Investigating Space in Kindergartens under the Free Quality Kindergarten Education Scheme

    Project: Research project

    Project Details

    Description

    Kindergarten spaces are not meeting the policy goal of promoting children's holistic wellbeing set by the Hong Kong government. These spaces are limited in size, and characterised by spatial practices that privilege static desk-based tasks over active play, physical movement and multi-sensory experiences.
    The proposed study will address these problems by producing new knowledge about the spaces and spatial practices of kindergartens participating in the Free Quality Kindergarten Education (FQKE) scheme. One important direction of the FQKE policy is to improve premises and facilities, as well as identify possible options to increase premise provision in the long run. This new policy therefore has set the stage for rethinking the spaces and spatial practices of kindergartens.
    Grounded in social theories of space, the proposed study will adopt a mixed-methods approach, using participant observation, child-led walking tours, walking interviews with teachers and principals and a large-scale questionnaire survey. Qualitative data will be generated from five kindergartens selected for case studies (35 children, teachers and principals in total). Quantitative data will be produced through a survey to all FQKE kindergartens (around 750). The study will produce new knowledge about the availability and use of space in Hong Kong kindergartens, and how different kinds of space and spatial practice affect children’s wellbeing and learning in these kindergartens. The results will have significant implications, both for policy planning and improvement of kindergarten premises and related measures (e.g. facilities, spatial standards), and for developing professional capacity to enhance the quality of education through better use of space.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date01/07/1930/11/20

    Keywords

    • early childhood, kindergarten, education policy, space, spatial practices