The role of publishers in curriculum change : a case study in Hong Kong
This study sought to explore the role of publishers in curriculum change by asking teachers about the perceptions and beliefs they held about a new task-orientated English curriculum introduced into secondary schools in September 2001.The subjects of the study were 78 Form 1 and/or Form 2 Secondary English teachers from 14 schools. These teachers were asked to fill in a questionnaire. Later 11 teachers from 11 of these schools were interviewed .The study shows that although most teachers report that they feel quite confident about the aims of the new syllabus, there is some doubt as to the depth of their understanding. The study also pinpoints some areas of concern for teachers: in particular the teaching of grammar and the suitability of the new syllabus for weaker students. The study confirms previous findings of a high reliance on textbooks in classrooms in Hong Kong. Further, it shows that teachers felt that their textbook had helped them to implement the new syllabus. Perhaps the most important finding of the study is the discovery that groups using different textbooks perceived the syllabus in different ways. This has important implications for the way in which textbooks are produced, in particular suggesting that a closer relationship between the Education and Manpower Bureau (the government body responsible for implementing new syllabi in Hong Kong) and the publishers could help to bring about more effective curriculum reform.