A critical reflection of the evolution of civic education in Hong Kong schools

Yan Wing LEUNG, Wai Wa Timothy YUEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article first discusses the successive phases of Hong Kong‘s civic education in schools, to provide a historical context. It proceeds to critically examine the future development of Hong Kong‘s civic education in schools with regard to political, national and human rights education, by analyzing the intended curriculum conveyed by the curriculum document of the mandatory subject, Liberal Studies, to be launched in September, 2009. For the first time, the subject provides all senior secondary students with the opportunity to study political topics. However, the limited scope of such political education and the conservative tone may limit its usefulness in assisting youth to reflect on political matters in a critical and informed way. In terms of national education, the issue of de-politicized and uncritical patriotism is better addressed than previously while the issue of inclusion and exclusion is not addressed. In addition, the action-poor nature of human rights education within the subject is hardly adequate for cultivating a human rights culture in Hong Kong. This article concludes with the plea that more empirical studies of the implementation are urgently needed. Copyright © 2009 Pacific Circle Consortium for Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
JournalPacific-Asian Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Hong Kong
human rights
political education


Leung, Y. W., & Yuen, W. W. (2009). A critical reflection of the evolution of civic education in Hong Kong schools. Pacific-Asian Education, 21(1), 35-50.