The Biology Curriculum in Hong Kong — Trends and Challenges

1996.第24卷第1期(Vol. 24 No. 1).pp. 155–176


The Biology Curriculum in Hong Kong — Trends and Challenges


Din-Yan YIP(葉殿恩)


Following the implementation of Integrated Science in the junior secondary level in the 1970s, the local biology curriculum became more practical and inquiry-oriented and followed a functional approach in the study of living systems. Since then, the biology curriculum has undergone some significant changes. There has been a continual reduction in syllabus content through deletion of outdated topics and clarification of syllabus requirement. The problem of widespread practice of over-teaching has been attributed to teachers' negligence to syllabus revisions and misunderstanding of syllabus requirements. The aim of developing mastery of scientific processes and skills has not been successfully achieved, although the Certificate of Examination (CE) Biology Examination has increased its emphasis on students' understanding of scientific processes. To promote the development of scientific literacy, the syllabus includes some topics that have a direct relevance or application to the real world. This emphasis is also reflected in the CE Biology questions. To offset the deterioration of power of organization and expression in biology students, the CE Biology questions increase their demand on communication skills. Starting from 1995, bonus marks are awarded to answers that are well presented. Several directions for future curriculum development are formulated. These include reviewing the aims and objectives of biology education and translating them into the subject content.