24 Nov, 2023
10 : 45
Play is an adaptive and creative behavior bestowed upon mammals during their childhood by the process of evolution. Therefore, play is a fundamental way of living for children and is a poetic expression of human childhood spirit. From 20 to 21 November, Hong Kong-Nantong Early Years Education Research Centre formed by Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education and Nantong University organised the First International Academic Forum. It invited scholars and frontline educators from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong SAR and Mainland China to to address fundamental issues and academic frontiers in international early childhood education research.
The opening ceremony was held at Nantong University, presided over by Ms Dan Zhu, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the School of Education Sciences at Nantong University. Secretary Zhu Dan briefly reiterated the close collaboration between the School of Education Sciences at Nantong University and YCCECE, and extended a sincere welcome on behalf of the School of Education Sciences at Nantong University to the distinguished guests attending this forum.
Ms Dan Zhu, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the School of Education Sciences at Nantong University gave an opening remarks
Professor Yujuan Chen, Vice President of Nantong University, said that the Early Childhood Education program at Nantong University is a nationally renowned program, emphasizing the development of the profession and the cultivation of talents with an international perspective. By hosting this international conference, it is hoped to bring together scholars from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong SAR, and mainland China to jointly focus on fundamental and cutting-edge issues in early childhood education research.
Professor Yujuan Chen, Vice President of Nantong University
Mr. Xuejun Xu, a member of the Board of Directors of YCCECE, delivered a speech. He emphasized that the growth and education of children are a shared responsibility, and that play is inherent to children while the curriculum is at the core of education. He reviewed the strong foundation of collaboration between the College and Nantong University, and looked forward to promoting international exchange and cooperation in early childhood education through this forum.
Mr. Xu Xuejun, a member of the Board of Directors of YCCECE, delivered a speech.
Professor Kathy Sylva, a member of the Board of Directors of YCCECE and a professor at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, conducted a comparative study using the Environmental Rating Scale to measure the quality of early childhood education.
The study included a sample of 6 regions, 141 kindergartens, and 3000 children for tracking and comparison. It focused on child, family, and pre-school education quality, with particular attention to the impact of child factors, family factors, and pre-school education quality on child development. The research found that child factors, such as birth weight and gender, have a positive impact on the developmental outcomes of children at the age of 11. Furthermore, family factors, including parental education level and the home learning environment, have a direct influence on children's developmental outcomes. Professor Sylva specifically emphasized the home learning environment, which includes learning activities conducted by parents with their children, as having a direct impact on children's cognitive and social behavioral outcomes.
Professor Kathy Sylva, a member of the Board of Directors of YCCECE and a professor at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom
Professor Shi Ping, the director of the Chor Hang Educational Research Institute at Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education, introduced the Yew Chung Approach to Early Childhood Education (“The Yew Chung Approach”). This pedagogy, developed based on over 90 years of practical experience, has been thoroughly studied by a third-party professional team, showcasing its unique teaching methods and a child-centered educational philosophy. The Yew Chung Approach continues to evolve through practical application, with the entire Yew Chung members constantly learning and understanding it. Through long-term systematic training and practical implementation of the teaching methods, it is expected that there will be further discoveries in practice. Professor Shi shared the 12 core values and their interrelationships in the Yew Chung Approach. Firstly, it emphasizes that children are capable individuals deserving trust, respect, and admiration, and it focuses on the role of children in education. She pointed out that the Yew Chung Approach is constructed through play and various relationships, supporting children's learning and development.
Researcher Hui Zhang from the Jiangsu Academy of Education Science presented on "The Compilation and Validation of the Kindergarten Quality Assessment Scale." Based on decades of professional experience, she showcased her understanding and reflective practices regarding child-centered curriculum. She emphasized that children possess innate developmental drive, and therefore, kindergarten curriculum should revolve around children and their autonomous learning. The question of putting children at the center can be addressed in various aspects, such as curriculum content, goal setting, and environmental design within kindergartens. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of self-education for teachers.
Dr. Ye Zhang, Assistant Professor at YCCECE, shared the process of compiling and validating the "Kindergarten Quality Assessment Scale" based on research conducted in Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces. The presentation covered research background, literature review, research objectives, research methods, and results.
Researcher Hui Zhang from the Jiangsu Academy of Education Science
Dr. Ye Zhang, Assistant Professor at YCCECE speak on kindergarten quality assessment
Professor Jin Huang from Nanjing Normal University referenced a news article to examine early Chinese perspectives on the "world" and focused on the ideas of Mr. Heqin Chen during the period of the Republic of China.
Principal Shibiao Li from Wuxi Municipal People’s Kindergarten, drawing on his 14 years of work experience, shared his thoughts and practices from the perspectives of understanding, reflection, and action in relation to kindergartens. He expressed the belief in the power of children, discovering their abilities, and incorporating them into powerful children's outdoor activities, accompanying capable children in cultivating both physical strength and a civilized spirit.
Professor Jin Huang from Nanjing Normal University
Principal Shibiao Li from Wuxi Municipal People’s Kindergarten
Professor Xuehong Miao from the School of Education Sciences at Nantong University delivered a presentation titled "Early Childhood Music Education in the Perspective of Evolution and Development," enriching everyone's understanding of early childhood education. Professor Miao focused on two key questions: "Why should we pay attention to early childhood music education?" and "Why should we approach early childhood music education from the perspective of evolution and development?" She shared insights from three aspects: the evolutionary origins and functions of music, the characteristics of early childhood music activities, and explorations in the practice of early childhood music education. Professor Miao's report is based on the cutting-edge achievements of interdisciplinary music education research over the past three decades.
Professor Xuehong Miao from the School of Education Sciences at Nantong University