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Shadow Education:Its nature role and function in British International schools in Hong Kong.

KHALFAOUI, NOOR (2010) Shadow Education:Its nature role and function in British International schools in Hong Kong. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Shadow education is the term frequently used to describe the provision of supplementary education by tutoring agencies, ‘cram schools’ and other private, typically for-profit organisations that assist in the achievement of successful examination results. This thesis will attempt to research the role which ‘shadow education’ plays in modern day Hong Kong. A study undertaken in 1998 revealed that on average 41 per cent of grade 3 students and 39 per cent of grade 6 students were participating in shadow education. This seems to be part of a wider international trend in both developed and developing countries, including the UK. With a system comparable to the British education system, Hong Kong has experienced growth in its shadow education system as well. While a number of studies have examined the economic and policy implications of shadow education, few have undertaken thorough research of the sociological factors that might contribute to its popularity. This study aims to investigate the historical, socio-economic factors that influence the choice of shadow education in Hong Kong. In this way, it followed the precedent set by British researchers Ireson and Rushforth, who conducted a similar study of private tutoring in the UK. In order to understand the policy and social implications of shadow education, the system needs to be placed into a wider socio-political historical, economic and cultural context to reflexively frame both its existence and its acceptance amongst parents, students, education providers, and education policy-makers in Hong Kong. This study has hopefully provided both the context and the impact of shadow education in this particular example, but with wider application once the historical and sociological contexts are understood. This discussion and analysis placing the study’s primary data results from questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups hopefully demonstrates that the historical and social context of Hong Kong plays at least, if not more, of a role in the choice to participate in shadow education as pure economic practicality and functionalism. Shadow education fills a role in education that is social and confidence building, and also ameliorates some of the postcolonial anxieties of parents who grew up in a very different context than they find their children. While social mobility and economic gain clearly play a role in all of these considerations, the role of the shadow education system extends beyond the functionalism it is currently assigned in the literature.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Keywords:Education Shadow Education Postcolonial Private tutoring
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 Jun 2010 14:32

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