2005.第33卷第1–2期(Vol. 33 Nos. 1–2).pp. 63–87



Teacher Professionalism in Educational Reform: The Experiences of Hong Kong and Shanghai

黎萬紅、盧乃桂(Manhong LAI & Leslie N. K. LO)




The quality of school education has been a major concern in the education systems of Hong Kong and Shanghai since the 1990s. As indispensable contributors to such massive reform efforts, teachers in Hong Kong and Shanghai were counted on to ensure the successful implementation of “quality education” in the schools that they served. From field observation and interviews, teachers working in schools of the two cities responded differently to the policy measures for “quality education.” While teachers in Hong Kong tended to adopt those policy measures that were considered beneficial to their students, teachers in Shanghai were more likely to be accommodating in applying those measures. Teachers in Hong Kong were more vocal in expressing their frustration caused by the intensification of work. Their Shanghai counterparts seldom expressed their dissent from state initiatives. Teachers’ work in Hong Kong was being increasingly mediated by influences of the emerging market of schooling, whereas the work of Shanghai teachers was still monitored by the state. Whether teachers were able to have their own interpretation of “professionalism,” like those in Hong Kong, or followed closely the official interpretation of “professionalism” in state rhetoric, like those in Shanghai, teacher professionalism in both cities can be viewed as “confined professionalism.” The relatively weak awareness of professionalism, as demonstrated by teachers in Hong Kong and Shanghai, should warrant that serious consideration be given to teacher empowerment in both societies.