The evaluation of the primary mathematics curriculum in Hong Kong

Hok Chun Dennis KOO

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


The paper focuses on the evaluation of the present curriculum in Hong Kong. It discusses the analysis of questionnaires collected from 130 primary schools in Hong Kong. Findings regarding the views of mathematics teachers on the goals of curriculum, teaching content and assessment methods are also presented.
Besides the paper discusses the learning and teaching strategies in the mathematics classroom, small class teaching (SCT) has been adopted by most of the schools in the first three years of primary education for about ten years. A lot of research has been conducted to study the efficacy of SCT. Most of the studies confirmed the benefits of SCT. The author made a study of this in 4 primary schools. There were classroom observations for 10 lessons. Whether their teaching can enhance children^ higher order thinking skills will also be investigated. In Hong Kong, the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) is an assessment administered at the territory level. It facilitates assessment for learning by providing schools with objective data on students' performances at the end of Key Stages 1-3. This paper examines its efficacy and discusses the public view on it.
Teachers are interviewed regarding their views on the mathematics curriculum and their experiences. Children are also interviewed to investigate their interest in mathematics learning. The paper continues to discuss the mathematics curriculum in 3 different countries namely, the United States, the United Kingdom and Mainland China. A brief comparison is made regarding the content of their primary mathematics curricula, the learning and teaching strategies, children^ interest in mathematics learning and the cultural impact on their learning. Moreover, analysis of the cultural differences and contextual factors such as high expectation of parents, keen competition in education may shed light on the design of the mathematics curriculum. Research into comparative studies of the mathematics curricula of major Asian and Western countries shows that in Hong Kong, the introduction of topics into the curriculum is on average 2 years earlier than the international average. In recent years, Hong Kong students ranked very high both in Grade 4 and in Grade 8 in TIMSS. However, Hong Kong is probably the place with the least flexibility and choice in the mathematics curriculum. This could be of interest to educators in other countries. Recommendations are made to enhance the quality of the primary mathematics curriculum in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


Koo, H. C. D. (2017, June). The evaluation of the primary mathematics curriculum in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 2017 Hong Kong Mathematics Education Conference, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

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