An exploratory study of the school-based curriculum development journey of a Hong Kong primary school

Tak Shing John LAM

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This study first began as a case study of a local primary school in Hong Kong on its path of school-based curriculum development. The school has been noted for its success in school-based curriculum development and has won wide local recognition. The purpose originally was to investigate and document the factors leading to the school's curriculum success. There were two site visits of the school, one in 2003 and one in 2007. Eight teachers including the Headship were interviewed during the two visits. At the beginning, teachers' learning theories and organizational learning theories guided the direction of the study. In the end, it was found that organizational change theories, especially the life cycle approach of studying an organization's life path development could best explain the school's change in curriculum focus in response to the recent curriculum reform demands. On the other hand, methodologically, it was found that a historical study approach is most suited to a study of an organization's efficacy in facing change. This study also reveals the success of the school's deliberative mode of curriculum development and the underlying factors. In the face of the curriculum reform, the school's change from the original 'deliberation' frame of mind to the later 'rationalization' mentality can be said to speak for many a school in Hong Kong that is similar to the case school in terms of the school ethos, organizational arrangements and teachers' professional relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


curriculum development
primary school
Hong Kong
learning theory
learning organization
organizational change
life cycle


Lam, T.-s. J. (2010, December). An exploratory study of the school-based curriculum development journey of a Hong Kong primary school. Paper presented at the 2nd East Asian International Conference on Teacher Education Research: Teacher Education for the Future: International Perspectives, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.