Hong Kong secondary schools music education with special reference to changing curricula in the years of 1998 to 2009

Chan, Monnie Yuet-hung


Thesis or dissertation

© 2011 Monnie Yuet-hung Chan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The thesis explores issues relating to the secondary music examination curriculum in Hong Kong between 1998 and 2009. In 1998 the number of candidates taking ABRSM and TCL examinations was 50406 but HKALE and HKCEE, the candidate numbers were 18 at AL and 231 at CE level. This thesis seeks to explore reasons for the lack of interest and uptake by secondary school students of government music exams through an examination of the curriculum and proposed changes to it during the last 10 years.

This research, therefore, arises to study music education 1998 – 2009 and in particular to focus on proposed “developments” for 2002 and 2005 both of which were rejected. By 2010 the AL examination had been cancelled and the CE remains unchanged. The thesis explores the marginalization of an area of the school curriculum.

After a brief introduction to the research, chapter 2 gives a broad overview of education policy and curriculum development in secondary school music education in Hong Kong. Seven Education Commission Reports concerned with music education policy in secondary schools are examined.
Chapter 3 is a more detailed study of music education and the music curriculum in secondary schools in Hong Kong in which some significant studies and surveys in the field are studied. The S.S.M.C. report provides a useful and supporting back up to avoid any double work. In addition, the way in which music is covered and operated in the curriculum in different cultural environments (using the examples of England and Wales and Singapore) has been examined.

Chapter 4 discusses the issues raised from the research. Based on the information found, one of the main issues for this research is that the secondary school music teacher has the key role for a successful revolution in Hong Kong secondary music education.

Chapter 5 considers the hypotheses and methodologies. The research methods used are direct description with a simple statistical approach. Research methods used for this study include 5-Likert scales, summarizing content and constant comparative analysis. Furthermore, some tables, figures and documents are provided as a supplement.

Chapter 6 examines the data analysis. The results of this research are compared to the results of related researches in section 3.3. Feedback from target secondary school principals, music teachers, students and representative persons in the field is collected and reported.

Chapter 7 is the analysis of findings and discussion. The key finding is that most of the secondary school music teachers in Hong Kong do not encourage their students to take the HKCEE / HKALE music examinations. This study finds that, as music is neglected at schools, it is reaching a weak position in Hong Kong secondary schools, and its curriculum is threatened.

Chapter 8 gives the conclusions, recommendations for further research, limitations and significance of the study in terms of the principal theme. This is the first time any study has investigated the problem concerning secondary school music education in Hong Kong during the years from 1998 to 2009. The answer to the final question raised from this research, whether the Arts Education curriculum being introduced in 2005 is a good substitute for the subject, is still uncertain at this moment.

Note: Publication date not given on thesis

Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
Brookes, Kenneth; Wood, Caroline, 1948-
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