Politics, culture, and school curriculum: The struggles in Hong Kong

Wai Chung HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to describe the Hong Kong (HK) school curriculum, especially the general curriculum for civic education and other social subjects, in relation to the political events of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident, and the return of HK's sovereignty from the United Kingdom (UK) to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1997. This paper will argue that since 1984, the school curriculum of HK has been marked by tensions brought about by political cultures shaped by the UK and the PRC, the bureaucratic mechanisms of which are used to make sure that those curriculum contents that are judged to be politically correct are taught in school. Over the last two decades the school curriculum has been depicted as being shaped by the emergence of the nation-state and the transfer of sovereignty. Granted that political and national education forms part of the school culture, the question of how to shape students to be patriotic through the curriculum will continue to be contentious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-157
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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