National identity and patriotism in Hong Kong’s education reform: Student attributes and contested curriculum structures

Kerry John KENNEDY, Xiaoxue KUANG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) (2012, p.i) introduced a proposed new school subject of Moral and National Education (MNE) to schools and the Hong Kong community, it noted that “since the return of sovereignty, promoting national education and enhancing students’ understanding of their country and national identity have become a common goal of primary and secondary schools”. The secretary of education responsible for implementing the new subject had no doubts about its importance as he indicated in a television interview (Ng, 2012):After 15 years of Hong Kong returning to the homeland, and I believe everyone actually at this point of time would realize it. Even a lot of people who said opposite to the programme these days, but if you ask them are you Chinese, they would categorically tell you, I am Chinese. This is the national pride, this is identity, this is the one we’re not shy, we’re not implicit to say, this is the one we’re looking for, identity, number one. (Emphasis added)This spirited defence of national identity building by the secretary did not save the new school subject that was eventually “shelved” by the government, with implementation encouraged but not mandatory for schools in Hong Kong. The reasons for this action by the government are not the subject of this chapter. There is a more important issue to pursue here, and it is that of national identity. Even though the school subject may have gone away, identity issues remain for individuals, for schools and for the society as a whole. What is more, such issues have been subject to much speculation (Lau, 1997, 2000; Brewer, 1999; Lee and Chan, 2005; Ma and Fung, 2007) and there is a need for greater clarifi cation. 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
PublisherRoutledge
Pages102-114
ISBN (Electronic)9780203499634, 9781135048754
ISBN (Print)9780415834872
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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patriotism
national identity
curriculum
reform
school
Hong Kong
education
student
national consciousness
curriculum development
speculation
Homelands
sovereignty
primary school
television
secondary school
interview
community

Citation

Kennedy, K. J., & Kuang, X. (2014). National identity and patriotism in Hong Kong’s education reform: Student attributes and contested curriculum structures. In C. Marsh, & J. C.-K. Lee (Eds.), Asia’s high performing education systems: The case of Hong Kong (pp. 102-114). New York: Routledge.