Improving mainstream perceptions of diversity in Hong Kong is fundamental to enhancing equality and human rights in the society in the future. The importance of mainstream members of society learning to recognize diversity with less prejudice undergirds many of the aims of a recent educational reform, Liberal Studies. This paper evaluates the capacity of Liberal Studies to educate for multicultural understanding of cultural difference. Its primary data source is Liberal Studies textbooks, and it employs a qualitative content analysis to consider how diversity and ethnic, cultural, and religious differences are represented in the texts. The analysis is complemented by an examination of related resources teachers may use in the classroom (and are encouraged to use by the Hong Kong Curriculum Development Council): mainstream news articles and resources from the (government-provided) Web-based Resource Platform for Liberal Studies. The voices and views of some practicing teachers and pre-service teacher education students related to multicultural Liberal Studies resources are also included to provide a balanced picture. Based on this analysis, multicultural education as provided in major resources within the Liberal Studies curriculum appears inadequate. As diversity is reflected upon in resources analyzed here most often as problematic and stereotypical, interventions are needed if Liberal Studies is to enable multicultural appreciation and understanding among students in Hong Kong in the future. Copyright © 2016 De La Salle University.
CitationJackson, L. (2017). Learning about diversity in Hong Kong: Multiculturalism in liberal studies textbooks. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 26(1-2), 21-29. doi: 10.1007/s40299-016-0323-0
- Hong Kong
- Ethnic minorities
- Liberal studies