Value and value conflicts in curriculum: A comparison of official curriculum with practitioners’ perceived curriculum

Sze Yin Shirley YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


This presentation focuses on analyzing implicit values of Hong Kong’s official curriculum, and comparing them with school teachers’ curriculum values. School curriculum of a community often carries own values, belief and philosophy about education – some academic name these as “ideology”. Eisner(1994) categorizes curriculum ideologies into 6 kinds, they are Religious orthodoxy, Rational humanism, Progressivism, Critical theory, Reconceptualism, and Cognitive Pluralism. Schiro (1978) proposes 4 curricular ideologies: the social efficiency ideology; the scholar academic ideology; the child study ideology; and the social reconstruction ideology. There are other scholars who have various, sometimes similar categorization. Hong Kong is a special society which has gone through reign of colonization, and now has its sovereignty back to the People’s Republic of China from the year of 1997. Inevitably, school curriculum is affected by such political and economic change. Indeed, Hong Kong school curriculum has been undergoing various kinds of reforms since 1997, intertwined with changes in education policy. As a result, it may be somehow difficult to have a clear picture of the value implicit in its curriculum. This presentation traces various influential educational policies, with an intention to analyze how they shape local curriculum values. These include analysis of the rationales of comprehensive curriculum reform (Curriculum Development Council, 2001), External School Review and School Self Evaluation (Education Bureau, 2005), New Senior Six curriculum (Education and Manpower Bureau, 2005) and also language policies (Education Bureau, 2009). The presenter wishes to scrutinize if there is value conflict in curriculum thus brought forth by these official policies. It is interesting to further compare these with the values of the school practitioners. By a simple survey of curriculum ideology of a total of 60 school teachers, a general pattern is found. The presenters also interviews school teachers to understand their perceptions of official values in education and curriculum policy-making. It is even more interesting to sort out what strategies the Hong Kong government takes to manage discrepancy in values, if any, between formal curriculum and implemented curriculum. By the said comparison of official values and practitioners’ values in curriculum, the presenter examines certain threat and potentials to achieve harmony in local educational context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Yeung, S. Y. S. (2009, May). Value and value conflicts in curriculum: A comparison of official curriculum with practitioners’ perceived curriculum. Paper presented at The 33th Annual Pacific Circle Consortium Conference: Culture and civic purposes: in search of harmony in the local and global educational context, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan.


  • Curriculum ideology
  • Value in curriculum
  • Official and perceived curriculum


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