Purpose – Liberal Studies (LS), as a compulsory subject for senior secondary students (S4-6) who sit for the Diploma of Secondary Education, was introduced in 2007. There has been increased discussion about merits of the subject. This paper was written based on a study the researchers conducted with LS teachers and students to probe the role LS may play in relation to civic education. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach– The study employed a qualitative methodology and a series of in-depth interviews were carried out with real LS teachers and students to tap their views about LS from their lived experience. Findings– Findings suggest that LS, if conducted appropriately, can be one of vehicles of civic education particularly in such matters related to enhancing social awareness and the ability to partake in public affair debates. It can also be of potential use to nurturing civic virtues in support of democratic discussion. On the other hand, its relationship with real social and political participation by students was not confirmed. Originality/value– This paper represents one of the first to explore about LS’s possible role in civic education with real grounded data. The paper will be of reference value to readers interested in civic education and teachers, students and policy planners of the subject. Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
CitationYuen, T. W. W., Leung, Y. W., & Lu, S. J. Q. (2016). Liberal studies’ role in civic education: An exploratory study. Asian Education and Development Studies, 5(1), 59-70.
- Civic education
- Civic virtues in support of democratic discussion
- Liberal Studies