Curriculum Policy Implementation: The Concerns and Sense-making of School Leaders and Teachers in the New Senior Secondary Curriculum Reform

Project: Research project

Project Details


This study will engage various levels of school implementers, including school leaders and teachers, to investigate their concerns and sense-making regarding the New Senior Secondary Curriculum Reform (NSSCR) in Hong Kong. Studies on curriculum policy implementation show that policy implementation is an ongoing and interactional process and is affected by different actors in school contexts (Ball, 2008; Datnow and Park, 2009; Veselý, 2012). The proposed study will add to ongoing international research on educational policy to investigate the interactional processes of individuals and groups in school contexts, and fill gaps in the research as to how school systems can work effectively. In particular, school leaders’ and teachers’ concerns and sense-making will be brought together to form the lens for understanding the NSSCR policy implementation. A mixed-method approach will be adopted in this study, with survey and case study methods directed at identifying the multi-levels of school implementers’ concerns and their sense-making processes during implementation. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM), which is widely used for understanding implementation, will be employed to determine the concerns of the school implementers (Hall, Dirksen and George, 2006; Hall and Hord, 2011). The Stages of Concern Questionnaire will be adopted to tap into the concerns of a stratified representative sample of school implementers in Hong Kong. Subsequently, case studies will be used to probe the school implementers’ sense-making processes, which will help unveil the process of how multi-level actors in schools pave the way for adapting the curriculum policy in developing their students, colleagues and school organisation. Significant outcomes are expected from this study. Firstly, the concerns of school implementers will be identified, whose patterns will be categorized, and further be investigated of how school implementers at various stages of concern implement curriculum policy through sense-making processes in school contexts. Through case studies, an in-depth investigation will help identify and analyse issues related to how different actors in schools interact with self, others and contexts in paving the way through the dilemmas of policy implementation, particularly in a context which typically has a centralised policymaking characteristic. Finally, the results will provide insights into the relationship between policy itself and its context, and will respond to issues regarding international studies on curriculum policy implementation regarding school leaders’ and teachers’ roles and their professional development in effective school systems.

Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
Effective start/end date01/10/1630/09/18


  • Curriculum Policy, Sense-making, Curriculum Reform and Implementation


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