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Full Access The Relation between Early Childhood Teachers' Conceptualization of “Play” and Their Practice: Implication for the Process of Learning to Teach

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The Relation between Early Childhood Teachers' Conceptualization of “Play” and Their Practice: Implication for the Process of Learning to Teach

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For centuries, educators and psychologists have advocated “play” as the ideal activity for the development of young children. Actually, play has been found currently to be the central pedagogy in the learning of young children in 21 countries in the world. However, the quality of play-based pedagogy is becoming a key concern across countries. Scholars found that play is either too loosely framed to result in children's optimal development; or it is too “teacherly” and looses the essence of play. The recent report released by OECD highlighted its concern about play in early childhood education and, urged international researchers and educators to make efforts to bridge the gap. Hong Kong is not an exception on the issue of play enactment. Though resources have been put in for the professional upgrading of early education teachers in the last two decades, the learning and teaching style is still didactic and there appears to be a misinterpretation of play-based pedagogy. The present paper attempts to explore the issue through early childhood teachers' conceptualization of “learning and teaching through play” with the aim of understanding the problem and shedding light for better ways to prepare teachers in this sector.


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