Assessment reform in Hong Kong schools

Rita Shuk Yin BERRY, Robert Damian ADAMSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


In recent years, educators in Hong Kong have raised concerns about the examination culture that pervades the school system. Their arguments have focused on the detrimental effect that examination preparation has on student learning, and they advocate the introduction of less formal alternative practices that promote assessment for learning. The government, prompted by the impact of globalization and new technology on the economy that demand a more sophisticated workforce, has encouraged schools to adopt these new approaches to assessment. However, early indications suggest that there is considerable resistance to these moves from teachers and parents. Teachers tend to have difficulty in assimilated the new philosophy of assessment into their pedagogical beliefs and practices, while parents are concerned that informal assessment will undermine the value of standard, formal testing as a fair and objective means for determining social advancement. This paper discusses these tensions and presents a small-scale study that provides insights into current assessment practices in the classroom. It concludes that, given the tensions, informal assessment for learning needs to be implemented gradually in Hong Kong to ensure acceptance and sustainability. Copyright © 2012 North-West University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


Berry, R., & Adamson, B. (2012). Assessment reform in Hong Kong schools. SA-eDUC, 9(1), 1-11.


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