Changes and development of teaching strategies of primary social education

Wai Lin Teresa CHAI-YIP, Ah May Amy CHAN-YIP

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Teaching approaches and strategies reflect the philosophy and aims of education of a society. Hong Kong has faced a lot of changes in education, both in curriculum and teaching approaches, especially in the subject of Social Studies. With the change of syllabuses, the teaching strategies of Social Studies has been changed from a teacher-centred and didactic approach in the 60s to child-centred and inquiry approach in the 90s. This is evident by three different syllabuses illustrate different needs of society in different periods. The 1967 syllabus pointed out the importance and effectiveness of activity in teaching. The reason of adopting activities was purely to stimulate pupils’ interest in learning so that they could pass the external examination easily. This was extremely important to the pupils in that period as Junior 6 could be the end of their education. In 1980, the technological and economic advancements in Hong Kong had brought rapid changes to our society. To live in a highly complex and rapidly changing society was not a simpler matter for out children, so the 1980 social studies syllabus was designed to address their needs. The distinctive feature of this syllabus was the introduction of conceptual learning, value learning and skill learning. It was anticipated that children could acquire knowledge through the mastering of essential enquiry skills, and clarification of personal and social values so that they would be competent in the ever-changing society. Inquiry approach which regarded as an effective method to fulfill the aim, was the major teaching strategy in that period. The rationale of the 1997 General Studies syllabus is to equip children with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes, to enable them to solve problems they encounter and to develop good citizenship. To achieve the rationale, the strategies promoted in this syllabus therefore is child-centred approach. Inquiry approach is still the main stream of teaching method. Since the new syllabus stresses on the importance of skill learning to children, some skills that were not emphasized in the previous syllabuses, become the focus in General Studies. These skills are: analytical thinking skills, ability in creativity and problem-solving skill. It is believed that these skills are useful in cultivating good citizenship. This report is part of the study of the development and implementation of the social education curriculum at the primary level in Hong Kong, focuses on the major teaching strategies change in the three periods mentioned above. Based on these findings, it is hoped that we can generate an effective teaching strategies in social education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Chai Yip, T. W. L., & Chan Yip, A. A. M. (1999, February). Changes and development of teaching strategies of primary social education. Paper presented at the International Conference on Teacher Education 1999: Teaching Effectiveness and Teacher Development in the New Century, Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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