The background to the case study
The school in question is in Macau, China. This chapter reports the background to schooling in Macau and to the school in question. It also describes the pilot project and its evaluation, which was part of its overall ‘ESOS’ project (‘Empowering Students for an Open School’). The chapter sets the background for the particular school initiative within the context of schooling in Macau, in sufficient detail to indicate how the project in question constituted a major innovation in schooling in Macau. The chapter introduces schooling provision and the extensive decentralization of schooling in Macau, the majority role played by Catholic schools in Macau (of which the school was one), the nature of decision-making on curricula, pedagogy and assessment in Macau schools, and some current challenges facing Macau schools, including issues of student motivation and behaviour.