Glocalization of early childhood curriculum: an ethnographic study on the integration of the Reggio Emilia approach into the Chinese Kindergarten curriculum

Qilong Zhang, Jianqin Yin, Ke Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In the globalized age, Chinese kindergartens are exposed to numerous western curriculum perspectives and practices. To construct a kindergarten-based curriculum (KBC), Chinese kindergartens tend to borrow western ideas. Using the Reggio Emilia approach (REA) as an example, this focused ethnographic study conducts an empirical investigation into such a borrowing process. The sample included 15 kindergartens located in seven cities in Jiangsu Province, China. Data were collected through interviews, site visit, and pedagogical documentation, and were analyzed using a combination of thematic and content analyses. The study found that the process of borrowing the REA constituted the glocalization of the kindergarten curriculum, which included four phases. Specifically, the kindergarten was attracted by a certain practice of the REA (Phase 1), decided to borrow a preferred practice of the REA (Phase 2), implemented the selected practice (Phase 3), and internalized the implemented practice (Phase 4). Instead of copying or imitating, Chinese kindergartens integrated the REA into their KBCs by experimenting, recontextualizing, and hybridizing with varying proportions. Further, the glocalization of the early childhood curriculum in China was greatly influenced by the social, political, and cultural contexts in China’s new era. In particular, the major melody of being confident in the Chinese path and culture effectively prevented any importation of a western curriculum model as a whole. Lastly, the study discussed the implications of the findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • China
  • Curriculum
  • Early childhood
  • Glocalization
  • Reggio Emilia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Glocalization of early childhood curriculum: an ethnographic study on the integration of the Reggio Emilia approach into the Chinese Kindergarten curriculum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this