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postgraduate thesis: Constructivisim in form, instructivism in function : a mixed-method investigation of instructional interactions in Chinese kindergartens

TitleConstructivisim in form, instructivism in function : a mixed-method investigation of instructional interactions in Chinese kindergartens
Authors
Issue Date2018
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Huang, R. [黃潤珂]. (2018). Constructivisim in form, instructivism in function : a mixed-method investigation of instructional interactions in Chinese kindergartens. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractInstructivism has dominated early childhood education in China due to the traditional Chinese culture and Soviet ideology. Since the turn of the new millennium, the Ministry of Education in China has launched the Teaching Guideline for Kindergarten Education (2001) to promote the most recent round of instructional reform in kindergartens. It aims to introduce the notion of “Developmentally Appropriate Practice” and replace the traditional practices with constructivism-oriented ones. However, whether Chinese teachers deliver constructivism in their classroom practices when interacting with young children remains little known. To examine the actual instructional practices in contemporary Chinese kindergartens and to some extent, assess how successful the Chinese government is in terms of implementing the progressive reform, this mixed-method research investigated the instructional interactions through classroom observations, interviews, and questionnaires in kindergartens in a coastal city in China – Shenzhen. In Study One, 27 classes were observed and coded, resulting in 4,320 turns of dialogue in total. Evidence revealed that teacher-initiated, open-ended questions and dialogues dominated the instruction. However, the answers to questions were mostly limited as linked to the learning content (e.g., a story) directed by the teachers. The teacher-child dialogues mostly functioned in a pattern that teachers invited ideas and children returned with simple oral responses. Together with the questionnaires collected from the teachers, it was found that children’s age, teachers’ qualification and working experience, and the type of academic subject were related to the features of instructional interactions. Study Two further examined how teachers conducted instructional interactions and perceived the potential influencing factors using a qualitative, in-depth approach. Data obtained from the target classroom observations and interviews were described and triangulated. Evidence indicated that most of the interactions were initiated to identify the information, while very few were about analyzing and reasoning. Additionally, child characteristics, teachers’ professional development, demands of academic preparation, and the sociocultural expectation of teachers’ role were highlighted to explain why teachers interact in this way – constructivism in form and instructivism in function. This research actually presents how Chinese early childhood teachers interpreted and delivered the up-to-down policies and struggled between Western progressive and Chinese traditional ideas and practices in terms of educating young children. Implications for both policymakers and practitioners were finally discussed with the aim to bridge the gap between the form and function of instructional interaction in Chinese kindergartens.
DegreeMaster of Education
SubjectShenzhen Shi - China - Early childhood education
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/270223

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Runke-
dc.contributor.author黃潤珂-
dc.date.accessioned2019-05-23T02:26:13Z-
dc.date.available2019-05-23T02:26:13Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationHuang, R. [黃潤珂]. (2018). Constructivisim in form, instructivism in function : a mixed-method investigation of instructional interactions in Chinese kindergartens. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/270223-
dc.description.abstractInstructivism has dominated early childhood education in China due to the traditional Chinese culture and Soviet ideology. Since the turn of the new millennium, the Ministry of Education in China has launched the Teaching Guideline for Kindergarten Education (2001) to promote the most recent round of instructional reform in kindergartens. It aims to introduce the notion of “Developmentally Appropriate Practice” and replace the traditional practices with constructivism-oriented ones. However, whether Chinese teachers deliver constructivism in their classroom practices when interacting with young children remains little known. To examine the actual instructional practices in contemporary Chinese kindergartens and to some extent, assess how successful the Chinese government is in terms of implementing the progressive reform, this mixed-method research investigated the instructional interactions through classroom observations, interviews, and questionnaires in kindergartens in a coastal city in China – Shenzhen. In Study One, 27 classes were observed and coded, resulting in 4,320 turns of dialogue in total. Evidence revealed that teacher-initiated, open-ended questions and dialogues dominated the instruction. However, the answers to questions were mostly limited as linked to the learning content (e.g., a story) directed by the teachers. The teacher-child dialogues mostly functioned in a pattern that teachers invited ideas and children returned with simple oral responses. Together with the questionnaires collected from the teachers, it was found that children’s age, teachers’ qualification and working experience, and the type of academic subject were related to the features of instructional interactions. Study Two further examined how teachers conducted instructional interactions and perceived the potential influencing factors using a qualitative, in-depth approach. Data obtained from the target classroom observations and interviews were described and triangulated. Evidence indicated that most of the interactions were initiated to identify the information, while very few were about analyzing and reasoning. Additionally, child characteristics, teachers’ professional development, demands of academic preparation, and the sociocultural expectation of teachers’ role were highlighted to explain why teachers interact in this way – constructivism in form and instructivism in function. This research actually presents how Chinese early childhood teachers interpreted and delivered the up-to-down policies and struggled between Western progressive and Chinese traditional ideas and practices in terms of educating young children. Implications for both policymakers and practitioners were finally discussed with the aim to bridge the gap between the form and function of instructional interaction in Chinese kindergartens. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshShenzhen Shi - China - Early childhood education-
dc.titleConstructivisim in form, instructivism in function : a mixed-method investigation of instructional interactions in Chinese kindergartens-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Education-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2018-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044101888003414-

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