A critical review of the proposals for reform of the education system in Hong Kong with particular reference to curriculum integration and lifelong learning
This thesis analyses proposals for reform of the education system in Hong
Kong (the Policy). Using textual analysis, the thesis has identified two
paradoxical lines of reform. The first and central line identifies the priority
of the education reform. It emphasises the inner qualities of a person that
intrinsically motivate lifelong learning. The Policy envisages that students
will construct their personal knowledge through integrated learning
experiences that make use of problems and issues in daily life and in the
workplace. However, although the resulting educational change would be
a paradigm shift, the Policy proposes low-status implementation strategies.
The second line of reform expects schools to supply flexible and
competitive knowledge workers to the businesses in Hong Kong. The
proposed reforms emphasise workplace generic skills and propose highstatus
assessments of Chinese, English, and Mathematics at di fferent stages
in the school system. This would reduce the envisioned paradigm shift to a
series of tests in core curriculum subjects.
The thesis recommends that, at student leveL a model of social
construction of collective knowledge is needed to capitalise on student diversity. Integrated learning experiences should focus on social and
At school organisational leveL professional development should
give priority to on-site activities based on horizontal teacher teams. The
purpose is to construct the collective background knowledge that is needed
to apply the formal professional knowledge required to actualise the
priority of the education reform.
At territory level, innovative projects in pioneering schools could
create useful background knowledge but it would be difficult to transfer
this knowledge to other schools. Key personnel from these projects could
work as consultants, sharing their experience with other schools. An
exchange system is needed to match consultants to the needs of schools.
This could also extend career options for school educators.