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Title:Play in a Working -Class Taiwanese Preschool
Author(s):Liang, Chung-Hui
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Miller, Peggy J.; Jenny L. Singleton
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Early Childhood
Abstract:The goal of this study was to investigate children's everyday play in a working class Taiwanese preschool. Because Taiwan is currently rethinking the direction of early childhood education, it is timely to look closely at play in a preschool setting. Since recent debates in the U.S. have led some American schools to sacrifice free-play time in order to increase time for teaching academic subjects, investigation of children's play in this academic-oriented cultural case will be illuminating to American educators as well. This study was ethnographic in approach, involving thorough observation and investigation of children's play at regular intervals over a period of three years. The researcher was able to establish a special role in the preschool to access the children's peer groups that were not often accessible to adults. The findings indicate that children constantly engaged in play, and their play fitted well into the daily routine; in their L year (equivalent to the kindergarten year in the U.S.) the children earned more official play time by behaving well and concentrating on assigned tasks than they were in the M year (equivalent to the final preschool year in the U.S.); the children displayed a complex way of exploring male/female relationships both inside and outside of play. These findings suggest a strong cultural influence of Confucian ideas to the children's preschool life and their play environment. Children's hard work was rewarded by more official play time when they were in the L year. The issue of gender was crucial to the understanding of children's friendships and daily interaction with peers. Overall, this study provides a basic understanding of the Taiwanese preschool children's life, which is essential for educational reform in Taiwan. The fact that the children were flexible to fit play into their daily routine, and their way of earning more play time by good conduct, challenges to American educators that increasing academic time does not necessarily equal decreasing play time.
Issue Date:2000
Description:221 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9990063
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000

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