School-based curriculum development: an interview study of Chinese kindergartens

Hui Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate how school-based curriculum development (SBCD) was interpreted and implemented in a Chinese context like Hong Kong whose educational system is highly centralized and bureaucratic. Altogether 118 teachers and 34 principals reported their beliefs and practice in SBCD, and four principals were interviewed in individual sessions. The majority of the principals and teachers admitted that they adopted one of the learning packages provided by local publishers. The dichotomies of approaches to SBCD found in Shanghai studies (Yan, S. J., Gao, J., & Jiang, Y. (2004). Theoretical framework of school-base curriculum development (in Chinese). In Shanghai Education Commission (Ed.) Developing kindergarten-based curriculum: Theoretical and practical studies. Shanghai: Shanghai Education Publishing House; Zhu, J. X. (2003). Kindergarten curriculum (in Chinese). Shanghai: East China Normal University Press) were strongly evident in Hong Kong kindergartens: the approach of 'school-based developing of original curriculum' and that of 'school-based implementing of chosen curriculum'. The latter was widely used by most of the kindergartens. Implications for those who work with young children as well as those who work in teacher education programs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • school-based curriculum development
  • early childhood education
  • Chinese studies

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