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Is the Education Reform in Hong Kong Privileging Middle Class Origin Students?

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Is the Education Reform in Hong Kong Privileging Middle Class Origin Students? Introduction In recent years, an education reform is carried out by the Hong Kong Government in response to the economic and social structural changes in the local society under the impact of globalization. The education reform aims to promote whole-person development and self-learning by replacing the existing academic intensive curriculum with a more diversified curriculum1 together with the introduction of new modes of learning. The Hong Kong Curriculum Development Council (2000) beliefs that the new diversified curriculum and learning modes enable students to enjoy learning and attain all-round development in areas such as creativity, communication skills and the sense of commitment. (HKSAR, 2000) reference: Curriculum Reform (02): Learning to Learn (Consultation Document), 24November2000 Curriculum Development Council In spite of this belief, some people argue that the new curriculum and learning modes, which put more focus on students' experiences in extra-curricular activities, group discussion and project learning may privilege middle class over working class origin students. In this essay, I am going to first identify the middle class and working class students by defining the term "social class"; secondly, discuss the motives of the changes in education system (the education reform) under the principle of social integration in order to show the relationship between the educational changes and social classes; finally, I will analysis the new curriculum and the new learning modes by comparing the quality in education participation and education results of the two classes. ...read more.


This can be explained by the theories of cultural deprivation between the two classes. Parents from the middle class can always successfully create an atmosphere at home to arise the interest of their children in different cultural and sports activities. They provide their children with a stimulating learning environment at home and act as examples for their children. Since the new curriculum also emphasizes on self-learning which requires students to read a lot of books and seek for information by themselves out of the classroom, I am going to demonstrate an example of cultural deprivation privileging middle class students with the reading habit. Parents who read frequently provide a cultural home environment that has an affinity with and resembles the cultural school climate. The cultural connection makes for the positive impact of having parents who read, so that children who are used to having books and to reading at home are not startled by common reading practices at school. Moreover, those parents have linguistic and cognitive skills that were rewarded in school and can pass these educational skills on to their offspring. More specifically,. In addition, parents who read frequently have more cultural literacy and are probably better informed on how their children's functioning in school can be improved. ...read more.


The new teaching modes such as the group discussions and presentations introduced in the Hong Kong curriculum reform involve a lot of communication skills based on the elaborated code. Students are required to present their ideas in context independent circumstances and this language feature is only present in the elaborated code. This leads to a great disadvantage to the working class students who do not frequently expose to the elaborate language code at home. They may find difficulties in expressing their point of view and be understood by the other students or teachers. When middle class students are dominated in a classroom, the working class students may be underrepresented and will soon lose confidence in speaking or interacting with others. This seriously hinders their learning process and affects their academic achievements. Curriculum under Mechanical Solidarity has definable subjects where subjects under Organic Solidarity are topic-centred; 1 The reformed curriculum aims to provide 5 types of essential learning experiences: moral and civil education, social service, intellectual development, physical development, aesthetic development as well as wok-related experience for students who are required to gain a balance exposure in all the 5 types of experiences. (HKSAR, 2000) 2 According to Karl Marx' definition, under capitalism, the way to pursuit of profit by the owners of the industrial means of production is different from the way by the labors and these create social classes. 3 4 Classification is the degree of boundary maintenance between the subject contents. ...read more.

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