The deficit representation of youth at different levels of curriculum-making: A case study on the Liberal Studies curriculum in Hong Kong

Chitat Larry Chan, Wai Fong Ting

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study explores whether the deficit approach to understanding youth, which has been widely critiqued in contemporary youth studies, could still be a dominant paradigm in an emerging curriculum which emphasises multiple-perspective thinking. The analysis compares the representations of youth in selected reference sources at different levels of curriculum-making of the Liberal Studies (LS) curriculum in Hong Kong. These includes: (1) the official website of the curriculum, (2) the textbooks and (3) the teachers' verbal accounts. The findings indicate that the curriculum contents at the institutional level (the LS official website) do not really favour a deficit representation of youth, but that the contents at the programme level and at the classroom level do intensify that deficit representation. The findings shed light on the discourse of youth in education regimes and inform future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-544
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • critical thinking
  • Liberal Studies
  • multiple-perspective thinking
  • representations of adolescents
  • representations of youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this