Developing Integrated Arts Curriculum in Hong Kong: Chaos Theory at Work?

Marina W Y WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This article reports the development of integrated arts curriculum in two Hong Kong secondary schools over a 9-year period. Initial findings display a range of individual responses to educational change that are both non-predictable and non-linear. Chaos theory is used to explain these varied responses in terms of bifurcations. The findings of this study are presented as a narrative that posits a developmental model comprising personal and external domains being informed by contextual feedback. Personal domains refer to the teachers' education, their teaching experience and their motivational energies to improve their professional status quo. External domains refer to such contextual influences as educational policies, students, colleagues and school administration. Bifurcation explains why integrated arts curriculums impact different schools and individuals in different ways. Four factors are identified to have contributed to the failure or success of integrated arts curriculum: (1) school management support, (2) individual teachers' specialized knowledge, (3) feedback that regenerates and redefines curriculum design, and (4) teacher autonomy and professional growth. A conclusion is drawn that questions the final form of Hong Kong integrated arts curriculum which retains the non-integrated features of subject specialisation and individual teaching rather than co-teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-232
Number of pages23
JournalCurriculum Inquiry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing Integrated Arts Curriculum in Hong Kong: Chaos Theory at Work?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this