Research on children’s concepts of god and spirituality and its implications on educational inequality in early childhood educational reform in Hong Kong

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Abstract

In his 2006-07 Policy Address, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong committed HK$2 billion to enhancing holistic ECE through the instigation of a school voucher scheme. The new paradigm of a child-centred curriculum is considered necessary to keep pace with international quality educational developments. The paradigm of spirituality education for young children, which enshrines interconnectedness (Taggart, 2001), is in essence the holistic education that is advocated in child-centred ideology. Religious education, in contrast, is underpinned by teacher-centred ideology and has the aim of transmitting traditional religious values to the younger generation. The article reports on six case studies on three different faith schools which suggest that elements of spirituality are embedded in the newly advocated curriculum. The preliminary data collected, however, also suggest that there is a misunderstanding on the part of stakeholders in their view of the conceptualisation of Spirituality Education as nearly synonymous with Religious Education. Based on these findings, the author hopes to arouse the public at large to the potential educational inequalities existed alongside the educational reform policy; firstly to the parents when exercising their rights under the school voucher scheme and secondly, to faith schools being distracted from their school mission by a misconception that Spirituality Education and Religious Education are nearly synonymous. Copyright © 2010 Scarecrow Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-246
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Reform
Volume19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Citation

Lau, G. (2010). Research on children’s concepts of god and spirituality and its implications on educational inequality in early childhood educational reform in Hong Kong. International Journal of Educational Reform, 19(4), 224-246.

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