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Changing the Curriculum

The Impact of Reform on Primary Schooling in Hong Kong

Bob Adamson ,Ka-ki Chan

Publication Year: 2000

The Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) is arguably the most comprehensive, fundamental and controversial attempt to promote systemic curriculum reform in Hong Kong. It aimed at a radical change in the nature of knowledge, pedagogy and assessment in schools.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Contents

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pp. v-vii

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Acknowledgements

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pp. ix-

In carrying out the research for this book, we were assisted by many school heads, teachers, pupils, education officials, publishers and other people who gave generously of their time. We are indebted to the Education Department of the Hong Kong SAR government, the Epson Foundation...

About the Contributors

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pp. xi-xiv

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Foreword — Contextualizing the Curriculum

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pp. xv-xvi

I have long been an admirer of the curriculum research that has emanated from Hong Kong. At its best, and this book is in that category, the work has been generative and insightful and has worked successfully across the many levels and arenas of curriculum action...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-3

This book is derived from a four-year study of the impact of the implementation of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) in primary schools in Hong Kong. The chapters in this book are not primarily designed to summarize the results of the evaluation study per se. These results were...

PART ONE - The Policy Level

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pp. 5-40

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1.Changing Hong Kong's Schools

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pp. 7-20

Curriculum reforms in recent decades have been characterized by a shift away from school-based initiatives towards state-mandated attempts to promote forms of outcomes-based education. The National Curriculum in the United Kingdom and the curriculum frameworks in Australia are...

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2.The Commissioning and Decommissioning of Curriculum Reforms — The Career of the Target Oriented Curriculum

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pp. 21-40

The Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) is arguably the most comprehensive, fundamental and controversial attempt to promote systemic curriculum reform in Hong Kong's primary schools. Its introduction in 1991, and subsequent promotion by the government, has generated...

PART TWO - Schools and Teachers

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pp. 41-140

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Introduction

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pp. 43-45

This part contains four case studies — three of schools and one of a teacher — that were conducted over an extended period by highly experienced educators in Hong Kong. The results are rich, threedimensional pictures of the impact of reform on the grassroots reality...

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3.Learning Without Tears? The Relativity of a Curriculum Reform and Its Impact

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pp. 47-79

'Education is a complex system, and its reform is even more complex' (Fullan and Miles 1995, p. 405). Failure to recognize this results in what Elmore describes as the basic pattern of reform efforts: 'grand pretensions, faulty execution, puny results' (Elmore 1997, p. 241). Educational reform...

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4.From Enthusiasm to Caution

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pp. 81-104

'The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.' This was an outcry from a school head at a seminar delivering the message of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) reform. It seems inevitable that any educational innovation, even one that has been supported in principle, will face...

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5.Special Schools and the Target Oriented Curriculum for Children with Mental Handicap

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pp. 105-119

The purpose of this chapter is to consider special school teachers' views of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) for children with mental handicap. The chapter begins with a review of the provision of special education for children with mental handicap in Hong Kong and presents an account of...

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6.Emerging Through Participation — The Professional Journey of a Primary School Chinese Language Teacher

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pp. 121-140

In Hong Kong, there is very little research literature on the professional development of teachers. However, it is a popular topic in the press, where there is a tendency for journalists to portray a negative image of the profession as being reluctant to face changes demanded by the...

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PART THREE - Teaching and Learning

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pp. 141-242

The chapters in this part are each concerned with a specific element of the curriculum that was promoted by the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC): task-based learning, student-centred pedagogy, criterion-referenced assessment and catering for diversity. Emerging from the studies is how...

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7. Tasks in English Language and Chinese Language

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pp. 145-173

In setting out learning targets for Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) subjects, official documents suggest that these targets be best achieved through pupils carrying out learning tasks. The rationale is that the targets are designed to encourage a learner-centred, process-oriented constructivist...

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8.Beyond Labels — Teacher-centred and Pupil-centred Activities

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pp. 175-193

As noted throughout this book, Hong Kong classrooms have often been described as teacher-centred with an emphasis on learning by rote. Influenced by Western practices, teaching methods emphasizing student activity, self-regulation and student-centredness, with much co-operative...

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9.One Function, Two Systems — Changing Assessment in Hong Kong's Primary Schools

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pp. 195-215

At an early stage after the introduction and adoption of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC), it became clear that the Target Oriented Assessment (TOA) constituted the major concern in schools and a barrier to change. TOA is described as an integral part of TOC, 'designed to promote...

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10.Catering for Diversity

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pp. 217-242

One of the distinctive features of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC), which has received broad public support, is its promotion of the necessity for schools to cater for the diverse needs of and individual differences among pupils. The policy rationale for the TOC initiative, as set out in...

PART FOUR - Conclusion

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pp. 243-275

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11.Improving Schools in Hong Kong —Lessons from the Past

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pp. 245-262

This book has explored the impact of a systemic curriculum reform on schools, teachers and classrooms in Hong Kong. We have located our analysis in the international literature that relates to innovation and change, and our audience, so far, has primarily been our peers who are involved...

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12.Issues in Evaluating a Large-scale Curriculum Reform

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pp. 263-275

The purpose of this chapter is to explore issues relating to the evaluation of a large-scale curriculum reform and their solutions, based on a fouryear study, the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) Evaluation Project in Hong Kong. The project involved the interaction among applied research...

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Afterword — The Lived Curriculum

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pp. 277-292

Paul Morris introduced Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) into my life a few days before Christmas 1997 when I stopped in Hong Kong briefly on my way home to Sweden from Australia, to discuss with him and Professor Amy Tsui what I was going to do as Visiting Professor at the University...

Bibliography

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pp. 293-304

Index

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pp. 305-315


E-ISBN-13: 9789882200616
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622095229

Page Count: 332
Publication Year: 2000

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Curriculum change -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Education, Elementary -- Curricula -- China -- Hong Kong.
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