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Civic education guidelines in Hong Kong 1985-2012: striving for normative stability in turbulent social and political contexts

Chong, Eric King and Sant, Edda and Davies, Ian and Sant Obiols, Edda (2019) Civic education guidelines in Hong Kong 1985-2012: striving for normative stability in turbulent social and political contexts. Theory and Research in Social Education. ISSN 0093-3104 (In Press)

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Abstract

The dynamic of how civic education is framed during turbulent periods is illuminated through analysis of three Hong Kong official civic education curriculum guidelines (1985, 1996, 2012). These publicly available, officially sanctioned statements of purpose have particular relevance for education professionals, and are used around the world to characterize educational initiatives. Our focus is on guidelines, written during periods in which there was colonial hegemony by the UK (1985), an attempt to promote liberal democracy by the Hong Kongese (1996) and, an assertion of Chinese nationalism (2012). We argue that guidelines about civic education are similar across these times of political turbulence. There are shifts in the content of the guidelines but fundamental differences are not made explicit. The documents are not aligned with a theoretical framework of colonialism, liberal democracy or, Chinese nationalism but rather they are pragmatically oriented. Guidelines are signifiers of attempts to achieve normative stability.

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