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Title: Using Habermas’s Theory of Communicative Action to analyze the changing nature of school education in Hong Kong (1945-2008)
Author: Chan, Si Wai
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 1916
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2010
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Based on Habermas’s theory of communicative action, a study of school education in Hong Kong was conducted, with a span more than sixty years from 1945 to 2008. It focused on how social reproduction was possible in school education, how school education was worked in general, and how school education was developed. Moreover, it employed a three-scale analysis of situational analysis and a historical analysis to analyze the above three research foci. In situational analysis, at classroom scale, a symbolic reproduction of the lifeworld of students was depicted, whereas at school scale, an uncoupling of the system from the lifeworld was seen, and finally, at regional scale, a colonization of the lifeworld by the system was concluded. Moreover, its historical development depicted a phenomenon of a colonization of the lifeworld by the system. In sum, the above, other than at classroom scale, showed mainly an undesired and distorted way of development of school education. However, educators and the public sphere strove for the desired or logic development, and resisted the undesired or dynamic one conducted by the government administration. Based on the summary and conclusions drawn from the analysis of school education in Hong Kong, the study elucidated a new and critical approach in sociology of education. This approach was set out in two dimensions. The first dimension was a three-level analysis of education, with meta-theoretical level concerned learning and teaching action as communicative action, with methodological level concerned interpretive understanding, and with empirical level concerned development of education as a process of rationalization. The second dimension was three concerns in the study of school education, with communicative rationality as the rationality problematic in inquiry, with the integration of the perspectives of action and the system, and with the logic development of education. This approach, based on the theory of communicative action, did provide a conceptual framework for a fuller picture of education, and for a pathway to further development in education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available