The issue of diversity in the Hong Kong school curriculum

Bick Har LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Two decades after I left teaching primary school for a university career, I observed students and teachers in a mainstream primary school in Hong Kong. There were three main student communities within the school. Those who were labeled extremely low achievers were taught in a small class of not more than 12; these students were taught a curriculum that featured art and play. They appeared to enjoy school life very much. Another group of extremely low academic ability students were taught a curriculum that followed the mainstream. This group had adjustment problems that resulted in emotional reactions and frustrations. The final group were the low academic ability students who were integrated into a larger class with the average students. This small group behaved aggressively and constantly created disruptions and discipline problems. My observation of this school has updated my understanding of students, teachers, and the school environment after 20 years. My reflections do not focus on a comparison of the past and present, but they do relate the past to the experience of my return to school. I want to share the lessons I learned from Hong Kong education, from studying some generic problems that have existed in our culture over a period of time. I hope the discussion can stimulate readers from different countries to reflect on situations of their own at a time when student learning and learner diversities are paramount in the call for curriculum reform. Copyright © 2008 Francis W. Parker School, Chicago.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-140
JournalSchools: Studies in Education
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Lam, B. H. (2008). The issue of diversity in the Hong Kong school curriculum: Student communities in a mainstream school. Schools: Studies in Education, 5(1/2), 118-140.


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