Education Journal


2019.第47卷第1期(Vol. 47 No. 1).pp. 71–93


The Textbook Review and Selection Mechanism in Hong Kong: Hovering Between Control and Freedom

霍秉坤(Ping-Kwan FOK)





Textbook, linking teaching content, system knowledge, curriculum and teaching, and assessment for learning, is an important part of education. Although the mechanism for reviewing and selecting textbooks in Hong Kong has always caused a lot of controversy, there are not many articles inquiring into the mechanism. This article analyzes the features of the textbook review mechanism of the Education Bureau. During the review processes, the Education Bureau, on the one hand, controls specific issues such as contents, teaching approaches, and pricing matters. It, however, allows freedom in other issues such as supplementary contents, teaching activities, length of writings. Textbook publishers, aiming to gain greater market share, need to meet the requirements of the Education Bureau and the desires of school teachers. In the selection process, schools need to set the procedure of textbook selection and allow teachers to select textbook. The Education Bureau, however, has not issued rigid standards for the selection and allows flexibility for teachers’ choice. The author believes that the Education Bureau often hovers between control and the textbook review and selection mechanism.

Keywords: textbook; review mechanism; freedom; control