HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 16 no. 2 (2007)

The centrality of textbooks in teachers’ work: perceptions and use of textbooks in a Hong Kong Primary School

Chu Ying Chien | Kathie Young

Discipline: Education, Learning



The research literature presents two different perspectives on the centrality of textbooks in teachers’ work. On the one hand, the literature discusses notions of constraint and control over knowledge and is critical of a system of education that does not encourage teachers to develop their own curriculum. On the other hand, the use of textbooks in professional development has been associated with the potential for teachers to develop curriculum autonomy. While there has been a long tradition of using textbooks in Hong Kong government schools, there is very little, if any research available relating to teachers’ perceptions and their use of textbooks. This paper sets out to use two alternative foci in the literature to discuss and analyse findings from interviews with teachers about their use of text books in their professional work.