Learning through play’ was firstly introduced by the Hong Kong government in 1980's for early childhood education. It was promoted as a main way for preschoolers to learn. However, after more than 20 years of advocacy, studies revealed that the practices in preschools were still in a didactic and academic oriented mode. To clarify the issue of problematic implementation, this study interviewed 9 Hong Kong in-service preschool teachers for their perception of 'teaching through play'. It is found that although all participants possessed positive impression on play, their practice was contradicting to their espoused theory in mind. The study also showed that preschool teachers were facing difficulties in merging 'rigid curriculum' and 'unstructured learning mode'. Curriculum pressure, teacher's training experience and insufficient support were the crucial factors suggested to be related to this difficult situation. There is a need for policy makers, teacher educators and most importantly, the front-liners, to review and reflect on the current situation of 'teaching through play'.
|Published - 2010