This article traces the processes for encouraging and/or ensuring the accountability of teachers in Hong Kong. It is argued that, if examined historically, the nature of teacher accountability has been determined by the government, whose approach has been ambivalent and paradoxical. Up until the mid 1980s, through inertia and nondecisions, the government maintained the low level of professionalization of teaching. Subsequently, from the late 1980s onwards, it resisted and diluted attempts by the professional community to regulate itself. Most recently it has actively sought to introduce systems to allow the government to scrutinize teachers in an ostensible attempt to promote the level of teacher professionalism. These changes are analysed in terms of the differences between professionalism and professionalization, and with reference to the government’s own legitimacy and the changing political context. Introduction This article will examine the processes that have been developed to hold teachers accountable in Hong Kong since the mid 1960s which saw the emergence of a system of universal education leading to compulsory education up to Secondary 3 (age 15).
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