This study examines the development of education and the curriculum for children with mental handicap in Hong Kong, the influence of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) reform on the development of the curriculum for these children and its implementation in a special school over a period of two years. Three research strategies were used: historiography, naturalistic evaluation and a case study. Data was gathered by means of document collection, interviewing and observation, and analysed by the method of constant comparison. The findings are considered in the light of political, technological and cultural factors in the developments of education and curriculum for children with mental handicap, in the introduction of the TOC to these children, and in the school personnel's interpretation and views towards its implementation. The extent of implementation of the TOC in the case study school was examined with regards to changing practices in materials, teaching approaches and teachers' beliefs. Five key themes emerged from the study: the extent of TOC implementation at school and classroom levels, the Education Department's commitment towards the education of children with mental handicap, whether curriculum reform was truly considered necessary, the ethos of teaching and the culture of special education/schools. It was concluded that the implementation of the TOC for children with mental handicap was a poor example of effective change, given the problematic nature of the reform, in particular the inadequate management of the change process. It was also evident that this reform repeated many past failures, making long term success of the TOC in special schools somewhat doubtful.