Education Journal


2019.第47卷第2期(Vol. 47 No. 2).pp. 81–101


The Rationale Behind Reintroducing Prescribed Texts in the Hong Kong Senior Secondary Chinese Language Curriculum

李玉蓉(Yuk-Yung LI)





Around the year 2000, the Hong Kong secondary Chinese language curriculum underwent a major reform. Significantly, the curriculum no longer prescribed any texts. Instead, schools chose materials to fit their students’ needs. In 2015, the revised senior secondary Chinese language curriculum reintroduced 12 required classical texts. This study explicates the rationale behind the changes, through analyzing government documents and interviewing decision makers. The recent change was a compromise by decision makers to address frontline teachers’ concerns. However, the decision makers reframed the problems and positioned the prescribed texts in the curriculum. In doing so, the decision makers hoped to avoid the problems of the old curriculum, to preserve the spirit of the new curriculum, and to advance the cultivation of moral and cultural development. The study findings deepen our understanding of the key features of the revised curriculum and the positioning and development of the Chinese language curriculum in Hong Kong.

Keywords: Chinese language curriculum; curriculum change; prescribed texts; curriculum decision making; Hong Kong