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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Hong Kong and British Columbia art curriculum guides: a comparative study Gleckman, Brian Keith


This thesis is a comparative study which examines the formal art curriculum guides of Hong Kong and British Columbia. The rationale for this study lies, in part, with the documented demographic change that has taken place in British Columbia schools over the past decade, in particular, the significant numbers of Hong Kong immigrant students who have enrolled in four of British Columbia's five largest school districts. The study examines the Hong Kong and British Columbia education systems overall, places the art curriculum for each jurisdiction in respective context, and surveys the content of the guides themselves. The study then examines in comparative fashion the guides with regard to general content of the guides, conceptual frameworks for the curriculum, the presentation of expected learning outcomes, curricular content, and assessment and evaluation. The findings within these topics are summarized in terms of similarities and differences. The findings are also analyzed relative to traditional Chinese conceptions of education and the extent to which they reflect the histories and traditions of art education in Hong Kong. The curriculum guides are also analyzed according to the three conceptual orientations of curriculum posited by Miller and Seller: transmissional, transactional, and transformational. The thesis finds that while there are a number of similarities between the art curriculum guides of Hong Kong and British Columbia, the differences between the two sets of documents are significant in terms of 1) how art curriculum is conceptualized, 2) implied expectations with regard to teaching and learning styles, and 3) the specificity of curricular content. The thesis also suggests that the Hong Kong art curriculum guides reflect a transmissional orientation to curriculum, while the British Columbia guides reflect a transformational, if not transactional orientation. The thesis concludes by pointing to the need for comparative observation of art education in Hong Kong and British Columbia in order to more concretely identify the similarity or differences in the actual art educational experiences of students within each jurisdiction.

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