September 2019 Spotlight, Vicky Tam, Ph.D.

This month, we are delighted to introduce Dr.Vicky Tam ( as our member in spotlight. Dr. Tam is currently a Professor in the Department of Education Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research interests include Parenting and child development, Homework involvement, Adolescent development, Gender issues, Qualitative research methodology, and Learning communities.

1) What drew you to do work on Asians, Asian American children and youth, or another topic that is important to you now? who was an important mentor to you in this work, or an influential particular study in the field or in a related field?

I feel very blessed to have received education in Psychology, Social Work, Education, and Family Studies in Hong Kong and USA. My multi-disciplinary academic training with strong practice emphases has brought me to focus on research with policy and educational implications that benefit children and adolescents in their school-related experiences. My research work relates to children’s homework engagement, adolescent leisure experiences, as well as promoting positive youth development through intergenerational learning community. Being a native of Hong Kong, my work has always been on Chinese populations. I believe it is paramount in research studies to examine issues that are specific to the socio-cultural context. For instance, study pressure on children and youth is a concern in many Asian countries. Students often spend hours on take-home assignments in the evenings, weekends, and school holidays. While the value of homework is widely embraced in Asian contexts as a key mechanism for ensuring academic success, the need for all-round development of children may be unrecognized. My recent research work is an attempt to address the concern.

2) A short paragraph describing a particular recent finding, current study, or recent publication and what makes you excited about it. 

I work with Hong Kong Christian Service, a non-government organization in Hong Kong, to advocate for promoting school children’s whole-person development through relieving homework pressure. In the past three years, we have engaged with primary school principals to arrange for no homework over selected school holidays and implemented school-based projects that support students to design and carry out their own holiday learning projects. Findings on project experiences and project impact over students’ perceived academic competence and sense of agency are very encouraging and have attracted local and overseas media coverage.  We are planning to expand the scale of the project and to advocate for changes in homework-related policies.

3) Any thoughts about your experiences with the Asian Caucus?  

I have been a member of SRCD since the late 1990s. It is exciting to see how research on child development has been blossoming in Asia countries in the last two decades. The Asian Caucus has much to contribute to these research developments.

4) A preferred weblink

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