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Volume 6 Number 3, Autumn 2009, Pages 1-401   

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Proposed Changes in the Senior Secondary Curriculum in English Language in Hong Kong: Perceptions of School Principals and Teachers

    Benjamin Li

This paper reports on the assessment of readiness and receptivity of school principals, English panel chairpersons and English teachers for the implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum (NSSC) in English Key Learning Area (KLA) in Hong Kong. Recent research has probed into the dilemmas and challenges faced by school administrators and frontline teachers when facing curriculum change. Such challenges exist in the management of change, the teachers' readiness for change, and in problems with collaboration among the stakeholders. Drawing on these research findings the analysis of this paper focuses on whether such problems are also re-occurring in the implementation of change in the NSSC, and if so, considers how they can be resolved. Using qualitative research procedures four key questions were addressed: how far the school personnel understood the changes in the NSSC; the extent to which they felt they could implement the new curriculum; which factors encouraged/constrained implementation; and the possible effects of change on schools. The findings showed that schools with students of high or medium ability seemed to be more positive in terms of perceptions and receptivity at the initial stage of change, while schools dominated by cohorts of medium or low academic ability students appeared to be resistant to the shift in pedagogic arrangements. Yet all the school principals interviewed expressed their unreserved agreement with the spirit of the new curriculum.

Keywords: age key learning area, curriculum development, secondary schools, qualitative case studies

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