Singapore University of Social Sciences

Developmentally Appropriate Early Childhood Practices in Hong Kong (OEL323)

Synopsis

The main objective of OEL323 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of developmentally appropriate early childhood pedagogies (DAP) in Hong Kong. This is achieved through a combination of experiential learning, e-learning, observations and reflective conversations with professionals, and participation in an overseas trip to Hong Kong, China. The approaches to early childhood education in Hong Kong are quite varied although kindergartens all follow the Hong Kong Ministry of Education’s framework and learning goals for pre-primary education, reflecting a focus on child-centric, active learning curriculum that is in line with current international trends in ECE curriculum. The study trip will provide opportunities for our students to see how Hong Kong’s kindergartens work towards developing localised, child-centric curriculum that is developmentally appropriate, amidst an educational culture that is academically competitive. By working with local practitioners on education-related projects, students will get to port over what they have learnt not only through comparing how historical, economic, and socio-cultural factors shape educational development and early childhood education practices in the host country and in Singapore, but also through reflecting on the relationships between developmentally appropriate practices and cultural vs. universal conceptions of childhood development.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester

Topics

  • Experiential and inquiry learning
  • Key historical and socio-cultural developments in early childhood education in the host country
  • Selected issues relevant to early childhood education in the host country, e.g. social, cultural, or pedagogical
  • Developmentally appropriate play-based practices
  • Universality versus cultural particularity within ECE
  • Preparation and design of the overseas experiential learning project: liaising with local community partner(s), safety and emergency response, cultural sensitivity

Learning Outcome

  • Compare the socio-cultural circumstances shaping the ECE practices in the host country to those of Singapore
  • Examine how the issues and challenges faced by preschool teachers in the host country are similar and/or different from those faced by preschool teachers in Singapore
  • Apply ECE theories to relate DAP to cultural vs. universal conceptions of childhood development
  • Modify their own image of the child and of the teacher based on this cross-cultural experience
  • Analyse the universality and particularity of the development of critical thinking dispositions
  • Assess the extent to which DAP is observed in the classrooms in the host country.
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