Challenges of postcolonisation process in Hong Kong schools: In search of balanced approaches to Putonghua music curriculum

Ti Wei CHEN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Since the reunion of Hong Kong and china in 1997, Hong Kong has changed its national anthem, education and language policy accordingly. This sovereignty transfer has manifestly brought changes at every aspect of local society, which undoubtedly reflects on the content and design of school curricula. As Putonghua, i.e. The official language in mainland china, has been taught in schools for sixteen years as an important measure to enhance the appreciation and understanding of Chinese cultural heritage and to endorse national identity, Putonghua songs ranging from the Chinese folk songs and the national anthem, to the popular song, Chinghuatze (written by the Taiwanese singer songwriter, Jay Chou), have become an indispensable music learning experience for many Hong Kong students. Integrating Putonghua songs into the general music curricula is part of the education and language policy in Hong Kong schools, how to construct and deliver an innovative and feasible Putonghua music curriculum to be enjoyed by music educators and learners becomes a major challenge and necessary undertaking. This project investigated the phenomenon of the learning and teaching of Putonghua songs in Hong Kong schools since the change of sovereignty in 1997. the principal investigator intended to study the current perception and impact of using Putonghua songs as part of the music curricula in facilitating the understanding and appreciation of Chinese cultural traditions by surveying 400 undergraduate and postgraduate music students (i.e. Potential future music educators in Hong Kong) followed by semi-guided interview sessions with some of those subjects. The perception and viewpoints of future music educators towards Putonghua songs were carefully examined and discussed in order to understand the challenges of the learning and teaching of Putonghua songs in the context of enhancing Chinese cultural exposure, values education and national identity in light of post-colonisation in current Hong Kong society. The goal of this paper presentation is to report the current phenomenon of Putonghua music curriculum in Hong Kong music classroom, and further suggest a desirable pedagogical design of Putonghua music curriculum with multiculturalism, nationalisation and internalisation based on the findings of this study, for example, the role of Putonghua songs and the preferred types of Putonghua songs specifically for Hong Kong students, the required support and facilitation in terms of development, design and delivery of the Putonghua music curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

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music curriculum
song
Hong Kong
music
school
language policy
educator
national identity
sovereignty
learning
education
nationalization
China
official language
student
internalization
Teaching
cultural heritage
multicultural society
colonization

Citation

Chen, T.-W. (2014, July). Challenges of postcolonisation process in Hong Kong schools: In search of balanced approaches to Putonghua music curriculum. Paper presented at the 31st International Society for Music Education (ISME) World Conference on Music Education: Listening to the musical diversity of the world, Porto Alegre, Brazil.