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Selected Research Project
Project Title
Asian Students’ Conceptions of Citizenship: Constructing Indigenous Views of Citizens, Citizenship Education and the State
Principal Investigator Professor Kerry Kennedy
Area of Research Project
Social Studies
Project Period
From 11/2011 To 10/2014

Given Asia’s significant role in economic and political events, this project aims to:

  1. analyse Asian students’ understanding of citizenship from multiple perspectives;
  2. investigate the possible influences on these attitudes;
  3. assess the relationship between traditional attitudes and a range of educational and social outcomes; and
  4. assess the implications of tehse studies for understanding not only the nature and purpose of civic and citizenship education in Asian contexts but also the possible influence of such conceptions on notions of the state.
Methods Used

Secondary analysis of survey data is the main methodological approach used in this study. Secondary analysis has been defined by Schutt (2007) as “the method of using preexisting data in a different way or to answer a different research question than that intended by those who collected the data” . It is this function of secondary analysis that serves the current project so well. In addition, Kiecolt and Nathan (1985) noted that “secondary analysis is thus gaining a central role in contemporary social science research and methodological primers continue to appear” (Bulmer et al., 2009; Trzesniewski et al., 2010). These empirical analyses, while important in themselves, will also provide the basis for a theoretical analysis seeking to relate these results to existing literature on Asian conceptions of citizenship. The theoretical adequacy of the empirical results will be tested, aiding in the identification and exploration of new theoretical issues.

Expected Findings

The results of this study will provide baseline data on Asian students’ understanding of citizenship. They will provide insights into how future citizens of one of the most strategic regions in the world think about citizenship. The results will also provide a basis for comparisons with young people in other parts of the world.

Expected Impact

This project has the potential to expand our understanding of citizenship and citizenship education, as well as their relation to the state, with particular emphasis on the Asian region. It will challenge the current Western-dominated perspective in the field.

Selected Publications Related to the Study
  1. K. Kennedy. (2011). Is there an Asian perspective on citizenship? Learning from the International Civic and Citizenship Study, Keynote Address, International CitizED Conference, Emory University, 12-15 May. 2011.
  2. K. Kennedy, MMC Mok, MYW, Wong. (2011). Developing political trust in adolescents: Is there a role for schools? In Bernadette R. Curtis (Ed.).Psychology of Trust. New York: Nova Publishers, 137-156. [This book chapter was awarded the Richard M. Wolf Memorial Award bythe International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), for details, please visit http://www.iea.nl/wolf_award.html]
  3. K. Kennedy. (2012). Asian students’ citizenship values and their relationship to civic understanding: An exploratory study comparing Thai and Hong Kong students. Research in Comparative and International Education, 7 (2). 248-259.
  4. JKF Chow (2012). “Reading beyond the Riots”: Civil disobedience or political participation of adolescents?. Paper prepared for the 56th Annual Conference of Comparative and International Education Society, Puerto Rico, 22-27 April. [This paper is awarded 2012 Dr. Judith Torney-Purta Outstanding Paper Award in Citizenship and Democratic Education by CIES [CANDE SIG].
  5. JKF Chow & K. Kennedy. (in press). Citizenship and governance in the Asian region: Insights from the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study. Public Organization Review.
Biography of Principal Investigator

Professor Kerry Kennedy is the Chair Professor of Curriculum Studies and holds concurrent appointments as Dean of the Faculty of Education and Human Development and Associate Vice President (Quality Assurance). He is currently Co-director of the Centre for Governance and Citizenship. Prior to joining the Institute, he was the Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) of the University of Canberra in Australia. He completed his undergraduate studies and initial professional training at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He has a Master of Education degree from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Letters degree in History from the University of New England. He completed his MA and Ph.D. at Stanford University. While at the Institute, he has won two Public Policy Research grants, three General Research Fund grants, and one Quality Education Fund grant. Prior to coming to Hong Kong, he won two research grants from the Australian Research Council. His research interests are curriculum policy and theory, especially citizenship education. He has published Changing Schools for Changing Times - New Directions for the School Curriculum in Hong Kong (Chinese University Press, 2005), which has now been translated to Chinese (解讀香港教育:香港學校課程的新趨勢 - Chinese University Press, 2011). He co-authored Changing Schools in Asia: Schools for the Knowledge Society (Routledge, 2010). Two other successful books he co-authored, Curriculum Construction and Celebrating Student Achievement—Assessment and Reporting (Pearson Education Australia), are now in their fourth editions.

Funding Source
Public Policy Research Fund