Teachers’ roles change as time changes. During the colonial period, the Hong Kong government controlled the curriculum content in various subjects by excluding knowledge concerning modern China or prohibiting overtly political material from being part of the curriculum. By law, the use of text and instructional materials was prohibited except in accordance with a syllabus approved by the authority. The use of legal structures to force compliance has been termed “hard policy” wince there are legal implications for non-compliance. After 1997, however, the government has given teachers a much more direct role in curriculum reform and renewal through the selection of school-based of school-based teaching materials in various key learning areas. This role has been given to teachers through a series of what might be called “soft” policy innovations where the innovations do not have the force of law but their success depends on teachers’ professional decisions and on persuasion. With such an approach, the role teachers has experienced a vital shift. This chapter analyzes such a shift through the perspectives of government policy and its expected role of teachers. It also argues that political considerations, rather than the instructional needs of classrooms, have had a significant influence on Hong Kong curriculum, resulting in the neglect of teachers’ professional development and their autonomy in making instructional decisions. Copyright © 2008 The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research.
|Title of host publication||Developing teachers and developing schools in changing contexts|
|Editors||John Chi-kin LEE, Ling-po SHIU|
|Place of Publication||Hong Kong|
|Publisher||The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|