Journal of Basic Education

A Critical Review of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Curriculum Documents in Hong Kong

2008.第17卷第1期(Vol. 17 No. 1).pp. 33–57

A Critical Review of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Curriculum Documents in Hong Kong


Chanel Kit-Ho FUNG & John Chi-Kin LEE(馮潔皓、李子建)


Early childhood education has long been recognised globally and locally as significant in laying the foundations for lifelong learning and all-round personal development. The same recognition is prominent in the education reform proposals of Hong Kong. To facilitate kindergarten teachers to design quality curricula, several government bodies issued curriculum related documents to serve teachers as guidelines. A study of these government-published materials reveals a degree of consistency among them in terms of what the government expects of the kindergarten curriculum, despite the fact that their publication spans the two decades 1984 to 2006. This paper, divided into two parts, attempts to analyse the aforementioned documents from three broad, multiple curriculum perspectives. The first part will cover the categories and questions inherent in a Tylerian perspective. The second part will cover the notion of Schwab’s practical perspective and associated curricular “commonplaces” (teacher, student, subject matter and milieus) (Reid, 2006), which address related pedagogical questions such as what, when, how, why, to whom, and by whom (Heydon & Wang, 2006). Finally, we shall offer some comments from critical perspectives.

Keywords: early childhood education curriculum; Tylerian perspective; Schwab’s curricular “commonplaces”; critical perspectives; Hong Kong