Play is a characteristic behaviour of young children. It is a vital way through which children reconcile their inner lives with the outside world. It is a central activity in kindergarten and nurseries. ‘Learning through play’ is recommended as the mode of learning and teaching for young children. In Hong Kong, it was documented in an official education report in 1986 and is the key guideline for the implementation of the aims of early childhood education for the next millennium. A case study of two kindergarten teachers in Hong Kong was conducted to investigate the understanding and implementation of play in the kindergarten curriculum. The findings showed immense difficulties in understanding the concept ‘learning through play’ and a gap between the practitioners’ espoused theories and practice. The study reflected the complex nature of learning and teaching and highlighted the core issue for reform, namely, the need for bridging the gap between theory and practice. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier.
CitationCheng, D. P.-W. (2001). Difficulties of Hong Kong teachers' understanding and implementation of 'play' in the curriculum. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 857-869.
- Early childhood teachers
- Teacher knowledge
- Theory and practice
- Professional development