Looking ‘east’: Confucianism as ‘field’ and physical education teacher Education in Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Within the context of the Hong Kong (HK) diaspora, the legacies of colonial administration means the education of teachers follows a largely British template. However one is increasingly drawn to ask: can the West learn from the East? More specifically what cultural values are embedded in the HK teaching and learning paradigms that lead to success for HK PE teacher development? The aim of this study is to connect the pivotal concepts from Confucius’ perspective of learning, such as (benevolence), (ritual) and (propriety), and to consider them as the Bourdieuian concept of Within this analytical framework, this study seeks to understand professional knowledge development and identity construction within pre-service PE student teachers prior to entering the profession in Hong Kong. The study draws on data from group interviews with 6 Hong Kong PE student-teachers in their final year of study for a B.Ed in PE, and a critical content analysis of PETE curricula at a major teacher education institution in Hong Kong. The data, analyzed using coding and constant comparison, revealed themes related to students’ teacher practice, professional expectation, and knowledge and skills development. These emergent themes are discussed in relation to their impact on student teachers professional learning and identity formation within the HK diaspora. It is concluded that PE student-teachers still share some colonial characteristics and beliefs though there is evidence to suggest a slight shift in contemporary profile of a PE student teacher. A strong sense of perpetuating the tradition by imitating and respecting with their supporting teachers and lecturers pervaded the data with seemingly unawareness of an apprentice relationship. Suggestions are made for supporting beginning PE teachers as they transition to a complex and demanding professional context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


Kam, K. W. K. (2013, July). Looking ‘east’: Confucianism as ‘field’ and physical education teacher Education in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the AIESEP 2013 International Conference: physical education and sport: Challenging the future, The Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland.


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