School-based curriculum development (SBCD) has been advocated to enhance the quality of early childhood education within the context of modernization and globalization. However, few studies have examined how the social change and globalization may shape the early childhood curriculum. This study examined SBCD in two Shenzhen kindergartens via interviews, observations and documents to understand the curriculum innovations and how and why the SBCD took place in the Chinese kindergartens. This study revealed that curriculum in each case was an integrated system balancing different curriculum approaches. Also, the conflict and fusion of cultures were found throughout the dynamic transformation of curricula. Social change, reflected by conflicting motives, such as child-centeredness versus teacher-directedness, individualism versus collectivism, and imported versus local approaches, played a decisive role in the SBCD. The implications of these findings are discussed.
- cultural conflicts
- cultural-historical approach
- early childhood curriculum
- school-based curriculum development
- social change