In search of an identity: The politics of history as a school subject in Hong Kong, 1960's-2002

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The Idea of Conducting Research into History Curriculum development originally occurred to me while I was a history teacher at a secondary school in Hong Kong's New Territories, in the four years immediately preceding the territory's retrocession to China. It struck me then as particularly odd firstly that there were two completely separate 'history' subjects in the curriculum-one, 'History', taught (like most subjects at that school) in English, and the other, 'Chinese History', taught in Chinese-and, secondly, that there was absolutely no coverage of local history in either of these subjects. The 'History' subject instead consisted almost exclusively of topics in modern European and East Asian topics while, from what I could gather from my students, 'Chinese History' purveyed a highly triumphalist and ethno-centric narrative of the ancient Chinese past. In 1996-7 there were a number of reports in the local media concerning the pressing 'need' (usually expressed by pro-Beijing elements either locally or on the mainland) to purge the local history curriculum of 'colonialist' interpretations of the past. However, it was not immediately apparent to me, as a practising history teacher, precisely what these 'colonial' elements consisted of, nor how 'colonialism' might explain the undoubted peculiarities of the history curriculum for local schools. I decided to investigate, and the result, in 2000, was the PhD dissertation upon which this book is based.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIn Search of an Identity
Subtitle of host publicationThe Politics of History as a School Subject in Hong Kong, 1960s-2002
Number of pages321
ISBN (Print)041594502X, 9780203488485
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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