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Personal profile

Personal profile

Chinese name: 鮑勃

Variants: Adamson, B., Adamson, R. B., Adamson, R. D.

Bob Adamson is UNESCO Chairholder in TVET and Lifelong Learning, Chair Professor of Curriculum Reform and Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development. Formerly, he was Director of the UNEVOC Centre (Hong Kong) and of the Comparative Education Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong. He is the former President of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong. He has taught in schools, colleges and universities in France, Wales, England, mainland China, Australia and Hong Kong.

Bob publishes in the fields of English language teaching, teacher education, comparative education, curriculum studies and higher education. His books include Trilingualism in education in China: models and challenges (co-edited with Anwei Feng, 2015), China’s English: a history of English in Chinese education (2004),  Curriculum, schooling and society in Hong Kong (co-authored with Paul Morris, 2010), Assessment reform in education (co-edited with Rita Berry, 2011), The reorientation of higher education: challenging the East-West dichotomy (co-edited with Jon Nixon and Feng Su, 2012), and Comparative education research: approaches and methods (co-edited with Mark Bray and Mark Mason, 2007, 2014)—a work translated into eight languages to date.

Bob has also written more than fifty textbooks for primary and secondary schools and was part of the curriculum development team that produced the Junior English for China and Senior English for China textbook series, which were used by approximately 400 million students. He has served as a Consultant to the People's Education Press in the Ministry of Education, China, for more than 25 years.

In 2013, he was awarded the title of "Kunlun Expert" (昆仑学者) by the Qinghai Provincial Government in the People’s Republic of China in recognition of his 30 years' work in Chinese education, particularly in minority education in Qinghai.  

Research interests

Principal Investigator (Hong Kong), ‘Hong Kong as a Source for Education Policy in England: Rhetoric and Reality’ Funded by Economic and Social Research Council /Research Grants Council Joint Research Scheme (HK$395,232).

Principal Investigator, ‘Models of trilingual education in ethnic minority regions of China’ (2012-14) Funded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HK$800,822)

Principal Investigator, ‘Curriculum, schooling and society in Hong Kong’ (2008-09)

Funded by Hong Kong Institute of Education Internal Research Grant (HK$64,750)


Bob Adamson has published more than 100 academic books, book chapters and journal articles. Publications include:

Feng, A.W. & Adamson, B. (Eds.) (2015). Trilingualism in education in China: models and challenges. Dordrecht: Springer.

Bray, M., Adamson, B. & Mason, M. (Eds.) (2014). Comparative education research: approaches and methods. Second edition. Hong Kong & Dordrecht: Comparative Education Research Centre & Springer.

Adamson, B. & Feng, A.W. (2014). Models for trilingual education in the People’s Republic of China. In Gorter, D., Zenotz, V. & Cenoz, J. (Eds.) Minority languages and multilingual education (pp.29-44). Dordrecht: Springer.  

Pishghadam, R. & Adamson, B. (2013). Educational language learning textbooks: a new outlook on materials development. In Bakić-Mirić, N. & Gaipov, D.E. (Eds.) Building cultural bridges in education (pp.93-102). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Adamson, B., Feng, A.W., Liu, Q. & Li, Q. (2013).Ethnic minorities and trilingual education policies. In Besharov, D.J. & Baehler, K. (Eds.) Chinese social policy in a time of transition (pp.180-195)Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Adamson, B., Nixon, J. & Su, F. (Eds.) (2012). The reorientation of higher education: Challenging the East-West dichotomy. Hong Kong & Dordrecht: Comparative Education Research Centre & Springer.

Adamson, B. (2012). International comparative studies in teaching and teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 641-648.

Ko, P.Y. & Adamson, B. (2012). Chinese Language pedagogy and human dignity—The Special Rank Teacher in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. In Leung, C. & Ruan, J. (Eds.)  Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Chinese Literacy in China (pp 60-81). Dordrecht: Springer. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-4822-4_5

Hu, R. & Adamson, B. (2012). Social ideologies and the English curriculum in China. In Leung, C. & Ruan, J. (Eds.)  Perspectives on Teaching and Learning English Literacy in China (pp 1-17). Dordrecht: Springer. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-007-4994-8_1

Adamson, B. & Xia, B. (2011). A case study of the College English Test and ethnic minority university students in China: negotiating the final hurdle. Journal of Multilingual Education, 1(1).

Zhang, L. & Adamson, B. (2011). The new independent higher education institutions in China: Dilemmas and challenges. Higher Education Quarterly, 65(3), 251-266.

Ko, P.Y. & Adamson, B. (2011). Pedagogy and human dignity – The Special Rank Teacher in China since 1978. History of Education 40(3), 371-389.

Adamson, B. & Walker, E. (2011). Messy collaboration: learning from a Learning Study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 29-36.

Berry, R. & Adamson, B. (Eds.) (2011). Assessment reform in education: Policy and practice. Dordrecht: Springer.

Gil, J. & Adamson, B. (2011). The English language in China: a sociolinguistic profile. In Feng, A. (Ed.), English language education across Greater China (pp.23-45). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Morris, P. & Adamson, B. (2010). Curriculum, schooling and society in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Adamson, B. & Feng, A. (2009). A comparison of trilingual education policies for ethnic minorities in China. Compare, 39(3), 321-333.

Bray, M., Adamson, B. & Mason, M. (Eds.) (2007). Comparative education research approaches and methods. Hong Kong & Dordrecht, Netherlands: Comparative Education Research Centre & Springer.

Adamson, B. (2007). Depoliticisation in the English curriculum. In A. Feng (Ed.), Bilingual education in China (pp.34-48). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Adamson, B. (2005). Developing Information Technology for English in Chinese secondary schools. In C. Davison (Ed.), Information Technology and innovation in language education (pp.81-101). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Adamson, B. & Tong, S.Y.A (2008). Leadership and collaboration in implementing curriculum change in Hong Kong secondary schools. Asia Pacific Education Review, 9(2), 81-90.

Adamson, B. (2004). China’s English: a history of English in Chinese education. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Adamson, B. (2004). Fashions in language teaching methodology. In A. Davies & C. Elder (Eds.), The handbook of applied linguistics (pp.604-622). Oxford: Blackwell.

Adamson, B. (2002). Barbarian as a foreign language: English in China’s schools. World Englishes, 21(2), 231-243.

Adamson, B., Kwan, T & Chan, K.K. (Eds.) (2000). Changing the curriculum: the impact of reform on primary schooling in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: HKU Press.

Agelasto, M. & Adamson, B. (Eds.) (1998). Higher education in post-Mao China. Hong Kong: HKU Press. 

Adamson, B. & Morris, P. (1997). The English curriculum in the People’s Republic of  China. Comparative Education Review, 41(1), 3-26.

Adamson, B. & Auyeung Lai, Y.W.W. (1997). Language and the curriculum in Hong Kong: dilemmas of triglossia. Comparative Education, 33(2), 233-246.

Adamson, B. (1995). The Four Modernizations Programme in China and English Language teacher education: a case study. Compare, 25(3), 197-210.

Professional information

ORCID : 0000-0001-6747-0195

Scopus ID: 7006173287

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Research Outputs 1995 2018

political influence
Central Asia
Hong Kong

Increasing global awareness through study tours

ADAMSON, R. D., 13 Mar 2018

Research output: Other contribution

national minority
language policy