Learning to teach: A case study of teacher development in a pre-service kindergarten teacher education programme in Hong Kong

Siu Man WONG, Po Wah CHAN, Lai Ha Freda YUEN, Wai Man KWONG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Beginning from the 2003/04 school year onward, all new preschool teachers need to be professionally qualified through completing pre-service teacher education progrmames. The new policy necessarily leads to fast expansion in the provision of pre-service early childhood teacher education. We believe that teacher education in pre-service programmes is fundamentally different from that in in-service programmes, the former serve novice while the latter serve experienced, though untrained, teachers. Pre-service teachers can only draw on their biographical experience and culturally transmitted beliefs, values, and folkways of teaching to process their teacher education experience. As early childhood teacher education largely adopts a professional discourse transplanted from the West, how do pre-service teachers harmonize cultural variations in the ideas and practices of educating young children? What do they learn and how do they learn as they progress through a three-year pre-service programme? This paper reports a case study of pre-service teachers’ experience in a three-year fulltime early childhood teacher education programme at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. The study tracked teacher development of four pre-service teachers in the programme and beyond in beginning teaching. Each research participant was interviewed periodically throughout their progression through the three-year programme to tap their conception of teaching before joining the programme, why they pursued a teaching career at the time they enrolled in the programme, their experience in the programme, particularly in teaching practicum, and changes over time in their teacher knowledge, beliefs and values about educating young children as they progressed through the programme and then embarked on beginning teaching. Two research participants decided to give up preschool teaching as their career by the end of the progrramme. The other two participants started to teach in kindergartens after completing the programme.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007



Wong, S. M., Chan, P. W., Yuen, L. H., & Kwong, W. M. (2007, July). Learning to teach: A case study of teacher development in a pre-service kindergarten teacher education programme in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association (PECERA) 8th Conference: Re-thinking Early Childhood Education, Hong Kong, China.


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development