Daily about 75 school-aged children from Mainland China arrived in the schools in Hong Kong. Although children from China were similar in cultural heritage, their "foreignness" in terms of personal characteristics, such as behavior and learning style, dialect differences, or lack of colloquialness, gave them away as "different". This study intends to examine the lived experiences of the teachers in teaching newly arrived children (NAG). The study consists of multiple case studies using a qualitative approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with school administrators and teachers in nine schools. Findings indicate that schools that operated from an open-door policy contain a higher percentage of MAC than schools that applied strict admission policy. Teachers of the former schools were more negative and apprehensive in their experience in teaching and managing NAC's learning and behavior. They saw the later cohort of NAC more difficult to teach than the earlier cohort. Teachers were unprepared and the strategies they resorted in varied from applying a difference-blind principle to watering down the curriculum. The study causes concern of an education system that lacks critical cultural understanding and sensitivity in catering for cultural diversity. Poverty of bilingual and multicultural education knowledge prevailed in most schools. In order to achieve just educational provisions for these pupils, the study concludes that schools should consider a more flexible grade level system, a curriculum that takes equality of access, survival, output, and outcome into serious considerations. Further, a multicultural teacher education training program is highly recommended to ensure culturally proficient teachers.
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2004|