The Use of Arts-based Approaches to the Teaching and Learning of an Early Childhood Teacher Education Course: A Hong Kong Study

By Siu-man Wong.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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In the past few decades, many researchers argued that everything becomes more complex than we thought before in this ever-changing world. They believed that in a multifaceted reality, knowledge is the construction of meaning through interaction between ourselves and the world. They thus urged for an alternative approach to research which accepts its dynamic quality. The current research is an arts-based study. It aims to inquire into how art-based approaches to teaching and learning facilitated personal and professional growth of students within a language curriculum in a pre-service early childhood teacher education course in a Hong Kong context. In this research, arts-based theory served as the research framework of the study. The process of learning and teaching within the language course constituted the site-based inquiry. Arts-based approaches such as narrative, collage, drawing and metaphor were integrated into the prescribed language curriculum and served as tools to enhance the self-inquiry of the students. Multiple sources of data such as anonymous written feedback from the students, lesson plans, and interview transcripts were collected for analysis and interpretation. The study demonstrated that the learning experience enabled the students to gain new understanding about curriculum design and pedagogy. They were able to make connections between their own learning and children's learning. Their perception about language learning and teaching had changed. At the same time, they also gained better understanding about self. The study implied that by using alternative forms of arts-based inquiry, researchers can provide aesthetic experiences that enlarge the scope of understanding curriculum and qualitative research.

Keywords: Arts-based Research, Teacher Education Curriculum, Early Childhood Teacher Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.241-253. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 335.911KB).

Dr. Siu-man Wong

Assisstant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China

Dr. Siu-man Wong's areas of specialization include children’s language and literacy development, curriculum studies, teacher development, and arts-based narrative inquiry. She has been the principal investigator and co-investigator of several research projects conducted in Hong Kong. These studies include: 1) an arts-based language curriculum in a pre-service early childhood education course; 2) the development of a storybook read aloud programme for preschool children; and 3) a curriculum-based child assessment model for quality early childhood programme.