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Hong Kong School Curriculum

Hong Kong School Curriculum: Development, Issues and Policies

Paul Morris
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 176
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  • Book Info
    Hong Kong School Curriculum
    Book Description:

    Written for students of education, this book gives a full account of the basic components of the curriculum -- the intentions, the content taught, the method of teaching and learning, and the assessment. Technical aspects on planning the curiculum, and the social and political influences on the curriculum are also included.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-173-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Paul Morris
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. CHAPTER 1 What Is a Curriculum?
    (pp. 1-10)

    There are nearly as many definitions of the term curriculum as there are books on the subject. The word has its roots in the Latin word currere, which refers to ‘a course to be run’. The key parts of six definitions are shown below:

    … the disciplined study of permanent subjects such as grammar, logic and reading.

    … should consist entirely of knowledge which comes from the established disciplines.

    … all the planned learning outcomes for which the school is responsible.

    … the experiences the learner has under the guidance of the school.

    … those subjects that are most useful...

  8. CHAPTER 2 What Are Our Intentions?
    (pp. 11-22)

    Ralph Tyler (1949) argued that the first and most basic question we should ask about a curriculum is ‘What educational purposes do you seek to attain?’. This may seem fairly obvious nowadays but it was a radical idea at that time. People had assumed that the purpose of education was self evident: it was to teach pupils the subjects they studied at school. But Tyler asked, ‘Why do we expect pupils to study those subjects?’ and ‘What experiences should pupils have in the classroom?’ The intentions of a curriculum can be expressed as aims, goals and objectives. Each of these...

  9. CHAPTER 3 What Should Be Learnt and Taught?
    (pp. 23-34)

    In this chapter we are concerned with what pupils should study or the content of the curriculum. Content refers not only to knowledge (e.g. facts, concepts and theories) but also to the skills and values which we expect pupils to learn. In Chapter 8 we examine how the content we select can be organized. Clearly, our decision on what pupils should study will be influenced by our view of the aims of schooling, which we examined in Chapter 2. Since the time available on a school timetable is limited, we have to make decisions on what to include in and...

  10. CHAPTER 4 What Methods of Teaching Are Recommended and Used?
    (pp. 35-46)

    This chapter is concerned with describing the different sorts of teaching methods, and understanding the considerations which influence our choice of methods. Any given teaching method assumes that pupils will learn in a certain way. For example, if we lecture, we expect pupils to learn by listening. If we use project work, we expect pupils to learn by collecting, analysing and presenting data. The term pedagogy is used to describe this combination of teaching methods and learning styles.

    There is room for substantial differences between what the planned curriculum recommends as an appropriate pedagogy and what teachers actually do. In...

  11. CHAPTER 5 How Can Pupils’ Learning Be Assessed?
    (pp. 47-60)

    We require pupils to go to school and we specify what we want them to learn. It is therefore logical and appropriate that we should try to determine whether pupils have achieved our intentions. Assessment is the term used to describe those actions we undertake to obtain information about pupils’ knowledge, attitudes or skills. Such information can be obtained through formal and informal assessment. An examination or class test is an example of formal assessment. A conversation between a teacher and a pupil can also provide information on the pupil’s capabilities, and this is an example of informal assessment. Formal...

  12. CHAPTER 6 How Can a Curriculum Be Planned?
    (pp. 61-72)

    Curriculum planning takes place at various levels and primarily involves decisions made by Governments, schools and teachers. In Chapter 9 we will examine the influence of different groups in society on decisions which affect the curriculum. Our concern in this chapter is not with who is involved in making decisions, but on the ways a curriculum can be planned. Planning a curriculum involves making explicit or justifying what one teaches, how one teaches it and the way it is assessed. This involves considering how you can decide whether you should teach X instead of Y, and which teaching and assessment...

  13. CHAPTER 7 How Can a Curriculum Be Organized?
    (pp. 73-90)

    In earlier chapters we examined the nature of and influences on the key curriculum components. In this chapter we are concerned with the different ways in which the curriculum can be organized. This involves addressing questions such as: when should the content be taught? Should it be organized around traditional academic disciplines, or around key issues, or with reference to broad areas of study? We first examine two concepts relevant for analysing the organization of the curriculum, namely, its scope and sequence. Then we examine the cases for an integrated, core and modular curriculum which are essentially different approaches to...

  14. CHAPTER 8 How Can We Evaluate the Curriculum?
    (pp. 91-100)

    If we are to make decisions designed to improve the curriculum then we will need to decide whether it works. This requires that we make judgements about its worth or value. Decisions to change or replace a curriculum in schools are often made on the basis of intuition or very limited data. Curriculum evaluation is the collection and provision of evidence on the basis of which informed decisions can be made about the curriculum.

    Evaluation, like assessment, can serve different functions and be used by different audiences. Teachers might evaluate a school curriculum or a part of it because they...

  15. CHAPTER 9 Who Makes Decisions About the Curriculum?
    (pp. 101-118)

    The key question on which this chapter focuses is: who is involved in making decisions about the different components of the curriculum? We are therefore concerned with questions about who has the power to control the curriculum. There are two major variables that need to be considered in analysing curriculum decision-making: who is involved and what does the decision affect? First we examine the bodies which are involved in advising on education policy in general. Then we look at the bodies which are concerned with implementing curriculum policy. Frequently the question of decision-making is analysed with reference to the need...

  16. CHAPTER 10 Is the Intended Curriculum Implemented?
    (pp. 119-140)

    Throughout the previous chapters the difference between the intentions of curriculum policies and the implemented curriculum has been stressed. This distinction was often ignored by both policy-makers and academics who were mainly concerned with the development of policies. The practical details of implementation were expected to be easily taken care of by administrators and teachers. It is now recognized that a policy is only successful if it is implemented, and frequently policies are not implemented or are significantly adapted by the implementers. A distinction also needs to be made between the adoption of a curriculum innovation and its implementation. Adoption...

  17. CHAPTER 11 What Are the Influences on the Curriculum?
    (pp. 141-152)

    In this chapter we are concerned with identifying the influences or forces which affect decisions on the curriculum. Many of the previous chapters have analysed factors which could affect the curriculum. For example, our views of the aims of education, or of the way the curriculum should be organized or assessed can influence the nature of the curriculum and how it changes. In this chapter we examine the factors outside the school system which can both produce pressure for changes to the curriculum and constrain the extent to which some changes can be achieved.

    What goes on outside schools is...

  18. CHAPTER 12 Priorities and Policies
    (pp. 153-164)

    In this chapter we will first review the key features of the Hong Kong school curriculum; then we will focus on the problems and issues which will have to be addressed if the school curriculum is to meet more effectively the increasingly diverse and complex demands which are made on it. We have identified many of those problems in the earlier chapters and they can be classified into two broad categories. The first relates to the policies or means which are used to develop and improve curricula. This includes approaches to planning, to supporting implementation and to decision-making. The second...

  19. References
    (pp. 165-174)
  20. Index
    (pp. 175-182)