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Parental Choice of Private Primary Schools in Hong Kong

By Cindy Woon-ling Tam


The purpose of this study is to identify and examine the factors that are affecting Chinese parental decisions to enroll their children in local private non-profit Christian primary schools in Hong Kong. Two research instruments were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from parents. These include the questionnaire survey and the follow-up telephone interviews. A total of 1404 questionnaires were given out, to three different schools, with a return rate of 82%. A total of 59 parents who returned their questionnaires were interviewed for explanation of their responses. Documentary analyses were conducted to assess whether or not the case schools are in line with the parents' expressed preferences.\ud The study identifies three leading criteria which parents use in the selection of a private primary school. The "academic-centered" aspects and the "child-centered" aspects (Woods, Bagley and Glatter, 1998) have been found to be parents' major concerns and they are closely linked to teacher attitudes which parents value highly. The selection criteria were perceived to be influenced by traditional Chinese cultural values on education and character development.\ud A parent-school interaction pattern has been established in this study. It reflects the concern of parents on the effectiveness of the school in enhancing students' discipline and academic performance through teachers with positive attitudes. Common parental school choice factors are examined and discussed. The study established that parents perceived positive teacher attitudes to be interconnected with student's behavioural and academic performance. It also established that parents who perceived the effectiveness of Chinese cultural values on education also perceived improvements in child's behavioural and academic performance.\ud This study provides school administrators with additional understanding of the interconnecting relations between children's school performance and teacher attitudes. A model of private school choice framework was created to show the interactions among parents, teachers, students and the school management

Topics: Chinese cultural values, Hong Kong, Primary school, Parental choice, Private
Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9982

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