National identity, patriotism and studying politics in schools: A case study in Hong Kong

Wai Wa Timothy YUEN, Michael BYRAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

After reunification with the People's Republic of China in 1997, Hong Kong was turned into a special administrative region. The new government has repeatedly emphasised the development of national identity and patriotism. One of the locations where these issues might be expected to appear is in the teaching of Government and Public Affairs (GPA), an optional subject offered to secondary students aged 15-18. The aim of this paper is to study the perceptions of GPA teachers in order to address two issues. First, how do GPA teachers who teach politics in schools construe 'national identity' and 'patriotism'? Second, do the teachers believe studying politics through the subject GPA can enhance national identity and patriotism among the students? The findings show that the teachers understand national identity and patriotism critically. They insist politics should be taught in a rational way. At the same time, they think teaching politics in a rational way, with no appeal to the emotions as is the current practice, will enhance neither the students' sense of national identity nor their patriotism. Copyright © 2007 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
JournalCompare
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

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patriotism
national identity
Hong Kong
politics
school
teacher
teaching politics
student
reunification
appeal
emotion
China
Teaching
Group

Citation

Yuen, T., & Byram, M. (2007). National identity, patriotism and studying politics in schools: A case study in Hong Kong. Compare, 37(1), 23-36.

Keywords

  • Citizenship education
  • Civic education
  • Hong Kong
  • Patriotism
  • Political education
  • Teaching politics