The controversy over national education and identity: A case study of Hong Kong secondary school teachers

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Abstract

Purpose – This qualitative multiple-case study research attempts to examine controversies associated with national education and national identity by exploring the perceptions of national identity of Hong Kong secondary school teachers. Since the resumption of Hong Kong's sovereignty by China in 1997, national identification with Chinese has been a policy priority. Hong Kong has seen an increase of national education, which aims at cultivating a Chinese national identity. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted with case study method with a convenient sampling method on ten purposively chosen sample of Hong Kong secondary school teachers, who are responsible for citizenship education in their schools. It is a qualitative research design with each teacher interviewed twice to obtain in-depth interview data. Findings – The findings reveal that teachers perceive their national identity with different emphases, which include both elements of civic and ethnic nationalism. Also, Hong Kong teachers showed a diversified perception of their national identity both before and after 1997, and it was found that political, social and personal events exerted influences upon their national identification. These have implication for understanding identity issue and teaching citizenship education in Hong Kong. Originality/value – This paper attempts to make a contribution towards understanding teachers’ perceptions of national identity by revealing that Hong Kong teachers perceive their national identity with both elements of civic and ethnic nationalism, and their perceptions are mediated by political, social and personal events. Furthermore, multiple levels of identities, namely, local, national, and global levels, should be observed. Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-262
JournalAsian Education and Development Studies
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

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secondary school teacher
national identity
Hong Kong
education
teacher
nationalism
citizenship
event
sovereignty
research planning
qualitative research
China
methodology
Teaching
interview
school
Values

Citation

Chong, K. M. (2013). The controversy over national education and identity: A case study of Hong Kong secondary school teachers. Asian Education and Development Studies, 2(3), 241-262.

Keywords

  • In-depth and open-ended interviews
  • Multiple-case study
  • National identity
  • Perceptions
  • Secondary school teachers
  • Hong Kong