Hong Kong is a predominantly Chinese society but just over 6 percent of the population is made up of ethnic minorities. This composition flows into schools where teachers in selected schools need to cater for a diverse school population. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether assessment environments in Hong Kong schools are able to cater for the learning motivation of ethnic minority students as well as their Chinese peers.
Students were surveyed to gain an understanding of the assessment practices they experienced as well as their own learning motivation goals. The results indicated that both Chinese and ethnic minority students experienced teacher-dominated assessment environments most often, and each group strongly endorsed learning motivation goals that stressed academic development and competence. Both groups of students provided moderate support for social learning goals, with somewhat stronger support coming from ethnic minority students.
Teachers can build on ethnic minority students’ strong learning orientation by providing high-quality feedback even in a teacher-dominated assessment environment. A more interactive classroom characterised by feedback may provide teachers with a better idea of the learning needs of all students.