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A study of primary school heads’ perceptions of the new Moral and Civic Education (MCE) curriculum of 2001 and the implications for its implementation in Hong Kong

By Wing-hung Cheung

Abstract

The research studies school heads’ perception of the implementation of the new Moral and Civic Education (MCE) curriculum in Hong Kong primary schools. The MCE curriculum is positioned as a key task in curriculum reform since 2001. The present study recognises school leadership role in steering curriculum delivery in which school heads’ perception is one of the determinants in shaping curriculum execution.\ud Qualitative approach is adopted to uncover the factors affecting the perception of school heads and subsequent implementation strategies. Purposive sampling of six primary school heads is identified for interview to collect data. Content analysis is employed to make inferences from the data reviewing how school heads’ personal belief and values orientation affect the delivery of the curriculum. The MCE curriculum, resting on virtue ethics projecting desirable values to be promoted, is appealing to the school heads. The MCE curriculum designed as values education, resonates Chinese culture emphasizing cultivation of virtue through education while at the same time addressing the societal expectation of the call for promoting national identity with the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997. Given the social and political context of Hong Kong, positive attitude is exhibited by all the sample school heads but they respond differently to the curricular role, reflecting a wide spectrum of understanding of the curriculum and pedagogical competency. The research findings propose the importance of a heightened awareness of school heads’ cognition of the curriculum but their attitude towards the curriculum is deterministic how the curriculum is implemented. The attitude taken hinges on the values and belief of school heads vis a vis organisation values of the school. A model portraying school heads’ awareness, attitude and action for curriculum implementation is recommended to further study school leadership with implications for theory building and practice

Topics: school leadership, values and valuation, virtue ethics, perception, curricular leadership, values education, Moral and Civic Education curriculum
Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9171

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