UBC Theses and Dissertations
Adult education content and processes in Hong Kong (1990-1997) Man, Yuen-Ying Christine
Adult education is shaped by the socio-cultural and historical context in which it occurs. Hong Kong is confronting immense social change as it will cease to be a colony of the United Kingdom and become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in 1997. The reversion of sovereignty to China in 1997 is already changing the political, social, and cultural context although the Sino-British Joint Declaration (initialled on September 26, 1984 and formally took, effect on May 27, 1985) stipulated that Hong Kong's existing capitalist system and life-style would remain unchanged for 50 years after 1997. However, by 1989, it was clear that what people were "thinking" or "believing" about the situation was having a more potent effect on Hong Kong than legal documents or slogans such as "one country, two systems." Thus, this study was largely couched within a phenomenological frame of reference. The situation of Hong Kong is unprecedented and people face uncertainty as they enter the run-up to 1997. The "city of jitters" is undergoing a process of decolonization on the one hand and integration with Mainland China on the other. Adult education helps people prepare for change, but at the same time, is shaped by people's ideas of what the present situation is and what the future will be like. The purposes of this study were: 1. To obtain estimates concerning the anticipated changes in the content and processes of adult/continuing education (ACE) in the run-up to 1997. 2. To establish the extent to which socio-demographic variables of respondents explained variance in estimates (concerning the anticipated changes in the content and processes of ACE). 3. To establish the extent to which the political orientations of respondents explained variance in estimates (concerning the anticipated changes in the content and processes of ACE). 4. To examine the relationships between respondents1 "emigration intentions" and their estimates (concerning the anticipated changes in the content and processes of ACE). This was an ex post facto study in which 122 Hong Kong adult educators completed questionnaires which asked them to make estimates concerning the future content and processes of adult education. Following this, the researcher examined the extent to which the respondents' socio-demographic characteristics (and political orientations) explained variance in estimates (concerning the content and processes of adult education). Respondents claimed that in the run-up to 1997, for people staying, interests in "Management," "China Studies" and "Business & Commerce" programs will increase strongly. They believed that people leaving Hong Kong temporarily or leaving permanently will be greatly interested in "Technical Training" programs but their interests in "Law," "China Studies" and "Social Sciences" will decrease. Respondents thought that in the run-up to 1997, the use of adult education methods and techniques will increase (generally and in the workplace). They claimed that there will a larger increase in the use of "Courses By Computer" in Hong Kong generally and in the workplace. Age and educational qualification of respondents were significantly related to their estimates concerning the anticipated changes in ACE. There was no significant association between respondents' political orientations and their estimates. Nor were their "emigration intentions" significantly related to estimates. It appears that, in general, the structional-functional approach to adult education will remain.
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