The fusion of constructivism and instructivism in Chinese kindergartens

an analysis of the teaching dialogues in the engineer block building activities

Liman Cai, Dandan Wu*, Xi Chen, Jie Zhu, Hui Li

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Research findings: This study aimed to explore whether the fusion of constructivism and instructivism could be observed in the teaching dialogs during the Engineer Block Building (EBB) activities in Chinese kindergartens. Altogether 20 block building activities about the theme of architecture were videotaped and coded with the Engineer Design Process (EDP) framework and the Cam-UNAM Scheme for Educational Dialogue Analysis (SEDA). Analysis of the 5808 coded turns of dialogs found that: (1) all the six EDP phases could be observed in the 20 activities, which could be regarded as EBB; (2) all the SEDA types were adopted by the 15 Chinese teachers, who endeavored to deliver EBB knowledge and skills; (3) the teachers from high ranking or public kindergartens employed significantly more Try and Decide processes of EDP than those from no-ranking or private kindergartens; and (4) the top three types of SEDA employed by the teachers were “invite opinions or ideas”, “propose action or inquiry activity”, and “state agreement or position”. These results jointly indicated that the fusion of pedagogies was also dominant in Chinese EBB activities. Practice or Policy: More culturally and contextually appropriate guidance and training on EBB and EDP should be provided to enhance early childhood teachers’ professionalism and professional development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages20
    JournalEarly Education and Development
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2020

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