This paper describes and analyses the perceptions and actions of a well-qualified, positively oriented primary school English teacher to Hong Kong's Target-Oriented Curriculum (TOC) initiative, a major government sponsored innovation. By reference to classroom observation, interview data and attitude scale responses, a picture is developed of how the teacher reacted to and implemented the innovation. A number of key elements in the innovation process are identified and related to TOC. The analysis encompasses teacher attitudes, teacher training and support, teachers' understanding of an innovation, teacher reflection and development, the role of the principal in facilitating innovation, and the management of change. It is suggested that the paper may carry implications that extend beyond the specific context to which it refers. Copyright © 1998 Elsevier.