Liberal studies in Hong Kong: Teachers’ space, place and fusion of horizons

Tak Shing John LAM

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Liberal Studies was recently introduced into the new Hong Kong secondary school curriculum in 2009 as a core subject and an examination subject in the new Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (DSE) in 2012. One of its unique roles to play in the new secondary curriculum lies in its espoused articulation of three learning outcomes, which are known as the ‘ABCs’—raising students’ awareness (A) to the world around them, broadening their knowledge base and horizons (B) and connecting knowledge of diff erent disciplines and strengthen their critical mindedness (Cs). There are some inhibiting and facilitating factors at the classroom, school and societal levels that are seen to play a crucial role to the success of achieving these desirable outcomes. In this chapter the author would like to argue that learning and teaching Liberal Studies calls for multiple perspectives, awakening of consciousness/sensitivity and projection of possibilities. In this case, teachers as the teaching practitioners of this subject should be given the space and place for nurturing such kinds of curriculum consciousness and competencies. For achieving the ‘ABCs’ outcomes and for the goodness of students, teachers and society at large, a kind of community of philosophical hermeneutic enquiry both within and outside the school context should be established in the fashion of Gadamer’s (1989) notion of ‘fusion of horizons’. This chapter will also include a few recommendations for revamping the local teacher education programmes for Liberal Studies teachers, teachers’ networks and the public examination issue. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAsia’s high performing education systems: The case of Hong Kong
EditorsColin MARSH, John Chi-Kin LEE
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9780203499634, 9781135048754
ISBN (Print)9780415834872
Publication statusPublished - 2014



Lam, J. T.-S. (2014). Liberal studies in Hong Kong: Teachers’ space, place and fusion of horizons. In C. Marsh, & J. C.-K. Lee (Eds.), Asia’s high performing education systems: The case of Hong Kong (pp. 84-101). New York: Routledge.