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Title: The policy of practical schools in Hong Kong
Authors: Cheng, Mei-ching 鄭美菁
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Hong Kong : University of Hong Kong
Abstract: This study explores the nature of the policy gap – the discrepancy between intended and actual policy outcomes – resulting from the implementation of Practical School (PS) policy in four Hong Kong Practical Schools during the 1990s. The study closely examines the complexity of the policy formulation and implementation processes, and finds that a number of factors at different policy levels served to divert PS implementation from its intended outcome. These factors can be grouped into two main categories – those that were specific to individual policy levels (e.g., policy orientation at the Education Department (ED) level, institutional autonomy at the School Sponsoring Body (SSB) level, or principal leadership at the (school) level, and those relating to the interdependent relationships existing between and among the various levels. The factors in these categories interacted to shape and modify PS policy implementation, making the policy-practice relationship complex and unpredictable. Thus, this study suggests that policy gap can be seen as the outcome of the multilevel, intertwined interplay among policy implementation actors from various policy levels. This study also proposes that the observed policy gap was not necessarily undesirable; in fact, the modification of original implementation plans prevented, in some instances, overall policy failure. In the case of PS, modified policy implementation allowed all four Practical Schools to achieve certain policy goals, despite failing to achieve others. This study has found that whether a policy gap was perceived as desirable depended on how the modified implementation affected the interests of the various parties; thus, any given policy gap could be called undesirable, desirable, or both, depending on which party were asked. Finally, this study is particularly concerned with the views of policymakers, senior SSB administrators and principals, and their actions in response to policy demands. The study argues that policy gap varied depending on policymakers’ perceptions of the policy, the organizational characteristics of SSBs, and the contextual nature of the schools. In other words, whether implementation realized intended policy outcomes depended on how implementing actors interacted to steer policy either towards or away from its original course.
Description: Available online pdf via HKU Scholars Hub
Subjects: Vocational education -- Government policy -- China -- Hong Kong
Type: Thesis
DOI: 10.5353/th_b5060575
Links/Full textHKU Scholars Hub
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