Liberal Studies in Hong Kong 1992-2014: a critical history

Cheng, Wing Ming, Clement (2018) Liberal Studies in Hong Kong 1992-2014: a critical history. EdD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis investigates the history of two Liberal Studies curricula in Hong Kong: Advanced Supplementary Level Liberal Studies (ASL LS) and New Senior Secondary Liberal Studies (NSS LS), which were introduced under two successive academic structures. The former follows the English Britain academic structure, with five-year junior and senior secondary, two further secondary years for matriculation, and a three-year undergraduate higher education. The latter resembles the Chinese academic structure with three years’ junior secondary, three years’ senior secondary and four year of undergraduate higher education. ASL LS formed part of the matriculation education curriculum and lasted for two years under the old academic structure; NSS LS is a component of a three-year senior secondary education under the new academic structure. The shift of academic structures in Hong Kong took place between 2009 and 2012, during which transition period both academic structures existed in parallel.

This research has two main purposes. The first is to examine the history of the two Liberal Studies curricula. The second is to find out the key factors shaping the two curricula. The results and findings are mainly based mainly on documentary analysis supplemented by interviews with men and women who played significant parts in shaping the Liberal Studies curriculum.

This historical research identifies three key overlapping stages in the development of Liberal Studies. The first stage relates to the formation and implementation of the ASL LS from 1992 to 2012. The second stage, beginning in September 2001, covers the consultation over and implementation (up to August 2014) of NSS LS. The third and comparatively short stage covers September to December 2014. This was initiated by the 79 day ‘Occupy Central’ and the ‘Umbrella’ movements in support of universal suffrage for the Legislative Council Election in 2016 and Chief Executive Election in 2017.

While the predominant view in the academic literature locates the origins of Liberal Studies in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, Legislative Council records show that ideas about liberal studies began to emerge as early as 1978.

Factors shaping the Liberal Studies curriculum are also identified at international, regional and local levels. The Liberal Studies curricula is seen as resulting from the interplay of factors at all three levels, with local level factors played the decisive role.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (EdD)
Supervisors: Holford, John
Mills, Gary D.
Keywords: Liberal studies, secondary education, Hong Kong
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary education. High schools
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 53345
Depositing User: Cheng, Wing
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 08:31
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2019 08:31

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