Music education and cultural and national values

Wai-Chung Ho*, Wing-Wah Law

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine music teachers' perceptions of teaching cultural and national values (also defined as national cultural values) to explore the tensions facing school music education in the choice of music types to be delivered in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Design/methodology/approach: With specific regard to music teachers' perceptions of “values,” “music cultures” and “nationalism,” data were drawn from a survey questionnaire given to 343 music teachers (155 preservice and 188 in-service music teachers) and semistructured interviews with 36 of these respondents.

Findings: The findings of the study showed that though many respondents in Hong Kong and Taiwan felt comfortable teaching traditional Chinese music, they did not want to teach contemporary Mainland Chinese music and other political or patriotic forms in the school music curriculum. The data also demonstrated some shortcomings in introducing a balance of music types into the curriculum, as well as limitations in promoting national education in response to the respective sociopolitical situations in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Research limitations/implications: This study was subject to limitations regarding the potential generalizability of the findings on school music teachers' perceptions in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Practical implications: The implications for teachers and student teachers regarding the development of cultural and national values related to the political processes in Hong Kong and Taiwan are complicated, because of not only their relationship with Mainland China and its education based on nationalism but also the extent of teachers' professional training to help create an enabling environment for national and cultural development.

Originality/value: The findings of this study revealed that there are fundamental gaps in the overt and operational curricula in Hong Kong and Taiwan concerning the sociopolitical function of values in school music education in response to their respective sociopolitical situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-232
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cultural and national values
  • Hong Kong
  • Music teachers
  • School music education
  • Taiwan


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