Participatory citizenship and student empowerment: Case study of a Hong Kong school

Yan Wing LEUNG, Wai Wa Timothy YUEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper reports an explorative case study of a Hong Kong secondary school that works to promote participatory citizenship on an experimental basis. Guided by the school’s civic mission and supported by civic-minded leaders and teachers, the school values students’ participation rights. The students are empowered to take part in dialogues, engage in various kinds of school activities, and participate in decision-making over such matters as school rules and dress codes. An atmosphere supportive of active participation is emphasized: mutual respect, trust, fairness, willingness to voice opinions, and open-mindedness etc. The school is definitely atypical in Hong Kong where the majority of schools are examination and career oriented. This paper argues that viewed from a broadened conception of politics and citizenship, the school is a political community where the students were empowered to participate as active ‘here and now citizens’, influencing the communal affairs. This paper examines how the students’ engagement in school affairs are related to the promoting of participatory citizenship and examines how such efforts may have impact on the students. Copyright © 2009 citizED.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-34
JournalCitizenship Teaching and Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009



Leung, Y.W., & Yuen, T. W. W. (2009). Participatory citizenship and student empowerment: Case study of a Hong Kong school. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 5(1), 18-34.