Play-Based Pedagogy in Early Childhood Classrooms in Hong Kong and its Impact on Quality Education

Play-Based Pedagogy in Early Childhood Classrooms in Hong Kong and its Impact on Quality Education

Date & Time

25 April 2011, 00:00




Office of Education Research (OER)



Events Details

Time: 9.30am - 11.30am

For decades, educators and psychologists have advocated ‘play’ as the ideal activity for the development and learning of young children. Actually, according to the report of OECD (2002), play is widely perceived to be the central pedagogy for young children’s learning and teaching in many Western countries. However, issues on the quality of play-based pedagogy is becoming a key concern across countries.  Scholars found that ‘play’ is either too loosely framed and thus cannot challenge children’s optimal development and learning or too ‘teacherly’ that it looses the essence of play. The report, released by OECD (2004), highlighted its concern on the issue of enacting ‘play’ with ‘learning’ in early childhood education and urged early childhood practitioners to pay more attention to the objectives of learning.

Following the world trend, ‘learning through play’ was adopted by the Government of Hong Kong as the central tenet of learning and teaching in early childhood education since the 1980s. However, kindergaten teachers have found it quite difficult to reconceptualise their work within the context of ‘play’ and to adapt their pedagogy accordingly. Working on identifying the issues of play implementation in the Hong Kong early years’ classroom for the last 10 years, the speaker is going to talk about the difficulties of enacting play in the Hong Kong context and discuss its impact on quality early childhood education.

Dr Doris Cheng is Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, where she teaches ‘Early Childhood Learning and Teaching’, ‘Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education’ and ‘Contemporary Approaches in Early Childhood Curriculum’. She is currently the Associate Head of the Early Childhood Department at the institute. Her doctoral research was on teachers’ understanding and implementation of play in early childhood classroom at the University of Bath, UK and has published internationally on issues of play-based pedagogy, early childhood curriculum and the professional development of early childhood teachers. She is currently the Associate Editor of the Journal of Global Studies of Childhood and the International Advisory Committee for the Journal of Early Childhood Research. Doris is a founding member of the Association for Childhood Education International – Hong Kong and Macau and is serving actively as an executive member of the organisation. She has strong interest in enhancing the learning and teaching quality of young children and her current research grants focus on quality practice in early childhood education and the relationship between play and the development of children’s theory of mind.

Please register your attendance with the Office of Education Research at email: by 19 April 2011.

This event is for NIE Staff only.