Hong Kong teachers’ receptivity towards civic education

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This study investigates Hong Kong primary teachers’ perceptions of moral, civic and national education, which may have an impact on how they prepare students to become ‘good citizens’ through classroom instruction. Moral and Civic Education (MCE) has been an overall goal of Hong Kong’s education system since 2001, while Moral and National Education (MNE) was proposed as a new subject in an effort to introduce a patriotic agenda in 2011. Teachers play essential roles in nurturing students to become ‘good citizens’ because they are the key figures in implementing education and curriculum policies in schools. Therefore, gaining a greater understanding of teachers’ perceptions of MNE provides insights into the extent to which teachers are prepared to contribute to the patriotic agenda as part of a revamped civic education curriculum. While there are complex factors affecting teachers’ receptivity to curriculum change, an understanding of factors that influence teachers’ perceptions of patriotic education could be valuable for school stakeholders (such as policymakers, educators and researchers), not only in Hong Kong but in other places (such as the United States and the United Kingdom), when they consider what can be done to influence students’ attitudes towards citizenship. Utilizing pilot data, this study reports Hong Kong teachers’ attitudes towards patriotic education through the proposed new school subject of MNE. The findings indicate that ‘perceived others’ support’, ‘perceived concerns of MNE’ and ‘non-monetary cost-benefits’ were the significant predictors of teacher receptivity of MNE. The results suggest that when teachers had concerns about patriotic education, they were less likely to support its implementation, while if they had the support of others they were more likely to support implementation of MNE. More importantly, teachers who perceived that patriotic education can cultivate more well-rounded students were more likely to support the implementation of MNE. Copyright © 2015 Intellect Ltd Article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-292
JournalCitizenship Teaching and Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Wong, K. L., Lee, C. K. J., Kennedy, K. J., & Chan, J. K.-s. (2015). Hong Kong teachers’ receptivity towards civic education. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 10(3), 271-292.


  • Teachers’ receptivity
  • ‘good citizens’
  • Critical thinking skills
  • ‘political brainwashing’
  • National identity
  • Moral and national education


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