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  • Curriculum Aims

    • ​​The aims of History are to enable students to:

      • understand the changes of relationship of people, places, and events in the past as well as their impact on human society;

      • appreciate the qualities and values of local culture and show respect to the cultures and heritage of other societies;

      • develop an interest in studying history and appreciate the uniqueness of history;

      • approach past and current events in an impartial and empathetic manner, using multiple perspectives; and

      • always be prepared to explore in greater depth any issue and become rational and sensible members of the local community, the nation, and the world.

  • Curriculum Objectives

    • Knowledge and Understanding

      • Students are expected to acquire knowledge and develop understanding of:

      • basic historical concepts, such as cause and effect, change and continuity, and 3 similarities and differences;

      • diverse standpoints and perspectives inherent in different ways of representing and interpreting the past;

      • the beliefs, experiences and behaviours of their own nation as well as of other nations, and the ways in which they have shaped the development of the contemporary world; and

      • the inter-relations of major events and movements that have occurred in the local community, the nation, Asia and the world in the 20th century.

    • Historical Skills

      • Students are expected to master skills which will enable them to:

      • distinguish fact from opinion; detect biased viewpoints, ambiguous assumptions and unsubstantiated arguments

      • present logical and coherent arguments through the proper selection and organisation of historical data;

      • interpret historical data and arrive at reasoned conclusions based on available evidence;

      • ascertain and explain the extent to which historical documents and archives reflect contemporary attitudes, values and passions;

      • collect and analyse data and measure possible methods for making decisions and assessments; and

      • evaluate actions and decisions of individuals based on environmental factors.

    • Attitudes and Values

      • Students are expected to cultivate positive values and attitudes that will enable them to:

      • understand that historical conclusions can be re-evaluated on the basis of new historical data and interpretations;

      • tolerate and respect different opinions, and to recognise the fact that although different communities have different experiences and beliefs, there are values and ideals that are commonly shared by all humankind; and

      • become responsible citizens with a sense of national identity.

  • Curriculum Framework and Outline

    • Highlighting the trends and historical concepts (especially for HKDSE):

      • History curriculum adopted the thematic approach. It aims to provide a macro perspective of history and to avoid focusing narrowly on individual topics. While it is important to provide students with basic factual knowledge for illustration purposes and to help them build up arguments, teachers should always avoid getting trapped in minor factual details. Teachers should also help students organise information meaningfully along such overarching historical concepts as cause and effect, chronology, continuity and change, similarities and differences in time and space, as well as along more specific historical concepts such as decolonisation, militarism, modernisation, totalitarianism. Teachers teaching other grades should also pay attention to the above trends and characteristics.

    •   Tackling controversial topics:

      • Controversial and sensitive issues are bound to appear in the teaching and learning of history topics. In tackling these issues, teachers should always play the role of facilitators, helping their students to strengthen critical thinking ability and to develop better problem-solving skills such as distinguishing facts from opinions, detecting biases and drawing logical conclusions on the basis of adequate evidence.

    • Learning and teaching on contemporary topics (especially for HKDSE):

      • The study of history, especially contemporary history, is different from the study of political science or of current affairs in the sense that it requires students to see the issues under study, including contemporary ones, from the historical perspective. The time-frame of this curriculum covers approximately 100 years, which reasonably allows students to study the major historical events in terms of their cause-and-effect relationships and with reference to the theme of change and continuity. In studying contemporary topics, such as the development of Hong Kong into an international city, the social and economic developments of China since 1978, or developments in international social and cultural cooperation, students should be led to “arrive at reasoned conclusions based on available evidence”, and “to recognise the fact that history is subject to reassessment based on the interpretation of new evidence”, which are stated objectives of this curriculum. Teachers teaching other grades may also pay attention to the above trends and characteristics.

  • Study Approaches/Strategies

    • A. Source-based learning and reading to learn:

      • The use of source materials in learning history is instrumental in stimulating students’ inquiry, imagination and empathetic thinking. Teachers should enable their students to acquire the techniques that can help them to read with understanding, to locate and use information and to formulate an argument. In addition, students should also be taught on the use of vocabulary pertinent to the topics being studied, including historical terms to express causality, chronology, logic, hypothesis, comparison, and how to develop an argument. Students should be exposed to a wide range of literature that may facilitate their understanding of a certain topic. For example, in the study of “Growth and Development of Hong Kong in the twentieth century”, students’ reading may include general works of historians and other scholars relevant to the period, official reports and memoirs and accounts of people from all walks of life, including politicians, social leaders, factory workers, etc.

      • Teachers will assist students in taking reading as a tool to construct knowledge about the subject. The following are some techniques and strategies for teaching reading within the scope of the subject and the direction for promoting the reading culture of the subject:

        • Design a curriculum with reading as the main teaching activity.
        • Explain unfamiliar or difficult concepts and vocabulary to students before reading.

        • Ask students questions before reading to arouse their interest.

        • Arrange students to borrow history books from the school library, and ask students to make a simple report.

        • Cooperate with the school librarian to carry out the History Book Reading Award Scheme (please refer to the Reading Award Scheme of the Learning and Teaching Development Council).

    • B. Using information technology as a tool in learning History:

      • The Internet has become an important source of learning history. A lot of relevant Internet resources are provided by the websites of various government departments or ministries, museums, public records offices or national archives, 18 as well as different international organizations. Moreover, a wide range of other Internet resources like sourcebooks, collections of cartoons and illustrations, commentary and papers are also available and can be located by using the search engines. Teachers should not only develop students’ skills in selecting, analysing and synthesising information from a variety of sources, but also skills in detecting bias or inaccuracy, and arriving at reasoned judgements. Meanwhile the Internet and emails also enable students to share and exchange information among themselves and to facilitate self-learning and self-assessment. Students’ empathetic thinking can also be developed through their participation in simulation games and other interactive computer programmes.

    •  C. Developing positive values and attitudes from learning history (moral and civic education):

      • The teaching of value-laden topics may be equally controversial. This curriculum takes the stand that there are some fundamental values and attitudes commonly held in our society (such as appreciation for the characteristics and values of one’s own culture as well as respect and tolerance of those of other cultures; regard for human lives and dignity; recognition of human beings’ quest for peace, cooperation and prosperity). Therefore it tries to provide students with learning experiences to develop these values and attitudes, and some terminology adopted in the curriculum framework, like “militarism”, “totalitarianism” or “the quest for cooperation and prosperity”, also reflects this stand. In tackling any value-laden topic, while providing students with ample opportunities to inquire into its nature, and debate it by applying high order thinking skills, teachers should also strive to guide students to arrive at a positive personal value position.

    • D. Life-wide learning in History:

      • Besides project learning, it is also essential to provide students with life-wide learning opportunities to link school learning with real life situations. The Public Records Office holds a rich collection of government publications for both the pre-war and post-war periods. A lot of historical photographs and videotapes, out-of-print local newspapers and a variety of books, directories, street indexes, journals and unpublished works relating to Hong Kong are also available there. Other government departments such as the Antiquities and Monuments Office and various museums in Hong Kong, and other non-government organisations are willing to render assistance in arranging 19 learning activities to supplement classroom learning. Community visits and heritage tours of historic buildings, Chinese and western alike, are useful in illustrating the coexistence and interaction of local traditional culture and foreign cultures.

      • Subject teachers keep arranging field trips for students to various historical sites through the activities of the History Club. This does not only enhance their sense of belonging and cultural identity to the local area but also helps them understand the relationship between Hong Kong and China.

    • E. Learning history with the use of generic competencies:

      • Encourage students to ask questions in class and train their creativity.

      • Ask more open-ended questions in class and assessments (quizzes, exams) and accept various reasonable answers to strengthen students' critical thinking and creativity.

      • Through project learning (e.g. the participation in Inter-school Competition of Project Learning on Hong Kong's History and Culture), students can hone their communication skills, collaboration skills, information technology skills, problem-solving skills, self-management skills, research skills, and creativity.

  • ​Assessment​

Formative Assessment and Weighting of Examinations

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