Promoting culturally sensitive teacher agency in Chinese kindergarten teachers: an integrated learning approach
As increasingly more Chinese kindergarten teachers attend continuing professional development (CPD) based on pedagogies of international early childhood education and care (ECEC), it is imperative to explore how to address the well-documented rhetoric/practice dissonance that teachers fail to enact what they learn from CPD to enhance their everyday practice. We used a CPD workshop based on English play-based pedagogy as an opportunity to collect first-hand data from Chinese kindergarten teachers through pre- and post-workshop questionnaires and semi-structured interviews at six-month follow-up, in order to shed light on characteristics of effective CPD provision. The findings suggest that CPD based on international ECEC pedagogies should endeavour to promote Chinese kindergarten teachers’ agency at both collective and individual levels by providing integrated learning that aims at enhancing capability and reflexivity in cultural integration, that is, to integrate international pedagogies with culturally acceptable practices under the regimes of cultural and sociopolitical norms in Chinese ECEC system. Characteristics of integrated learning are proposed. To promote culturally sensitive teacher agency in CPD for Chinese kindergarten teachers has profound implications on building a quality workforce in Chinese ECEC.