Leading for civic learning: Challenges for Hong Kong school leaders

Kerry John KENNEDY, Lijuan Joanna LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Recent research has shown that schools and their leaders can exert a direct effect on students’ civic learning (Kennedy, Li & Chan, 2014; Li & Kennedy, 2015). These results are context bound so that any prescriptions for actions by schools need to take account of local issues confronting schools and their leaders. This is particularly important in Hong Kong where protest mobilization among Hong Kong young adults has become widespread (Ortman, 2014). The issue for schools is to have a clear understanding of students’ potential for future civic engagement and to develop programmes to enable future citizens to make wise choices about how they exercise their civic engagement options. To provide an evidence based approach to this issue, Hong Kong young adolescents’ civic beliefs and aspirations for civic engagement over ten years from 1999 to 2009 were examined using secondary data from two successive IEA studies. Conscious of the problems of variable-centred analysis, this study used person-centred analysis to maximize the identification of the full range of diverse views among students in two cohorts. This methodology allowed for vertical analyses at the two separate time points and horizontal analysis across time. The outcome was the identification of students’ civic values and aspirations as young adolescents. This provided the basis for articulating ways that school leaders can support the civic development of young people as they progress through adolescence and prepare for adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


Kennedy, K. J., & Li, L. (2017, March). Leading for civic learning: Challenges for Hong Kong school leaders. Paper presented at The Asia Leadership Roundtable 2017: Seven years on: The state of the Asian knowledge base?, Hotel Regalees, New Taipei City, Taiwan.


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