Managing the process of an educational change: A study of school heads' support for Hong Kong's curriculum reform

Ping Man WONG, Chi Keung Alan CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – To cope with the challenges of the twenty-first century, the Hong Kong SAR government initiated the Curriculum Reform in 2001. In 2006, a research team from a tertiary institution was commissioned to review the progress of change for smooth implementation of the reform in its next phase. This paper aims to examine this issue. Design/methodology/approach – The nature of the review is basically a survey, applying questionnaires and follow-up focus-group interviews to collect data from different groups of subjects. The sample was around 20 per cent of the population, i.e. a total of 252 primary (n=138) and secondary (n=114) schools. Findings – The paper reports findings on the support for the Reform by primary and secondary schools. Five areas of agreement among school heads are examined, which include challenges to be met, guiding principles of the reform, learning goals, reform framework and the overall agreement with the rationale of the reform. It is found that, while the curriculum reform was supported among school heads, senior teachers and teachers, there was a gap between the views of senior management team and frontier teachers. Research limitations/implications – This is a very comprehensive research project with a limited timeframe. The paper can only report and discuss findings mainly on the support for curriculum reform by school heads. Other aspects of the study will be discussed and reported separately in subsequent papers. Practical implications – The gap between the views of senior management team and frontier teachers is worth probing as this is the most obstructive factor to the implementation of the reform. Identifying the cause would be the first step in formulating strategies to address and, hopefully, to facilitate the smooth transition from the phase of implementation to the continuation phase of the change process. Originality/value – The study has suggested the development of a two-dimensional framework of agreement areas and stakeholders which will contribute to a better understanding of the change process in general, and achievements of a curriculum reform in particular. Other issues are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-106
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Hong Kong
curriculum
reform
school
teacher
Educational change
Curriculum
management
twenty-first century
primary school
secondary school
research project
Group
stakeholder
cause
questionnaire
methodology
interview
learning
Values

Citation

Wong, P.-M., & Cheung, A. C.-K. (2009). Managing the process of an educational change: A study of school heads' support for Hong Kong's curriculum reform. International Journal of Educational Management, 23(1), 87-106.

Keywords

  • Curriculum development
  • Education
  • Educational innovation