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“Social Star Mirror Model”

(「社交閃星星」學習概念模型 )

Research on How the Interactive Game Influences

the Development of the Social Competence of the Children

According to the research report released by the Hong Kong Department of Health in 2014, over-use of the internet and digital devices would affect the social-emotional development of children . Hence, Centre for Advancement of Special and Inclusive Education (CAISE), Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong started a research project on improving children’s social-emotional learning by promoting face-to-face interactive games.  The research project has adopted Dr Sylvia Liu, Project Director’s practical social-emotional learning programme since 2004 and her research model “Social Star Mirror Model” (「社交閃星星」學習概念模型) (Liu, 2015), which has already been proven to have beneficial educational results.   

The research team of the Jockey Club “Play n Gain” Project will not only assess partnered kindergartens’ children’s social-emotional competence and playability, but they will also assess areas such as parent-child, teacher-student relationships, as well as transition to primary one. 

“Social Star Mirror Model”  (「社交閃星星」學習概念模型 )

There are five key elements in this research model “Social Star Mirror Model” (「社交閃星星」學習概念模型) , which are Play (連繫孩子 開心互動) , Positive Reinforcement (捕捉優點 引導反思) , Parent Training 
(薪火相傳 易子而教)
, Programme (隨機應變 創意無限) and Point of Breakthrough (自製天機 零的突破).   The 5P elements are closely linked with one another and they need to be used connectedly to facilitate the learning of social skills for the children through face-to-face interactive games. 

star model.png


連繫孩子 開心互動

All young children with mixed abilities in an inclusive classroom to play group games with rules. Owing to the nature of playing games that require children to collaborate so as to complete the games, it serves as a natural screening tool to identify children with social deficits who could not interact in group games at an early stage for remedial intervention.

Positive Reinforcement

捕捉優點 引導反思

The hint to develop children’s positive social behaviours in playing group games is the reinforcement of appropriate social behaviours through role modeling, recognition and reflection. Children can be guided to realise their own strengths and potential by highlighting their positive behaviours in the social interactions for them.

Parent Training

薪火相傳 易子而教

Training is provided for parents to prepare them with social competence knowledge, build up positive support attitudes, and learn the skills to guide young children through playing group games. Parents are trained as game-trainers and become close partners with teachers to develop children’s social-emotional learning from school setting to home and daily life. Parents practised the application of scaffolding social learning for children in playing group games, they could comprehend children’s problems directly and increase their awareness of the children’s social development. Scaffolding may diminish naturally when the children are able to play interactively and enjoy free play on their own.


隨機應變 創意無限


The social programme is school-based with continuous differentiation and evaluation. Children rotate to lead games and learn to respect others. Having children of mixed ability levels playing together is close to the authentic situation, the children can transfer their learning to school work within rules as well as in other collaborative group settings.

Point of Breakthrough

自製天機 零的突破

Parents and teachers need to scaffold children’s responses by creating opportunities for success for all children in the programme. Each child will experience a moment of achievement at least once in the social programme. In reality, this point of breakthrough may never happen for inferior players unless the adult engineers a situation for success. Children have to be engaged in games so as to gain from the social interactions; for children who could not participate well, the facilitators would offer explicit support to figure out the ‘point of breakthrough’ to increase their engagement in the group activities. After the point of breakthrough, the positive reinforcements thereafter would become meaningful to the learners. The point of breakthrough not only applies to children, but also applies to adults who play with the children.

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