Hong Kong Senior Secondary Liberal Studies
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Liberal Studies is one of four compulsory subjects in the New Senior Secondary Curriculum, which was introduced in Hong Kong schools in 2009, with the first candidates sitting public exams in 2012. This guide outlines the core and elective components of the syllabus which has been proposed by the Curriculum Development Council and approved by the Education and Manpower Bureau, together with suggested questions for discussion and further study and recommended websites for further reading. The guide also outlines study tips for the subject.
Liberal Studies is currently an optional A/S Level subject. The aim of making the subject compulsory is to ensure that all students develop an understanding of the major issues confronting our society in the 21st century and that they are equipped with the critical thinking skills that they need in order to make informed, critical judgments about these issues.
The subject contains elements of science, the humanities and the liberal arts and it also serves to ensure that all students have some degree of breadth in their senior secondary studies.
Areas of Study
Self and Personal Development
Personal Identity and Preparing for Adulthood
- How do people develop a sense of personal identity and how does this change as they grow older?
- How do people change physically, mentally and emotionally during adolescence, and how do they cope with these changes?
- What support is available in Hong Kong to help adolescents cope with the challenges presented by the transition to adulthood?
The Individual and Society
- How is an individual's self esteem related to his or her sense of belonging to a family, a school, a place of work, a profession, an organisation or club, and to society?
- What is the nature of the relationship between individuals and society?
- What fundamental rights do we enjoy as members of a society?
- What responsibilities do we have towards society?
- How do these rights and responsibilities change as we grow into adulthood?
Useful Resources Society
Interpersonal Relationships and Resolving Conflicts
Society and Culture
Hong Kong Today
Quality of Life
Questions for discussion
- What factors affect the quality of life in Hong Kong?
- What is the relationship between economic prosperity and quality of life?
- How important are family, health, money, career opportunities, education, a clean environment, opportunities for leisure and cultural experiences for quality of life?
- To what extent should the government be responsible for quality of life? To what extent is it the responsibility of businesses and of individuals as citizens, producers and consumers?
Questions for Discussion
- How and why has Hong Kong's economy changed in recent years?
- As Hong Kong increasingly becomes a high-value service economy, what are the consequences for young people in terms of their career prospects and of the skills that they will need?
- What opportunities, challenges and threats face the Hong Kong economy as a consequence of globalisation and of demographic shifts such as gender imbalance and an aging population?
- How should Hong Kong respond to these challenges? To what extent should finding solutions be the responsibility of the government, of businesses or of individuals?
Rule of Law and Participation in Society and Politics
Questions for Discussion
- What rights do Hong Kong residents enjoy?
- How are these rights safeguarded?
- Which form of government would be best for Hong Kong?
- How should the government strike a balance between aspirations for democracy and concerns about maintaining Hong Kong's prosperity and stability?
- In what ways can people express their opinions about how Hong Kong is governed?
- What forms of protest are acceptable? What forms of protest are unacceptable?
Reform and Opening Up of China
Chinese Culture and Modern Life
Questions for Discussion
- What challenges and opportunities are created by globalization?
- How does globalization affect the economy, culture, society and political aspirations of different countries?
- Is globalization the same thing as westernization?
- Is the western model of economically developed liberal democracy one that all countries should aspire to? Is such a social/ economic model compatible with non-western cultures?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of global free trade from the point of view of developed and developing countries?
- Is free trade the same thing as fair trade?
Science, Technology and the Environment
Public Health and Biotechnology
What is good health and what measures can people take in order to remain fit, healthy and free from disease?
To what extent is public health the responsibility of governments or of individuals?
What are the potential threats to public health at present and what can be done to minimize the risk of these developing into pandemics?
Is it acceptable for individual freedoms to be limited in order to protect public health? To what extent? For example, should smoking in public places be banned?
What are the potential health benefits and risks of recent developments in biotechnology?
What are the ethical implications of these developments?
Energy Technology and the Environment
The Environment and Sustainable Development