Constructions of civic education: Hong Kong teachers’ perceptions of moral, civic and national education*

Koon Lin Wong, Chi Kin John Lee, Kin Sang Jacqueline Chan, Kerry John Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Various terms have been used to define civic education (CE) in Hong Kong since the colonial era. This has been particularly true since 2011, when CE has been given many names, causing confusion among educators. Mixed methods were employed to examine teachers’ perceptions of different conceptions of CE expressed as moral, civic and national education. The findings indicate that some teachers might not be able to differentiate among moral education, CE and national education. Most teachers contended that national education should be included in CE, while others believed the opposite. Teachers perceived that moral and civic education was more successful than moral and national education in cultivating students to become ‘good citizens’. Teachers’ comprehension of these terms has policy and pedagogical implications. While the study is set within the context of Hong Kong, the findings are valuable to policymakers and educators in other countries seeking to improve CE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-646
Number of pages19
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian and Western cultures
  • Moral
  • civic education
  • good citizens
  • national education
  • teachers’ perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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