This first part of the paper briefly reviews the historical development of civic education in Hong Kong arguing that there had been three stages of development, namely Stage one: Depoliticizing by the State and the School (before 1984), Stage two: Politicization of the Intended Curriculum (1985-1996) and Stage three: Re-depoliticisation of Civic Education and Official Affirmation of Nationalistic Education (1997-2008). In stage two, civic education was considered to encompass five foci, namely, human rights education, education for democracy, education for rule of law, nationalistic education and global education. But in stage three, political content such as human rights and democracy were replaced by personal, interpersonal and moral issues. In addition, stage three is characterized by a strong promotion of nationalistic/patriotic education. In the second part of the paper, the author argues that as starting from 2009, civic education will be stepping into stage four, which can be called ‘Civic education through Liberal Studies’. A new, compulsory subject, Liberal Studies, will be introduced in 2009 containing modules related to rule of law, socio-political participation where democracy and human rights can be explored. The aims and content of the Liberal Studies will be discussed in details to explore whether and how it can serve as a vehicle for civic education for rule of law, democracy and human rights.
|Published - 2008