Perspectives on curriculum and pedagogy in a private kindergarten in China

GUO, Yuan (2015). Perspectives on curriculum and pedagogy in a private kindergarten in China. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

Set against the rapid development of private kindergartens in China in the last two decades, this thesis explores the Chinese perspectives of practitioners, parents and children on the curriculum and pedagogy of a private kindergarten delivering the Western Multiple Intelligence (MI) programme. This ethnographic study captures practitioners and parents perspectives by employing multiple methods including participant and non-participant observations, formal and informal interviews. It generated data on children's views through multiple participatory techniques. Research findings identify a changing perspective of childhood and children's rights in early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision in China. Practitioners and parents demonstrated a positive view about the MI programme and supporting children’s learning in relation to their different patterns of intelligences. Children liked the opportunities to develop their own interests in the areas of play provision linked to individual intelligences. Whilst practitioners and parents valued play-based activities in the MI programme, children conceptualised play differently and viewed some activities as 'learning' rather than 'play', which were defined by adults as 'play'. Practitioners and parents believed there was rich provision for 'play', however children felt opportunities for 'play' at kindergarten were fairly limited, in particular their 'play' time had been reduced in the final year of kindergarten due to the pressure of the transition from kindergarten to primary school. Children generally felt controlled and led by adults for most of their time at kindergarten and they articulated competently their interests, preferences and experiences in the kindergarten. The thesis identifies a need for Chinese policy-makers and ECEC practitioners to address the challenges of transplanting international programmes to a society with a Confucian educational tradition. Addressing the issue of children's participation in and construction of their kindergarten life would require acknowledging a wider range of stakeholder perspectives, including children's own voices.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2016 10:49
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 23:42
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13338

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