Teacher-Student Power Relations in Primary Schools in Hong Kong

Teacher-Student Power Relations in Primary Schools in Hong Kong

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This book examines, from a sociological perspective, teacher-student power relations in classroom learning and teaching. The case study consists of four Hong Kong primary schools-and sixteen classrooms therein-that were selected as research sites to explore the concept of teacher-student power relations. Observations, individual interviews, and document analysis were the main data collection methods employed. Wong provides the historical context for the issue of teacher-student power relationship by reviewing the traditional Chinese cultures and values, in particular the values of respect for authority and for teachers, and demonstrates the intermingling of Chinese and Western cultures in contemporary Hong Kong Chinese society. She reviews the major educational initiatives carried out in Hong Kong since the 1970s, showing how Western educational policies promoting student-centric teaching modes have encouraged changes in classroom culture. With reference to the observed seventy-three lessons, the study identified three patterns of teacher-student power relations-Teacher Domination, Relatively Balanced Opportunity for Power Sharing, and Student Self-Empowerment-each involving different degrees of power being exercised by teacher and students. The coexistence of these three power patterns and the two corresponding power situations (student empowerment and disempowerment) can be explained as the result of multileveled, intertwined interactions among six factors related to social culture, education policy, school and classroom contexts, and to the individual players concerned. The book thus contributes to the understanding of teacher-student power relations in the context of Hong Kong by proposing a theoretical framework that reflects local socio-cultural, educational, and school contexts.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 146 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 9 tables
  • 0739181726
  • 9780739181720

Review quote

Mei-Yee Wong's book, in the grand sociological tradition of Waller, Jackson, Woods, and Hargreaves, gives us a thoroughly contextualized study of student power and resistance in Hong Kong classrooms. Her research results not only inform contemporary theory by contributing a non-Western perspective, but also rejuvenate the embryonic studies of power relations in Hong Kong schools. -- Gerard A. Postiglione, The University of Hong Kong This is indeed a worthwhile book for both academics and practitioners who are interested in the relationship between teachers and students. It presents a comprehensive yet readable overview of power distribution in classrooms in Hong Kong, a city with sophisticated cultural and historical context. Based on the research and abundant data from four primary schools, Wong identifies three patterns of teacher-student power relations and reveals that the factors that influence these interactions are multifaceted and intertwined. -- Ruifang Xu, East China Normal University This is not just a book on Hong Kong schools. Readers will find much to learn about crucial factors in student empowerment or disempowerment that applies as well to classrooms, schools, and educational systems in Western societies. Mei-Yee Wong's case study provides a marvelous close-up view on power relations between teachers and students that is based on a great number of observations, interviews, and documents collected on-site. Wong knows schools, she knows theory, and she is a fine writer: just the right ingredients for a highly instructive and enjoyable reading! -- Wolfgang Althof, University of Missouri-St. Louisshow more

About Mei-yee Wong

Mei-Yee Wong is lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Socio-Cultural and Educational Contexts of Hong Kong Chapter 3: The School Contexts of the Four Primary Schools Chapter 4: Pattern I: Teacher Domination Chapter 5: Pattern II: Relatively Balanced Opportunity for Power Sharing Chapter 6: Pattern III: Student Self-Empowerment Chapter 7: Conclusion: Teacher-Student Power Relations as a Reflection of Multileveled Intertwined Interactionsshow more