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The evolution of citizenship education in nation-building in Singapore and Hong Kong

Tin, Teo Guan (2006) The evolution of citizenship education in nation-building in Singapore and Hong Kong. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Citizenship Education is a highly political agenda for politicians and governments, especially those of the emerging nations studied in transitology. Political circumstances that surround the birth of ล nation are inextricably tied up with the unique economic, social and even globalisation contexts that shape the formation of that particular nation. Citizenship education mirrors the political climate of such circumstances. A ruling government's policies and ideologies are often transmitted to the masses through education in the form of citizenship education in its evolving forms that take after the political orientations of the nation. A historical-comparative study of Singapore and Hong Kong is the focus of the thesis and a combined case in point. This historical-comparative approach presents a chronological and qualitative analysis of Singapore and Hong Kong that links the past to the present, and points to future direction on how citizenship education has transformed in its focus, dimensions, content, message and values. Theories of nationalism, nation-state and national identity provide a basis for the understanding of the political, economic and social factors that impact nation- building and the subsequent evolvement of Civic and Moral Education in Singapore and Hong Kong after independence. In an analysis of the content-domain of citizenship education, Singapore’s curriculum is shown to reflect the ruling party's ideologies infused through National Education, where the Singapore story is sacrosanct and has to be mastered by all students so that the continual survival instinct is preserved at ill times. Hong Kong covers more breadth with a curriculum that includes the history of China that can be taught critically and a Chinese cultural heritage element that is infused into all the Key Learning subjects. The Life Event Approach is also more practical and relevant to the students' appreciation of the more individual-growth values learnt. Singapore is identified as an Objective/Globalised nation-state with a parallel Objective/Globalised National Identity that has a predominantly strong political leadership and economic priority in its nation-building foundation. It recognizes the need to rise up to the global challenges ahead. Hong Kong has a combination of Objective/Subjective/Globalised region-state with a parallel Objective/Subjective/Globalised National Identity with China due to its cultural heritage component inherited from China and also the need to meet global challenges. The thesis demonstrates how education can be used as a channel to serve the ideologies of the politicians who have a direct stake in shaping the focus of the political content in citizenship education in building national identity. It also illustrates how the respective political circumstances, economic reasons, social contexts and globalisation challenges drive the evolvement of the citizenship education in both Singapore and Hong Kong.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:51

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