My photo

Rex's Website


My Life



Educational Psychology





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Welcome to my website. It was originally only tentative but seems to have become more permanent. But as I get more information to add, changes will be made.

A little of the origins of the site

When I first thought of setting up a website, I went to a (free!) hosting service and registered. I then prepared a site using one of the many templates provided. The basic layout of the present home page, with the background colour, the layout of the various frames is a result of the template I chose.

Later, I had the bright idea of actually re-creating this same website from scratch using HTML code. If you want to see what this code looks like, right click on your mouse then click "View page source" (if your browser is Google Chrome) or "View Source" (if your browser is Internet Explorer.) So, I set about teaching myself HTML, and gradually used it to create a site on WebStarts that was as close as I could get to the original template I had used. This was actually more difficult that just creating any site as it was necessary to ensure that all measurements and colours were the same. To a large extent, I was successful.

Links in the navigation bar

The "navigation bar" above shows the names on the pages in the website. Three web pages were included in the original version - Links, World Weather and Guestbook - only because they were part of the original template. As I have not been able to reproduce them exactly using HTML code, and as they are npt of much use anyway, I have deleted them. The six pages under "My Life" have just recently been added and contain quite a lot of the material I prepared for my autobiography, which has its own web page.

By clicking on a link in the navigation bar, the page of that name will open. From this page you can also navigate to any other page by clicking on any other link on the navigation bar.

The notes in the frames below briefly summarise the contents of some of the links in the navigation bar.

Updating the HTML code


The original web pages were created in about 2010 using an early version of HTML code, namely XHTML 1.0, which goes way back to the early 1990s. In February, 2015, I updated it using the latest versions of HTML. This includes HTML5 and XHTML 1.0 Transitional, with the former being released in October 2014. A major purpose of HTML5 is to have a code that is suitable for mobile applications and devices, which have trouble using the older versions. Fortunately, Internet browsers, which use software to view an HTML document - will tolerate many errors and cyberspace is full of documents with badly written HTML; mobile devices are not so forgiving. About half of my updated pages are written in HTML5 (including this "Home" page) with the others written in XHTML 1.0 Transitional (e.g. the "Articles" page).

XHTML 1.0 Transitional

During the updating, I attempted to eliminate coding errors that existed in the originals; for some of the pages, there were well over 100 errors! There are a number of "HTML validators" available on the Internet that can be used for checking the code in URLs. The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium - founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the world wide web) is one; it provides the icon shown on the right to indicate that an XHTML 1.0 Transitional web page is free of errors. No such icon is available for correct HTML5 pages!

Summary of the contents of some of the pages in this website

My Life

Pencil artwork

A pencil drawing from the window of my hostel room in Wellington, New Zealand, ca. 1960, looking across to the National Museum. Click on the image to enlarge.

These six web pages cover my life from its beginnings in New Zealand until about the end of the 2010 in Hong Kong. The first page deals with my early years and my primary and secondary schooling in Gisborne, New Zealand. The second page deals with my university years in Wellington and Christchurch and my first teaching job in Christchurch. Pages three to five cover the Hong Kong years from 1967 to 2000, beginning with the early years when I lived at the (old) YMCA, my work at Ming Yin College, then at the Hong Kong Technical Teachers' College and lastly at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They deal with my life when single, then life when married and with children. I retired in 2000 and Page six deals with my life from then on.

More material on my life will added later as the years pass! Keep posted!


After retiring, when the rest of the family was in the USA and I was still in Hong Kong working on the writing of textbooks, I would write a letter every week describing what I was doing, what was happening in Hong Kong and from time to time, in the world. For example, one letter happened to be written during the Chinese 'Mooncake festival'. So I included a bit on the origin of mooncakes during the Yuan dynasty in China. Click on the mooncake image to view the letter.

Indonesia Science

The P6 book for Indonesia.


Most of my working life has included the writing of science textbooks, mainly for secondary school level but more recently also for primary level. I started (with others, and rather feebly!) while at Burnside High School in New Zealand and continued throughout my career in Hong Kong with the writing of lower secondary science texts and O-Level chemistry texts. Later, with publishers in Singapore, I have written books (or my books have been adapted) at both secondary and primary levels for Singapore and other countries in the region including Mauritius, Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand. I even had a Chemistry book written for Hong Kong that was translated and used in a few schools (just a few!) in China. Click on the image to view a chapter in one of the Indonesian primary level books.

Educational Psychology

When I began work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1977, my primary responsibility was the training of secondary school Chemistry teachers. After getting a PhD in Educational Psychology in the 1980s, in addition to the Chemistry course, I also taught the courses "Psychology of Learning and Teaching". The picture here shows a slide from the set prepared for this course. Click on the image to open the link to "Educational Psychology" (or, alternatively, click on the link in the navigation bar above.)

PLT lecture slide


Working at a university requires both publishing as well as teaching. This link lists and describes a few of the articles I wrote while at the university. It also comments on my PhD dissertation which linked my fields of the teaching and learning of Chemistry with the psychology of learning and teaching. The picture here is from the cover of the International Journal of Science Education, a journal some of my work has been published in. Click on the image to open the link to "My Articles" (or, alternatively, click on the link in the navigation bar above.)


After starting university in New Zealand, I began to keep a diary primarily for writing a letter home every week (no e-mail in those days!). These would describe what I was doing, what was happening where I lived and from time to time, in the world. For example, in the 1959 diary, I commented on the opening of the Wellington airport and the near crash of a Vulcan bomber, which, had it crashed, would have ploughed into the group of people where I was standing - the group in the picture here.


Vulcan bomber near-crash at the opening of the Wellington Airport in 1959. Click on the image to view a video. In the video, the near crash occurs on its third attempt to land. Password to open video = Vulcan


Sailing on a felucca on the Nile


From the time of my arrival in Hong Kong, I travelled widely, mainly in the school summer holidays, starting with the Philippines and Japan in 1967. The most recent was to Egypt in 2005. Some travels were by myself; others were with the family. The picture here is of a journey I made along part of the Nile during the trip to Egypt. Click on the picture to see a short video clip of a Nubian dance during a dinner for our group in the city of Aswan.

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