Research article

Holding policy-makers to account: exploring 'soft' and 'hard' policy and the implications for curriculum reform

Authors
  • Kerry J. Kennedy
  • Jacqueline Kin-Sang Chan
  • Ping Kwan Fok

Abstract

Curriculum implementation as both an educational practice and a policy conundrum has been the focus of academic research since the 1970s. A new perspective is taken in this article by borrowing from the literature on policy implementation in multilevel systems of government. The concepts of 'hard' and 'soft' policy are used to show that policy-makers choose from a range of strategies and it is these choices rather than teacher attitudes that may account for the level of implementation of a policy. A case study of curriculum implementation in Hong Kong is used to show how 'hard' and 'soft' policy can be identified in practice.

Keywords: CURRICULUM POLICY, CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION, CURRICULUM REFORM

How to Cite:

Kennedy, K., Chan, J. & Fok, P., (2011) “Holding policy-makers to account: exploring 'soft' and 'hard' policy and the implications for curriculum reform”, London Review of Education 9(1), 41–54. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14748460.2011.550433

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Published on
01 Mar 2011
Peer Reviewed
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