Violence has been traditionally defined as visible, and especially physical. It often means the violence that related to bloodshed, such as domestic violence and wars. However, violence has wider meanings. Violence can occur invisibly, yet it does not mean that it has less impact than the visible one. Invisible violence, such as violence in form of suppression and detention, may exert greater impact than the visible or the physical one. The seemingly peaceful societies in our time do as much violent as in the barbarian past. Invisible violence may appear in social norms, education system, mass media, urban design, and even law and order. This essay aims at paying attention to the violence in education system, with the example of compulsory education in Hong Kong. The violence in compulsory education can be found in several ways, namely the aim of education, the ways of implementing teaching in normal school setting, and the suppression of emotions in education. In this essay, the teaching experience, with particular reference to Geography teaching of the author, is used as an example to illustrate the invisible violence in compulsory education.

This essay first discusses the theory of violence and peace, so as to provide a theoretical framework for the analysis. The essay proceeds to the discussion on why compulsory education can be violent. Based on the author’s observation in Geography teaching in a local secondary school, the aim of curriculum of Geography, the settings of class and public examination are the different ways of imposing violence to students. The essay will also critic on the violence of knowledge itself with reference to the curriculum of New Senior Secondary Geography. At last, it will narrate and evaluate author’s attempt in conducting a field trip in Tai O, which brings students out of the traditional setting of schooling and in the hope that such trip could culture students’ humanistic solicitude in a local community.

Recommended Citation

Chan, W.-h. P. (2014). Unveiling the violence in education: from a teacher's point of view. Cultural Studies@Lingnan, 44. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/mcsln/vol43/iss1/6/