Bridging a cultural divide between play and learning: parental ethnotheories of young children’s play and their instantiation in contemporary China

Xunyi Lin, Hui Li, Weipeng Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Research Findings: The current study explored the ethnotheories of 6 Chinese families regarding their young children’s play in Shanghai, the most Westernized metropolis in China. A triangulation of multiple data sources was established through in-depth interviews, home visit observations, and 1-week recordings of child’s daily play activities. The empirical evidence revealed that the 6 families practiced eduplay (Rao & Li, 2009) with their young children, a Chinese version of play-based learning or a compromise between contemporary Western notions of child-centered play and the Chinese tradition of adult-directed academic training. Albeit with individual differences and varieties, parents’ ethnotheories were instantiated in the child’s daily settings for the provision of toys, the use of time in play and learning, and parents’ roles in the child’s play. However, some contextual constraints and barriers prevented the parents from fully putting the imported progressive educational beliefs into action. Practice or Policy: The changing and varying parental ethnotheories of play may reflect a paradigm shift in the early childhood education system, which has been jointly shaped by traditional Chinese beliefs and contemporary Western notions of appropriate practice. More implications of these findings are discussed against the backdrop of sociocultural changes in contemporary Chinese society.

LanguageEnglish
Pages82-97
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Education and Development
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date12 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

China
Learning
learning
parents
Parents
sociocultural development
Play and Playthings
House Calls
Information Storage and Retrieval
toy
triangulation
metropolis
Individuality
education system
compromise
recording
Teaching
childhood
Interviews
paradigm

Cite this

@article{f96304c6ba36449f82b91e5f6adbd5bc,
title = "Bridging a cultural divide between play and learning: parental ethnotheories of young children’s play and their instantiation in contemporary China",
abstract = "Research Findings: The current study explored the ethnotheories of 6 Chinese families regarding their young children’s play in Shanghai, the most Westernized metropolis in China. A triangulation of multiple data sources was established through in-depth interviews, home visit observations, and 1-week recordings of child’s daily play activities. The empirical evidence revealed that the 6 families practiced eduplay (Rao & Li, 2009) with their young children, a Chinese version of play-based learning or a compromise between contemporary Western notions of child-centered play and the Chinese tradition of adult-directed academic training. Albeit with individual differences and varieties, parents’ ethnotheories were instantiated in the child’s daily settings for the provision of toys, the use of time in play and learning, and parents’ roles in the child’s play. However, some contextual constraints and barriers prevented the parents from fully putting the imported progressive educational beliefs into action. Practice or Policy: The changing and varying parental ethnotheories of play may reflect a paradigm shift in the early childhood education system, which has been jointly shaped by traditional Chinese beliefs and contemporary Western notions of appropriate practice. More implications of these findings are discussed against the backdrop of sociocultural changes in contemporary Chinese society.",
author = "Xunyi Lin and Hui Li and Weipeng Yang",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1080/10409289.2018.1514846",
language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "82--97",
journal = "Early Education and Development",
issn = "1040-9289",
publisher = "Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group",
number = "1",

}

Bridging a cultural divide between play and learning : parental ethnotheories of young children’s play and their instantiation in contemporary China. / Lin, Xunyi; Li, Hui; Yang, Weipeng.

In: Early Education and Development, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2019, p. 82-97.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bridging a cultural divide between play and learning

T2 - Early Education and Development

AU - Lin, Xunyi

AU - Li, Hui

AU - Yang, Weipeng

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Research Findings: The current study explored the ethnotheories of 6 Chinese families regarding their young children’s play in Shanghai, the most Westernized metropolis in China. A triangulation of multiple data sources was established through in-depth interviews, home visit observations, and 1-week recordings of child’s daily play activities. The empirical evidence revealed that the 6 families practiced eduplay (Rao & Li, 2009) with their young children, a Chinese version of play-based learning or a compromise between contemporary Western notions of child-centered play and the Chinese tradition of adult-directed academic training. Albeit with individual differences and varieties, parents’ ethnotheories were instantiated in the child’s daily settings for the provision of toys, the use of time in play and learning, and parents’ roles in the child’s play. However, some contextual constraints and barriers prevented the parents from fully putting the imported progressive educational beliefs into action. Practice or Policy: The changing and varying parental ethnotheories of play may reflect a paradigm shift in the early childhood education system, which has been jointly shaped by traditional Chinese beliefs and contemporary Western notions of appropriate practice. More implications of these findings are discussed against the backdrop of sociocultural changes in contemporary Chinese society.

AB - Research Findings: The current study explored the ethnotheories of 6 Chinese families regarding their young children’s play in Shanghai, the most Westernized metropolis in China. A triangulation of multiple data sources was established through in-depth interviews, home visit observations, and 1-week recordings of child’s daily play activities. The empirical evidence revealed that the 6 families practiced eduplay (Rao & Li, 2009) with their young children, a Chinese version of play-based learning or a compromise between contemporary Western notions of child-centered play and the Chinese tradition of adult-directed academic training. Albeit with individual differences and varieties, parents’ ethnotheories were instantiated in the child’s daily settings for the provision of toys, the use of time in play and learning, and parents’ roles in the child’s play. However, some contextual constraints and barriers prevented the parents from fully putting the imported progressive educational beliefs into action. Practice or Policy: The changing and varying parental ethnotheories of play may reflect a paradigm shift in the early childhood education system, which has been jointly shaped by traditional Chinese beliefs and contemporary Western notions of appropriate practice. More implications of these findings are discussed against the backdrop of sociocultural changes in contemporary Chinese society.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85053399397&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/10409289.2018.1514846

DO - 10.1080/10409289.2018.1514846

M3 - Article

VL - 30

SP - 82

EP - 97

JO - Early Education and Development

JF - Early Education and Development

SN - 1040-9289

IS - 1

ER -