School Images, School Identity, and How Parents Select Schools for Their Children: The Case of Hong Kong

School Images, School Identity, and How Parents Select Schools for Their Children: The Case of Hong Kong

Frank Wai-ming Tam (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and Paula Yu-Kwong Kwan (Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-599-5.ch005
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Abstract

The case suggests that a school organization adapts itself to the environment and survives external competition through a series of self-organizing processes of differentiation and integration. Differentiation is the process through which the school develops its own identity and core competencies through trial and error, whereas integration is the process through which the school develops stable and sustaining relationships with parents and other strategic partners within the community. The authors assert that in a fast changing and highly competitive environment like that in Hong Kong, schools need to find their institutional identities and to present a positive image to the community. This endeavor is often a challenging and painful task. The authors study the case of a secondary school to illustrate how this can be done, employing a survey approach to ascertain needs and expectations of parents. The dilemma schools face in choosing between academic and pastoral ethos is described and relations between important factors that impact perceptions of parents are discussed.

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