Deliberation and school-based curriculum development-a Hong Kong case study

Tak Shing John LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Deliberative mode of curriculum development has been hailed as one effective way of developing schoolbased curriculum. Its participatory, egalitarian and discursive characteristics have helped to generate the much-needed synergy and ownership feeling among the curriculum team members that lead to curriculum success. Nevertheless there is little such research in Hong Kong and thus very little is known as to the what, why and how in doing deliberative mode of curriculum development. Aims: This study intended to examine the patterns of curriculum development of a local primary school and how they had evolved over the span of four years. Method: The case school was selected due to its successful curriculum innovations over the years. Two site visits were made to the case school, one in 2003 and one in 2007. Eight teachers and the principal were interviewed and some lesson observations were made. Results: It was found that the success of the school’s curriculum development pattern is similar to Decker Walker’s ‘naturalistic model’ which is premised on the notion and practice of deliberation. It is also found that the school’s ethos, organizational arrangements and professional relationships contribute to the success of the school’s deliberative mode of curriculum development. Conclusion: With the knowledge gained in this study as to the what, why and how of doing a deliberative curriculum development, it is hoped that it will illuminate for local teachers, school administrators and school curriculum development personnel the kind of personal, organizational and social context in order that deliberative curriculum development can thrive and sustain. Copyright © 2011 New Horizons in Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-82
JournalNew Horizons in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


curriculum development
Hong Kong
school development
primary school


Lam, T. S. J. (2011). Deliberation and school-based curriculum development-a Hong Kong case study. New Horizons in Education, 59(2), 69-82.


  • Deliberation
  • School-based curriculum development
  • Teachers’ professional knowledge
  • 課程慎思與校本課程發展:一香港個案研究