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Title: Navigating a complex pedagogical landscape : case study of a progressive early years model in Hong Kong
Author: Humpage, Virginia
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 9270
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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Hong Kong, which has a rich Eastern culture infused with Confucian values and a long tradition of formal academic, didactic pedagogy in pre-primary education, is keen to adopt an approach that advocates play-based, child-centred learning (Hong Kong Government News, 2017; Curriculum Development Council, 2006). However, the transition has to date not been easy for the practitioners, who are finding it a challenge to put the theory of such learning into practice (Chen et al., 2017; Cheng et al., 2015) against the constraints of the widely accepted parent-driven policy discourse that exists within the early years sector (Cheung et al., 2017; Hong Kong Government News, 2017). Further exacerbating the situation is the lack of government support for professional development and training (Cheung, 2017; Chan et al., 2009). The aims of this case study was to identify what aspects of a play-based, child-centred approach practitioners are finding a challenge to put into practice; how practitioners are able to navigate high parental expectations; and how they can best be supported in their practice within their Hong Kong setting to feel confident and well-equipped in their role as practitioner. A further aim was to determine how practitioners who have not experienced the pedagogy of play, as part of their own childhood education or during their teacher training, are able to adapt to teaching a play- and child-centred approach. The case study looked through a qualitative lens at one Hong Kong early years institute that has adopted Western play-based, child-centred approaches. The main research methods employed were informal, semi-structured, one-to-one interviews with eight practitioners and the head of school, classroom observations, and the collection/analysis of documentary evidence. The study’s findings suggest that a pivotal prerequisite for feeling supported and well-equipped in their role is for practitioners to have shared values and pedagogical beliefs with their peers, managers and the institute as a whole. The implementation of practitioner support and learning tools within the institute, including provisions for collaboration amongst practitioners to navigate the challenges they face, is crucial.
Supervisor: Chesworth, Elizabeth ; Kay, Louise Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available