Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

NSS History Curriculum (starting from Sep 2009)

Theme A

Modernisation and Transformation in Twentieth-Century Asia

Students will understand the concept of “modernization”, and acquire an overview of the ways in which Hong Kong, China , Japan and Siutheast Asia underwent modernization in the 20th century

1) Modernisation and transformation of Hong Kong

Key Points

Explanatory Notes

i) Political and institutional changes

main trend of development

characteristics of different stages of development

Through enquiring into the major politica and institutional changes that occurred in Hong Kong from the beginning of the 20th century to 1997, students will identify the main trend of political development, as well as different stages of development and their salient features. 

ii) Development into an international


economic development, urbanisation and population changes

the coexistence and interaction of Chinese and foreign cultures

relationship with the mainland and its role in the Asia-Pacific Rim 

Through investigating into the long-term process of economic and social changes in Hong Kong, students will trace and explain the development of Hong Kong into an international city. They will describe the salient features of different stages of

economic development, as well as the phenomena of urbanisation and population changes. They will also cite examples to illustrate the coexistence and interaction of Chinese and foreign cultures, and develop an awareness of the characteristics of their own culture. They will also analyse Hong Kong ’s links with the mainland and its role in the Asia-Pacific Rim in different periods.

2) Modernisation and transformation of China

Key Points

Explanatory Notes

i)Early attempts at modernisation – reforms and revolutions

Late Qing Reform

the 1911 Revolution

the May Fourth Movement

attempts at modernisation by the Nanjing Government

the communist revolution and the establishment of the PRC

Students will identify the major reforms launched by the Late Qing government and by the Nanjing Government, and assess their significance for the modernisation of China . They will assess the significance of the 1911 Revolution and the May Fourth Movement in the light of China ’s transformation into a morden nation. Students will also demonstrate a general understanding of the major political developments in China leading to the formation of the PRC.

ii) Socialist modernisation in the Maoist period and the evolution of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” in the post-Mao period

institutional setup and the transition from New Democracy to socialism

attempts at modernisation in the Maoist period

the “Cultural Revolution” and its impact an Chinese modernisation

reform and opening-up since 1978

Students will describe the institutional setup of the country and the relationships between the party, government and military. Students will also describe and assess the major attempts at modernisation in the Maoist period, namely the First Five-Year Plan, the “Great Leap Forward” and Readjustment. The “Cultural Revolution” will be evaluated in the light of its impact on China ’s

modernisation. As regards the period after 1978, students will trace the origins and development of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” and the rise of regional economies, and analyse the ways in which these developments have affected China ’s modernisation and its relations with other

Asian countries.

3) Modernisation and transformation of Japan and Southeast Asia

Key Points

Explanatory Notes

i) Japan

modernisation in the early 20th century

overview of political, social, economic and cultural conditions in the early 20th century

the rise of militarism and its consequences


reconstruction, recovery and growth after WWII

relations with other Asian countries

Students will assess the extent to which Japan was modernised in the early 20th century in the light of contemporary political, social, economic and cultural conditions. They will analyse the ways in which such conditions led to the rise of militarism, and assess its consequences for Japan and Asia .





Students will trace and explain Japan ’s economic recovery and growth as well as political and social developments in the post- World War II period. They will also cite examples to illustrate both change and continuity in Japan ’s political, economic and cultural relations with other Asian countries.

ii) Southeast Asia : from colonies to independent countries

legacy of Western colonialism

reasons for decolonisation and struggles for independence

post-colonial developments and the development of ASEAN

Students will describe the general situation in Southeast Asia in the first half of the 20th century, focusing on the impact of Western colonisation of the region. They will analyse the reasons leading to the decolonisation of Southeast Asian countries, and delineate the major patterns of independence movements through examining the different methods employed to achieve independence, and examine the main features of post-colonial developments. They will also cite the development of ASEAN to illustrate the trend towards regional cooperation, relating it to the broad trend of global cooperation.

Theme B

Conflicts and Cooperation in the Twentieth-Century World

4) Major conflicts and the quest for peace

Key Points

Explanatory Notes

i) International relations from 1900 to 1914

Europe at the beginning of the 20th century – sources of rivalries and conflicts; attempts at making peace

Students will acquire a general understanding of the relationships among the major European powers at the beginning of the 20th century. They will analyse the sources of international rivalries and conflicts, and describe the early attempts at avoiding war. Students will also describe briefly how World War I broke out in 1914. 

ii) The two world wars and the peace settlements

impact of the Paris Peace Conference on the international order

post- World War II settlements and their impact

social, economic and cultural significance of the two world wars 

Through enquiring into the impact of the Paris Peace Conference, students will explain the cause-and-effect relationship between the two world wars. They will cite various attempts to establish collective security in the inter-war period and relate their results to the outbreak of World War II. Through examining the settlements that

ended World War II, students will show the ways in which, and the extent to which, a new international order was established. The historical significance of the two world wars will be assessed from the social, economic and cultural perspectives. Students will develop an awareness of both the short-term and long-term consequences of these global conflicts.

iii) Major conflicts after WWII and attempts to make peace

(a) superpower rivalries and détente

origins, development and characteristics of the Cold War

détente between the USA and USSR

collapse of the USSR and Warsaw Pact


(b) other major conflicts and attempts at making peace

causes and development of conflicts between Israel and the Arabs; racial conflicts in the Balkans; apartheid in South Africa

the role of the United Nations in peace-making attempts 

Through tracing the origins and development of the Cold War up to 1991, students will identify its salient features and explain the gradual relaxation of tensions between the USA and USSR . They will also identify the cause-and-effect relationships between the major events that led to the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact.






Students will explain the causes of conflicts between Israel and the Arabs, racial conflicts in the Balkans and apartheid in South Africa . They should be able to describe the development of these conflicts in the second half of the 20th century. They will also assess the role that the United Nations played in settling these conflicts.

5) The quest for cooperation and prosperity

Key Points

Explanatory Notes

i) International economic cooperation

attempts at reconstruction, economic cooperation and integration in Europe after World War II

post-WWII economic problems and recovery

the roles played by the USA and USSR in Europe ’s economic reconstruction and development

towards economic integration in Europe and its significance 



Students will identify both the economic problems and the efforts made to achieve economic recovery in Europe after the end of World War II, and the roles played by the USA and USSR in the economic reconstruction and development of Europe, analyse the political and economic considerations behind the decisions, assess the effectiveness and impact of their policies. Students will also trace the process of economic integration in Europe, and assess its significance for Europe and the world at large. 

ii) International social and cultural cooperation

population and resources; environmental protection; medicine and science and technology

major developments

achievements and limitations 

Students will cite examples to illustrate the major attempts made to achieve international cooperation in the areas of population and resources, environmental protection, as well as medicine and science and technology. In critically analyzing the

achievements and limitations of these attempts, students will acquire an awareness of divergent and even conflicting interests underlying each main issue. They will also assess the extent to which the international community is capable of resolving recurring global dilemmas.

Elective Part

This part of the curriculum allows students to specialise in an aspect of historical study that is more relevant to their needs, interests and ability levels. It consists of three electives, each of which represents an approach to the study of History and aims to develop one particular category of concepts and/or skills. Students are required to choose ONE of the following electives:


Explanatory Notes

Example of Topics

1. Comparative studies

This elective helps to draw attention to related historical phenomena in different places at particular points in time, or to change and continuity in the history of a particular place over the long run. While similarities between historical settings will be highlighted in order to promote better understanding of broad trends and patterns of development, students will also be encouraged to inquire into the uniqueness of specific historical settings.

Impacts of the Cold War

Totalitarian states

Development of Hong Kong and Shanghai into international cities

Theory and practice of communism in the USSR and China

US policies towards the PRC in different periods of time

China ’s population problems and population policies at different times in the 20th century

2. Issue-based studies

This elective enhances critical thinking and promotes an awareness of important communal and global issues. Students will explore an on-going issue, and are expected to investigate into its origins and development, analyse the controversies underlying the issue, and make reasoned judgments.



“Cultural imperialism”

Popular culture

Japan ’s political, economic and cultural influence in Asia

Religious intolerance and world


Nuclear proliferation

Global environmental challenges

Poverty in the developing world

Strife for gender equality

3. Local and heritage studies

This elective prepares students for employment in heritage-related industries and organisations, or for further studies in the fields of culture, heritage and museum management. Students will decide on a topic relating to the history of the local community and/or heritage, and conduct an investigation by using various approaches or methodologies that they have learnt in the course

Traditional culture and conservation (e.g., Cantonese opera, traditional customs and festivals, monuments and historical buildings)

Business and trade (e.g., local brand names and trade marks, history of one selected industry or trade)

Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School
Shan King Estate, Tuen Mun, N.T.
2464 3731
2464 3243
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