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Education reform in Hong Kong : the "through-road" model and its societal consequences
International Review of Education
  • Yuk Kang, Anita POON, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Yiu Chung WONG, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
Springer Netherlands

Although Hong Kong's education system has long been criticized as lacking in creativity and over-emphasising rote learning, on the whole it has served Hong Kong well in the past years, breeding outstanding business, academic and political leaders who continue to maintain Hong Kong's competitive edge. The traditional elite schools have played a crucial role in the process. The education reform, which is still on-going, aims to overhaul the entire system by introducing the "through-road" model. To accomplish this, some mechanisms need to be changed. J.P. Farrell's concepts of equality and equity, C.W. Mills' concept of elitism, and P. Bourdieu and J. Coleman's concepts of cultural and social capital will be applied to analyse the consequences of the reform. The paper argues that the education reform may be well-intentioned in eliminating some elements of inequality and inequity in education, but that this comes at the expense of Hong Kong's cultural and social capital and leads to the development of new forms of inequality.

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Citation Information
Poon, A. Y. K., & Wong, Y.-C. (2008). Education reform in Hong Kong: The "through-road" model and its societal consequences. International Review of Education, 54(1), 33-55. doi: 10.1007/s11159-007-9073-9