Hong Kong Teachers Balk at New Courses on China

By Ann Scott Tyson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 19, 1990 | Go to article overview

Hong Kong Teachers Balk at New Courses on China


Ann Scott Tyson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


LIFTING a decades-old taboo on teaching about post-1949 China, Hong Kong's government is revising its curriculum to give secondary school students their first lessons on the communist regime that will rule them from 1997.

Academics agree on the urgent need to prepare Hong Kong youths for China's takeover of the British colony, less than seven years away. But they differ sharply on how to do so.

Since Beijing suppressed popular protests for democracy in June 1989, liberal educators have lobbied for courses on modern China and the West that would strengthen the political literacy of youths and promote a more representative system of government in Hong Kong.

In contrast, conservative Hong Kong education authorities, eager to ensure a smooth transition to Chinese rule, are promoting uncritical courses aimed at increasing students' patriotism and identity as future citizens of the People's Republic of China, local academics say.

Trapped in the middle of the debate are Hong Kong's teachers, who say they bear the burden of deciding how to present the controversial new courses broadly outlined by the revised curricula. Many seek to emigrate before 1997 or decline to teach the new courses.

"Schools are having difficulty finding teachers" for planned courses on communist China, said one Hong Kong educator.

"When you teach post-1949 history, you are basically discussing the current regime. Teachers fear that they may say something that will be taken against them later on," said the educator, requesting anonymity.

As a result, Hong Kong school children could still remain ignorant of major events in China.

For generations, children here have created images of the vast country across the border not from textbooks, but from the often frightening stories told by refugee parents and grandparents over dinner-time bowls of rice.

"When I was in school, I didn't learn anything about post-1949 China, and everything I heard outside was extremely negative," says a Hong Kong secondary school teacher.

For more than 40 years, the British administration kept modern Chinese politics out of textbooks and classroom discussions in an attempt to minimize Beijing's influence in the colony.

The government "pretended that the history of communist China didn't exist," says Paul Morris, dean of the University of Hong Kong's faculty of education. "It was apoliticization at all costs."

Until the late 1960s, high school instruction on Chinese history was dry and dynastic, ending with the fall of the Qing Dynasty 1911. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hong Kong Teachers Balk at New Courses on China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.