Confucianism and early childhood education: a study of young children's responses to traditional Chinese festival stories

Yim, Hoi Yin Bonnie and Lee, Lai Wan Maria and Ebbeck, Marjory (2011) Confucianism and early childhood education: a study of young children's responses to traditional Chinese festival stories. Early Child Development and Care, 181 (3). pp. 287-303. ISSN 0300-4430


The teaching of values has seen renewed interest, as educators, policymakers and parents seek ways of increasing peaceful coexistence for children in a conflictdriven world. Education systems are again reviewing values as part of their core mission. Confucian values form the core of most Asian cultures, penetrating
different levels of social life, and also set the standards for most families, communities and political behaviour. The research reported in this study set out to
examine young children’s expressed views of Confucian values represented in traditional stories of four Chinese festivals. Within this research, Confucian values
were centred on five virtues: Ren (benevolence), Yi (righteousness), Li (courteousness), Xiao (filial piety), and Zhi (wisdom). The four selected Chinese
festivals were: (1) Chinese New Year, (2) Dragon Boat festival, (3) Chung Yeung festival, and (4) Mid-Autumn festival. Participants included 392 children aged
four to five years from 29 kindergartens or nursery schools and 57 pre-service early childhood teachers in Hong Kong. Results showed that the values of Ren
(benevolence) and Yi (righteousness) were the most popular responses among local young children, while the value of Li (courteousness) tended to be the least
popular category. Some implications for curriculum planning in early childhood education are discussed arising from the study findings.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Available online: 23 Nov 2009. Author's version not held.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2010 00:30
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2014 22:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: early childhood; Hong Kong; Chinese festival; Confucian values; story
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930104 Moral and Social Development (incl. Affect)
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950202 Languages and Literacy
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/03004430903357837

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