Skip to main content Skip to search
Print this page

Questions & Answers


1. How many humanities subjects in the New Secondary Senior Curriculum will be offered as elective subjects? What are their characteristics?
  The following six elective humanities subjects will be offered in the NSS curriculum.
  • Chinese History stresses the development of China in the past two centuries with focus on historical themes. Much importance is placed on the training of critical thinking skills. As students reflect on Chinese history and culture, their understanding of the country is deepened and a stronger sense of national identity is developed.
  • Economic helps students understand general economic trends and analyse how people make choices. It deals with both theories and their applications.
  • Ethics and Religious Studies helps students explore the meaning of life and seek self-understanding and an appreciation of how the human community works, so that their life has direction and is based on positive values.
  • Geography integrates the social and physical sciences and exposes students to the interactions between society, the economy and the environment. It enhances skills in processing spatial information.
  • History helps students understand the major developments in Asia and other parts of the world in the 20th century. The subject develops analytical power and critical thinking skills.
  • Travel and Hospitality Studies provides a sound foundation for students with such career orientations, offering a rich repertoire of specific and generic skills.
2. Could the teaching approach of humanities subjects help students to cope with the challenges in the future workplace?
  One of the characteristics of humanities subjects is the absence of pre-set answers to many of their questions. Students should develop their own views and opinions and teachers will accept as long as they are reasonable. Below are common teaching approaches of humanities subjects that help students think independently. These can help them to adapt to the needs of the future workplace.
  • Project learning provides opportunities for students to conduct self-directed enquiries and develop critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, creativity, etc.
  • Service Learning is a means of giving meaning to experiences. It allows students to reflect deeply on what they learn, broaden their horizons and develop their own view and values.
  • Role Play: Through role play, students learn to consider things from other people’s perspectives. Post-role-play briefing helps students analyse complicated situations, strengthens their analytical power and problem solving skills, as well as develops empathy for others.
  • Group discussion helps students develop an open mind, learn to accept different opinions and appreciate others, as well as improve communication and collaboration skills.
  • Field Study: Authentic contexts make meaningful learning. Students put classroom knowledge into practice when they enquire into real life issues. They also acquire new knowledge and skills in field studies.
3. How are humanities subjects relevant to the future development of Hong Kong? In future, are there any chances for students who study humanities subjects to give full play to their abilities?
  The 21st century sees the birth of the Era of the Creative Economy, with creative industries being the fastest growing around the globe. The development of creative industries in Hong Kong is on a fast track. The development of West Kowloon Cultural District is an obvious example. Industries that have always valued creativity, such as advertising, publishing and software development, have flourished in recent years. Other industries such as manufacturing, finance and services have to embrace new ideas to revitalise their operations to remain competitive. The first stage of the West Kowloon Cultural District will be completed in 2015, and by then, about ten thousand related posts will be created. Students who study humanities subjects will have good chances to display their skill to the full.
  The humanities foster creativity. Creativity springs from daily life and nurtures culture, which in turn shapes the way we live. With the expansion of the creative economy world-wide, Hong Kong needs talents equipped with a broad vision, sharp discernment, and sound understanding in history and culture. The study of humanities subjects can better match with the development of Hong Kong in future.
4. Will Integrated Humanities (IH) replace all subjects of Personal, Social and Humanities Education Key Learning Area (PSHE KLA) in the junior secondary level?
IH will not replace all subjects in PSHE KLA.
Different modes of curriculum organizations may be used in S1-S3, including separate individual subject mode.
The most important consideration in the choice of mode should rest on whether it responds to the learning needs of the students and the strengths of the school concerned.
Will Chinese History remain as an independent subject?
Chinese History will remain as an independent subject in both junior and senior secondary levels
Regardless of the mode of curriculum organization a school adopts, students should study Chinese history and culture, which is part of the Essential Content for Learning in PSHE as spelt out in the PSHE KLA curriculum guide.
6. If a school keeps individual PSHE subjects in the junior secondary level, what will be the changes in terms of curriculum reform?
To prepare students for the challenges of today’s knowledge society, schools should review their curriculum plans to see if they can meet the PSHE learning objectives.
It may be necessary for these schools to introduce a new subject / module / short course to cover all the PSHE learning objectives.
Close coordination and collaboration among subject teachers needed to reduce overlap and content overload so as to create ‘space’ for the above.
Inter-disciplinary projects or cross-curricular activities should be introduced so that students can have the opportunity to develop multiple perspectives and other learning skills.
Subject teachers should adopt the role of a learning facilitator and use enquiry learning strategies as far as possible.
Assessment in individual subjects should be used more for the promotion of learning.
7. How should a school choose the combination of subjects in the PSHE KLA?
The most important consideration in the choice of mode (and combination of “subjects”) should rest on whether it responds to the learning needs of the students and the strengths of the school.
Schools should ensure that the choice of mode (and combination of “subjects”) should leads to effective student learning and provides learning experience across the six strands of PSHE KLA within the relevant contexts to HK students.


Last revision date: 21 September 2012
This website is IPv6 EnabledLevel Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0Valid HTML 4.01 Strict