Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2020 Issue »

    Building Houses by the Rootless People

    Youth, Identities, and Education in Hong Kong

    In this essay, Chung-Hin Kevin Ho, a history education university student in Hong Kong, narrates his search for civic identity. Composed through a process of critical and reflective dialogue with Hayes Tang, the essay describes the tension between Chung-Hin’s Chinese ethnic and cultural identity and the democratic values held by Hong Kongers. As a student, he and his peers had to navigate these competing conceptions of identity in their coursework and examinations. The youth of Hong Kong, including Chung-Hin, have protested against the Chinese government, and have fought to protect the values of Hong Kong. As a future educator, Chung-Hin has advice for the government administrations of both Hong Kong and China: work with Hong Kongers to help them “build their own house.” Chung-Hin argues that if Hong Kong is to become closer to China, it cannot be done through force or propaganda. Further, Chung-Hin contends that education initiatives that change the history curriculum of Hong Kong schools is not enough to bring the youth of the city to heel. Chung-Hin’s experiences, and his own understanding of history education in Hong Kong, have helped him see that the values of Hong Kongers need to be respected if there is any hope of gaining their trust and acceptance. In this timely essay, Chung-Hin highlights how government policies and historical legacies have shaped his personal experience and educational trajectory in Hong Kong, as well as the other students who are a part of the largest youth protest movement in recent memory.

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    Chung-Hin Kevin Ho is in his final year at the Education University of Hong Kong, where he is pursuing a degree in history. The unique school culture and liberal spirit have sparked his interest in exploring the cultural exchange between the occidental and the oriental. His research interests include the history of colonial education, curriculum development, national education, and global citizenship. Amid the political storms in Hong Kong, he further developed his interest in research by studying the school’s response to political pressures. He is the recipient of the HKSAR Scholarship Fund and the Friends of Hope Education Fund Scholarship in recognition of his aspiration and strong commitment to the teaching profession.

    Hei-hang Hayes Tang (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7386-3892), is an assistant professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at the Education University of Hong Kong. A sociologist, he is interested in the fields of higher education, academic professionalism, and youth studies. His research focuses on the sociological role of higher education in an entrepreneurial society and a global city. He is committed to creating new knowledge to further better education governance and policy innovation in East Asian entrepreneurial societies in the face of global inequalities, populism, and authoritarianism. He is managing editor of the Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education and associate editor of sociology and education) of Palgrave Communications, and he serves on the editorial board of Chinese Education & Society.
  2. Summer 2020 Issue


    Youth Voices in Education Research
    Editors’ Introduction
    Becca Spindel Bassett and Tatiana Geron

    Book Notes

    Girlhood in the Borderlands
    Lilia Soto

    The Heart of the Matter
    Peer Group Connection Students at Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies