Weakening the boundaries and framing: pedagogic practices to embed mental health promotion in schools

Lynn TANG, Pik Fong TSUI, Angie Kwan Yu SHUM, Wing Gi LEUNG, Daniel Wai Man LUNG, Po Suet NG, Paul Siu Fai YIP

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 years old and enhancing young people’s coping and life skills has been recommended by World Health Organisation as an effective suicide prevention strategy for youth. While research suggests the usefulness of school-based programme to teach young people about mental wellbeing, there is a lack of research that focus on understanding what pedagogic practices can help promote mental health in schools. In this paper, we will draw upon Bernstein’s sociological theory of pedagogic discourse to explain what pedagogic practices facilitate or hinder learning of mental wellbeing for children in Hong Kong.
In this study, data is drawn from the evaluation programme of DoReMiFa, a school-based mental health promotion program that aims at developing students’ positive attitudes and values. The programme was delivered by school teachers through traditional classroom learning and digital game-based learning sessions. 17 student focus group (132 students in total) and 17 teacher focus group (61 teachers in total) were conducted in participating primary schools. The concepts of boundaries and framing were used for coding and analysing the data.

Findings show that weakening the boundaries between teacher and student, as well as between students can cultivate a positive and inclusive environment to learn about positive values and attitudes. Weakening framing between teachers and students, eroding the boundaries between classroom, school and home, between academic and wider learning, as well as between school leader and teachers are also factors that help embed mental health promotion in school. Thus weakening the boundaries and framing are indicators for designing innovative pedagogic practices to promote wellbeing of children in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021
EventIV ISA Forum of Sociology: Challenges of the 21 Century : Democracy, Environment, Inequalities, Intersectionality - Virtual, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Duration: 23 Feb 202128 Feb 2021


ConferenceIV ISA Forum of Sociology
CityPorto Alegre
Internet address


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