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Factors affecting the implementation of curriculum reform in Hong Kong: Key findings from a large‐scale survey study

Alan C.K. Cheung (School of Education, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
Ping Man Wong (Department of Educational Policy and Leadership, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po, Hong Kong)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 13 January 2012




The objective of this paper was to examine key hindering and facilitating factors in schools during the first stage of the curriculum reform (2001‐2006) in Hong Kong and to identify key strategies to address these challenges.


A total of 150 primary and 120 secondary schools with 7,869 key stakeholders including principals, curriculum leaders, teachers, and students participated in the study. The data for this study was collected from the following two major methods: survey questionnaire and in‐depth interviews. The response rate was 95 percent.


In spite of the different roles played by each stakeholder in the curriculum reform, the perceptions of school principals, curriculum leaders, and teachers were very similar with regards to the factors that facilitated and hindered their successful implementation of the reform. Consistent with the current literature, the findings clearly indicated that the recent curriculum reform in Hong Kong was still facing several key obstacles and challenges that were common in many other countries, in the implementation stage, such as teachers' heavy workloads, learning diversity in class, and teachers' inadequate understanding of the reform.


The study is important in that this was the first large‐scale study ever conducted to examine the progress of the recent curriculum reform in Hong Kong. The findings of the results generate important policy recommendations that may improve the implementation of the curriculum reform in the next phase and contribute to the related literature in the areas of curriculum reform not only in Hong Kong but also other parts of the world.



Cheung, A.C.K. and Man Wong, P. (2012), "Factors affecting the implementation of curriculum reform in Hong Kong: Key findings from a large‐scale survey study", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 39-54.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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