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ERIC Number: EJ898898
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-1555-5062
Teachers, Policymakers and Project Learning: The Questionable Use of "Hard" and "Soft" Policy Instruments to Influence the Implementation of Curriculum Reform in Hong Kong
Fok, Ping Kwan; Kennedy, Kerry J.; Chan, Jacqueline Kin Sang
International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, v5 n6 p1-14 2010
Following the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region developed wide-ranging curriculum reforms, including project learning. A recent survey has indicated that over 80% of Hong Kong primary and secondary schools have adopted project learning as a curriculum task. Such an outcome is hard to reconcile both with the culture of Hong Kong schools and the generally bleak picture that pervades the literature on educational change. In seeking an explanation for this apparent success we focus attention on the policy instruments that were used by government agencies to facilitate the process of implementation. Our analysis revealed that teachers were caught in a pincer movement that involved voluntary activities promoting project learning and coercive measures that monitored and evaluated successful implementation. Teachers' views of these policy instruments differed markedly from those of policymakers. This confluence of mixed approaches, while apparently successful, is also shown to be problematic. Finally, the paper is located in a theoretical framework with its origins in recent policy theory that to date has not been applied to educational contexts. (Contains 2 tables.)
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, and College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong