Journal of Basic Education


2008.第17卷第2期(Vol. 17 No. 2).pp. 139–158


Hong Kong Civic Education Teachers’ Understanding of National Education and Their Teaching Methodology

梁恩榮(Yan-Wing LEUNG)





This paper reveals that civic education teachers in Hong Kong have an eclectic understanding of national education, which comprises education for “cosmopolitan”, “civic” and “cultural” nationalism. Most teachers do not identify with “anti-colonial” or “totalitarian” approaches to national education. Teachers leaning towards cosmopolitan and civic nationalism usually adopt teaching strategies that reflect liberal values and are more inclined to emphasize the cultivation of “critical patriots” as their aim. However, teachers more inclined towards education for totalitarian nationalism usually adopt doctrinaire teaching approaches which often suppress critical thinking. Teachers more inclined towards educating for cultural nationalism usually adopt a diverse mix of affective and cognitive approaches, making it sometimes difficult to predict whether national education is fulfilling a cognitive or affection mission. It is recommended that for a cosmopolitan city like Hong Kong, an eclectic understanding of education for cosmopolitan, civic and cultural nationalism, coupled with a mix of a critical thinking approach, issue-based approach, civic participatory approach and affective approach, should be considered as the foundation for the development of a liberal national education.