Use and misuse of affective approach in nationalistic education within the context of civic education

Yan Wing LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In Hong Kong, the Guidelines on Civic Education for Schools (1996) recommended nationalistic education as one of the five aspects of civic educatioin. As an aspect of civic education, nationalistic education should serve both a cognitive mission of "preparing critical thinking, responsible, participating, multidimensional citizens" and an affective mission of "instilling the sense of national identity, love and loyalty to the nation state and patriotism". These two missions are in potential conflict. In order to achieve both missions, an appropriate balance between cognitive and affective teaching approaches is necessary. Two commonly adopted affective approaches used for the affective function are positive and negative approaches. This paper is an exploratory report of case studies on the use and misuse of affective approaches in nationalistic edcuation by some civic educators in Hong Kong secondary schools. It was found that in-depth and systematic reflection was needed to balance the two potential conflicting missions. Moreover, it was also found that if handled inappropriately, a positive approach might lead to bias and indoctrination while the extreme manifestation of a negative approach might even lead to 'education for hatred'. Both are contradictory to the cognitive function of preparing critical thinking citizens. Copyright © 2003 Pacific Circle Consortium for Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-24
JournalPacific-Asian Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Hong Kong
conflict potential
national identity
nation state
secondary school


Leung, Y. W. (2003). Use and misuse of affective approach in nationalistic education within the context of civic education. Pacific-Asian Education, 15(1), 6-24.


  • Secondary Education
  • Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning