Using school evaluation policy to effect curriculum change? A reflection on the SSE and ESR exercise in Hong Kong

Sze Yin Shirley YEUNG

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Abstract

In Hong Kong, despite the officials’ efforts to reform the school curriculum, studies have found that implementation of the proposed changes has been superficial (Yeung, 2006, 2009). Recently, evidence-based school self-evaluation has become a global trend in the school improvement movement. The Education Bureau in Hong Kong has followed this trend and launched a school evaluation policy — School Self Evaluation (SSE) and External School Review (ESR). The pair of evaluation measures was initiated to help schools to evaluate their own effectiveness, to ensure public accountability and to achieve self development (Quality Assurance Division, 2006). This paper shares the findings from a local research, which looks into the perception of the policy by school curriculum leaders and its possible impact on the school curriculum and teachers. The curriculum leaders described both positive and negative effects, potential threats and weaknesses of the school evaluation policy. Specific attention was given to how effective school evaluation in effect makes curriculum reform mandatory. Findings show how the local school curriculum can be controlled by bureaucratic preferences through SSE and ESR, and ultimately lost its ability to deal with diversity. It also shows how such forces impede teachers’ professional autonomy and liberty. Copyright © 2010 Hong Kong Educational Research Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-209
JournalEducational Research Journal
Volume25
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Hong Kong
curriculum
evaluation
school
leader
reform
school policy
trend
teacher
quality assurance
autonomy
threat
responsibility

Citation

Yeung, S. S.-y. (2010). Using school evaluation policy to effect curriculum change? A reflection on the SSE and ESR exercise in Hong Kong. Educational Research Journal, 25(2), 187-209.

Keywords

  • School evaluation
  • Curriculum change
  • Curriculum implementation