Bob Adamson is Chair Professor of Curriculum Reform and Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development. Formerly, he was UNESCO Chairholder in TVET and Lifelong Learning, Director of the UNEVOC Centre (Hong Kong), Foundation Head of the Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning, Head of Graduate Programmes Office and Head of the Department of Curriculum Studies. He has also served as the President of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong, and as Director of the Comparative Education Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong.
Bob started his teaching career as a language assistant in France (1980-81), before completing a PGCE at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1983. He then spent four years in mainland China teaching at Taiyuan Teachers College and Shanxi Mining College, while working part-time as a presenter for Shanxi TV. In 1988, he moved to Hong Kong, teaching at Cheung Sha Wan Catholic Secondary School, Sir Robert Black College of Education and the University of Hong Kong. He spent two years at Queensland University of Technology (2002-04) and Liverpool Hope University (2005-06), and joined Hong Kong Institute of Education (now the Education University of Hong Kong) in September 2006.
Bob publishes in the fields of language policy, curriculum studies, comparative education, teacher education, and higher education. His books include Trilingualism in education in China: models and challenges (with Anwei Feng, 2015), China’s English: a history of English in Chinese education (2004), Curriculum, schooling and society in Hong Kong (with Paul Morris, 2010), Assessment reform in education (with Rita Berry, 2011), The reorientation of higher education: challenging the East-West dichotomy (with Jon Nixon and Feng Su, 2012), and Comparative education research: approaches and methods (with Mark Bray and Mark Mason, 2007, 2014)—a work translated into eight languages to date.
Bob has also written and co-written more than fifty textbooks for primary, secondary and tertiary students. One series, L’Europe Ensemble, was awarded the European Label for Innovative Initiatives in the Field of Language Learning by the European Union in 2006. Another textbook, A Course in English Language Teaching, was awarded First Prize in the Outstanding National Higher Education Textbook category by the Chinese Government in 2001, and the second edition was designated one of 15 Key National Textbooks for Higher Education by the Chinese Government in 2006. He was part of the curriculum development team that produced the Junior English for China and Senior English for China textbook series, which were used by approximately 400 million students.
He has served as External Examiner of more than 25 doctoral degrees at the University of Hong Kong; University of East Anglia; UCL Institute of Education; Griffith University; Deakin University; University of New South Wales; Monash University; Flinders University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Chinese University of Hong Kong and elsewhere, and 3 Ed.Ds at the University of Western Sydney, University of New England and Open University of Hong Kong.
Bob has worked with the People's Education Press in the Ministry of Education, China, as a consultant since 1989. He is an Honorary Professor in seven universities in China. In 2013, he was awarded the title of "Kunlun Expert" (昆仑学者) by the Qinghai Provincial Government in the People’s Republic of China in recognition of more than 30 years' work in Chinese education, particularly in minority education.
Principal Investigator (Hong Kong), ‘Hong Kong as a Source for Education Policy in England: Rhetoric and Reality’ Funded by Economic and Social Research Council /Research Grants Council Joint Research Scheme (HK$395,232).
Principal Investigator, ‘Models of trilingual education in ethnic minority regions of China’ (2012-14) Funded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HK$800,822)
Principal Investigator, ‘Curriculum, schooling and society in Hong Kong’ (2008-09)
Funded by Hong Kong Institute of Education Internal Research Grant (HK$64,750)
Bob Adamson has published more than 100 academic books, book chapters and journal articles. Publications include:
Feng, A.W. & Adamson, B. (Eds.) (2015). Trilingualism in education in China: models and challenges. Dordrecht: Springer.
Bray, M., Adamson, B. & Mason, M. (Eds.) (2014). Comparative education research: approaches and methods. Second edition. Hong Kong & Dordrecht: Comparative Education Research Centre & Springer.
Adamson, B. & Feng, A.W. (2014). Models for trilingual education in the People’s Republic of China. In Gorter, D., Zenotz, V. & Cenoz, J. (Eds.) Minority languages and multilingual education (pp.29-44). Dordrecht: Springer.
Pishghadam, R. & Adamson, B. (2013). Educational language learning textbooks: a new outlook on materials development. In Bakić-Mirić, N. & Gaipov, D.E. (Eds.) Building cultural bridges in education (pp.93-102). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Adamson, B., Feng, A.W., Liu, Q. & Li, Q. (2013).Ethnic minorities and trilingual education policies. In Besharov, D.J. & Baehler, K. (Eds.) Chinese social policy in a time of transition (pp.180-195). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Adamson, B., Nixon, J. & Su, F. (Eds.) (2012). The reorientation of higher education: Challenging the East-West dichotomy. Hong Kong & Dordrecht: Comparative Education Research Centre & Springer.
Adamson, B. (2012). International comparative studies in teaching and teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 641-648.
Ko, P.Y. & Adamson, B. (2012). Chinese Language pedagogy and human dignity—The Special Rank Teacher in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. In Leung, C. & Ruan, J. (Eds.) Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Chinese Literacy in China (pp 60-81). Dordrecht: Springer. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-4822-4_5
Hu, R. & Adamson, B. (2012). Social ideologies and the English curriculum in China. In Leung, C. & Ruan, J. (Eds.) Perspectives on Teaching and Learning English Literacy in China (pp 1-17). Dordrecht: Springer. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-007-4994-8_1
Adamson, B. & Xia, B. (2011). A case study of the College English Test and ethnic minority university students in China: negotiating the final hurdle. Journal of Multilingual Education, 1(1).
Zhang, L. & Adamson, B. (2011). The new independent higher education institutions in China: Dilemmas and challenges. Higher Education Quarterly, 65(3), 251-266.
Ko, P.Y. & Adamson, B. (2011). Pedagogy and human dignity – The Special Rank Teacher in China since 1978. History of Education 40(3), 371-389.
Adamson, B. & Walker, E. (2011). Messy collaboration: learning from a Learning Study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 29-36.
Berry, R. & Adamson, B. (Eds.) (2011). Assessment reform in education: Policy and practice. Dordrecht: Springer.
Gil, J. & Adamson, B. (2011). The English language in China: a sociolinguistic profile. In Feng, A. (Ed.), English language education across Greater China (pp.23-45). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Morris, P. & Adamson, B. (2010). Curriculum, schooling and society in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Adamson, B. & Feng, A. (2009). A comparison of trilingual education policies for ethnic minorities in China. Compare, 39(3), 321-333.
Bray, M., Adamson, B. & Mason, M. (Eds.) (2007). Comparative education research approaches and methods. Hong Kong & Dordrecht, Netherlands: Comparative Education Research Centre & Springer.
Adamson, B. (2007). Depoliticisation in the English curriculum. In A. Feng (Ed.), Bilingual education in China (pp.34-48). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Adamson, B. (2005). Developing Information Technology for English in Chinese secondary schools. In C. Davison (Ed.), Information Technology and innovation in language education (pp.81-101). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Adamson, B. & Tong, S.Y.A (2008). Leadership and collaboration in implementing curriculum change in Hong Kong secondary schools. Asia Pacific Education Review, 9(2), 81-90.
Adamson, B. (2004). China’s English: a history of English in Chinese education. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Adamson, B. (2004). Fashions in language teaching methodology. In A. Davies & C. Elder (Eds.), The handbook of applied linguistics (pp.604-622). Oxford: Blackwell.
Adamson, B. (2002). Barbarian as a foreign language: English in China’s schools. World Englishes, 21(2), 231-243.
Adamson, B., Kwan, T & Chan, K.K. (Eds.) (2000). Changing the curriculum: the impact of reform on primary schooling in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: HKU Press.
Agelasto, M. & Adamson, B. (Eds.) (1998). Higher education in post-Mao China. Hong Kong: HKU Press.
Adamson, B. & Morris, P. (1997). The English curriculum in the People’s Republic of China. Comparative Education Review, 41(1), 3-26.
Adamson, B. & Auyeung Lai, Y.W.W. (1997). Language and the curriculum in Hong Kong: dilemmas of triglossia. Comparative Education, 33(2), 233-246.
Adamson, B. (1995). The Four Modernizations Programme in China and English Language teacher education: a case study. Compare, 25(3), 197-210.
Visiting Professor, University of Nottingham Ningbo, PR China
Visiting Professor, Yanbian UNiversity, PR China
Visiting Professor, Qinghai Minorities University, PR China
Visiting Professor, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
Honorary Visiting Professor, Qujing Normal University, PR China
Visiting International Research Scholar, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Honorary Visiting Professor, Yunnan Normal University, PR China
External Programme Assessor, Open University of Hong Kong, 2010-12.
Curriculum consultant, Hong Kong College of Technology
External Examiner, THEi. IVE, Hong Kong
Honorary Adviser, Chartered Institute of Linguists, Hong Kong Society, 2009-
UNEVOC Centre (Hong Kong), Director, 2011-
Reference Group Member, Innovative Secondary Education for Skills Development Project, conducted by Results for Development (Washington DC), funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, 2012-13.
Editor, Journal of Multilingual Education
Editor, Comparative Education Bulletin, 2010-12
International Editor, Cogent Education
Editorial Board Member, Teaching and Teacher Education
Editorial Board Member, Book Series: Education in the Asia-Pacific Region, Springer
Editorial Board Member, Book Series: Education for the World of Work: Issues, Concerns and Prospects, Springer
Editorial Adviser, Asia Pacific Education Review
International Advisory Board Member, Strategies for Policy in Science & Education
Editorial Board Member, Iranian Journal of Society, Culture and Language
Reviewer, Alberta Journal of Educational Research
Reviewer, Asia Pacific Education Review
Reviewer, Asia Pacific Journal of Education
Reviewer, Australian Journal of Asian Law
Reviewer, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics
Reviewer, Comparative Education Review
Reviewer, Comparative Perspectives
Reviewer, Early Childhood Development and Care
Reviewer, Education Research and Evaluation
Reviewer, Education Research International
Reviewer, Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics
Reviewer, History of Education
Reviewer, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Reviewer, International Journal of Educational Development
Reviewer, International Review of Geography and Environmental Education
Reviewer, Journal of Asian Pacific Communication
Reviewer, Journal of Educational Administration
Reviewer, Language, Culture and Curriculum
Reviewer, Language Policy
Reviewer, Language Teaching Research
Reviewer, Multilingual Matters
Reviewer, Prospects (UNESCO Quarterly Review of Comparative Education)
Reviewer, The Curriculum Journal
Reviewer, HKU Press
Reviewer, Longman Addison Wesley
Reviewer, Comparative Education Research Centre