Variation in the qualities of instruction methods adopted by different Kindergartens in Hong Kong

Wai Ling CHAN, Nirmala RAO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the learning and teaching approaches used in three kindergartens in Hong Kong, which were assessed as being of “good,” “acceptable,” and “unsatisfactory” quality, respectively, by the regulatory body and that used the same curriculum package. Participants were five kindergarten teachers, their students, and five specialists in pre-primary education, who provided an independent assessment of kindergarten quality. Each teacher was observed for three hours a day over three consecutive days. The specialists discussed videotaped observations of learning activities from each of the kindergartens in a focus group, and rated kindergarten quality. Results indicated that the ratings of the regulatory body and the specialists were consistent and appeared to be informed by the criteria for “developmentally appropriate practices.” The low-quality classroom was teacher-directed, engaged mainly in chalk-and-talk and paper-and-pencil activities, and involved few interactions between the teacher and the children or among children. The children in the other two kindergartens engaged in authentic learning activities, learned in small groups, appeared cognitively engaged, and had many interactions with the teacher and other children. Although the kindergartens claimed to use Montessori, Project, and Unit approaches, the specialists felt that none of them actually implemented their purported approaches with fidelity. The implications of the findings for defining and promoting kindergarten quality are discussed. Copyright © 2013 The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-41
JournalThe International Journal of Early Childhood Learning
Volume19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Citation

Chan, W. L., & Rao, N. (2013). Variation in the qualities of instruction methods adopted by different Kindergartens in Hong Kong. The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, 19(2), 21-41.

Keywords

  • Kindergarten
  • Hong Kong
  • Learning and teaching
  • Quality

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