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The formation of a school subject and the nature of curriculum content: an analysis of liberal studies in Hong Kong

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This essay explores the nature of the curriculum content of liberal studies—a core school subject in the new senior secondary curriculum in Hong Kong—with reference to the curriculum-making processes entailed in the formation of that subject. The central thesis is that a school subject is introduced to schools and classrooms as a distinct representation of content embodied in curriculum materials, entailing a theory of content—a special way of selecting, organizing, and framing the content for social, cultural, educational, curricular, and pedagogical purposes. Knowing the content of a school subject thus entails knowing more than the content per se; it entails an understanding of the underlying theory of content, which is necessary for disclosing and realizing the educational potential embodied in the content.

Keywords: Hong Kong; curriculum content; curriculum-making; school subjects; subject matter

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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