3Es Helps Children’s Emotional Growth

A vital part of a child’s development is learning to regulate emotions and build relationships: often called ‘socioemotional competence’. To encourage this life-long learning, The Education University of Hong Kong, with the support of the Simon K. Y. Lee Foundation, has created the 3Es project. The project is in its sixth year and its name represents the goals of early prevention, early identification and early intervention, where local children encounter difficulties in reading and arithmetic (hard skills), and in managing emotions and behaviour (soft skills).

The University launched this evidence-based intervention programme in 2015 and it was initially operated in 24 kindergartens, benefiting some 1,400 children and their parents and teachers. Professor Kevin Chung Kien-hoa, Dr Ian Lam Chun-bun at the Department of Early Childhood Education and the 3Es team conducted a study during the programme’s four-year term to measure its effectiveness.

Based on both qualitative and quantitative data collected from the children, results showed that 3Es helped the children’s cognitive control, emotional understanding, emotional expressiveness, empathy and other behaviours intended to help others. These are skills which experts consider crucial for subsistence and success in the 21st century.

The study was published in one top-five% and six top-10-15% ranked academic journals, and the team further expanded the reach of its outcomes by developing several in-service teacher-training programmes. The scholars also shared their work in the form of newsletters, teaching aids and learning activities for parents and children. The learning materials can be downloaded through the 3Es website and social media platforms.

Following on from this success, the 3Es programme was extended in 2019 to reach kindergartens located in economically disadvantaged areas. The Education Bureau has since invited all kindergartens in Hong Kong to participate, using two formats. The first is school-based teacher training, provided by educational psychologists and school development officers. The second format comprises joint school workshops and sharing sessions, enabling kindergartens to learn from each other’s experiences. Both will begin in September 2021 and will run for two years.

“With the right support, children from any background can have a better future,” said project leader, Professor Chung. “We want to provide such support in the early years, together with parents and teachers,” he added.

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The Education University of Hong Kong

Nestled in a scenic mountain range, just one hour from Hong Kong’s business districts, The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) offers tranquility and world-class scholarship in a vibrant, inclusive community. EdUHK is a publicly funded tertiary institution dedicated to the advancement of teaching and learning through diverse academic and research programmes on teacher education and complementary disciplines, including social sciences and humanities. The University places great emphasis on research capability with the aim of contributing to the advancement of knowledge, scholarship and innovation. EdUHK is committed to creating a sustainable impact on social progress and human betterment and defining the education landscape for not only Hong Kong, but also the Asia Pacific region. Ranked 3rd in Asia and 16th in the world in Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021), EdUHK will continue to make an impact locally, regionally and internationally through high quality research and scholarship. Adopting an Education-plus approach, its primary mission is to lead educational innovation, and to promote and support the strategic development of teaching, teacher education and disciplines complementary to education by preparing outstanding and morally responsible educators and professionals while supporting their lifelong learning. To know more about EdUHK, please visit www.eduhk.hk.

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