Tuesday Teaching: International Protests


A story currently in the news covers a strike by teachers in Chicago where school professionals are picketing over issues of teacher pay, evaluations, benefits, and other in-school issues.

While working conditions are frequently the root of discontent, something we do not see very much of in this country is upheaval over issues of curriculum content.


Photo from NYT article.
Photo credit: Vincent Yu/ Associated Press

This, however, is exactly what is going on right now in Hong Kong where thousands of people, both school professionals and families, are taking to the streets to protest the implementation of a Chinese “patriotic education” curriculum. This curriculum, taught on mainland China, includes required content that criticizes multi-party governmental systems… such as the one in place in Hong Kong. Despite protests, the government plans to implement the curriculum in some schools this fall, with the goal of having it in place in all schools by 2016.

An interesting thing to consider as a new school year starts around the world.





About Tara Sullivan

Author of GOLDEN BOY (2013), THE BITTER SIDE OF SWEET (2016), and TREASURE OF THE WORLD (2021). Published by Penguin Books for Young Readers Find out more at www.TaraSullivanBooks.com Or, follow me on Twitter: @SullivanStories
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2 Responses to Tuesday Teaching: International Protests

  1. The comparison above could be taken the wrong way, even though I know that you don’t mean it this way, Tara: “Teachers in this country protest over petty things like pay and benefits, where over in China, teachers are protesting over real issues.” I think that teachers in this country would also protest if the United Stated government forced one-sided politically-based curriculum on our children. At this point, I haven’t heard that they are.

  2. Jen,
    Thanks so much for pointing out this unintended subtext! Of course, that is not at all what I meant: fair working conditions are very important. I merely wanted to show what other teachers in other countries had to contend with in addition to working conditions.
    Thanks for commenting!

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