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Development, Education And The State Of Hong Kong: Essay

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Development, Education and the State of Hong Kong: A Research Agenda for Comparative Study

TSANG Wing Kwong The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The paper aims to outline a research agenda for comparative study of the relationship between education and development in four East-Asian societies. They are Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Theories and researches accounting for the spectacular economic successes of these four societies, which have been labeled as the East-Asian development model, will be reviewed in the first part of this papar. They will be grouped into two approaches, namely culturalist and institutionalist. Empirical studies of Hong Kong will be taken as the major empirical references in the review. Adopting Max Weber's historical-comparative research strategy, the East-Asian development model will then be served as the ideal-typical conceptual framework in constructing the research agenda for comparative study of education in these four societies. Educational institutions of these societies will be located within the framework so as to illuminate the inter-relationship between educational policies and economic successes of these societies. Five possible areas of inquiry have been proposed, it is hoped that they will facilitate discussions and research collaborations among scholars of the East-Asian region. An art collector will naturally be drawn to Florence, a mountain climber to the Himalayas. In very much the same way a social scientist interested in modernization will have hist(her) attention fixed on East Asia, to the point where he(she) may reasonably conclude that this is the most interesting region in the world today. (Berger, 1988:3 )

The growing interest among social scientists in the developmental experience of the newly industrialized countries in East Asia is not only induced by the fact that the region has experienced a rapid and sustaining economic growth for the last two decades. It is also elicited by the...

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