Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 627–640 | Cite as

Towards Holistic Supporting of Play-Based Learning Implementation in Kindergartens: A Mixed Method Study

  • Chrysa Pui Chi KeungEmail author
  • Alan Chi Keung Cheung


Using a holistic support framework, this study investigated teachers’ conceptions of effective play-based learning development and how their perceptions of its effectiveness related to whole-child development. Data were collected from a mixed method study. A total of 286 questionnaires from 50 Hong Kong kindergartens were collected and then 29 principals, head teachers and teachers were interviewed after the completion of the survey. Results of quantitative analyses showed that school collaborative culture facilitated various aspects of children’s development through the mediation of teachers’ enactment of play pedagogy and home-school cooperation. Qualitative interview data also confirmed the survey results that the roles and functions of parents and teachers were significant in supporting the implementation of play-based learning in kindergarten settings. Findings of the study have shed light on the conceptualizations of effective play-based learning which are perceived by teachers as part of a school collaborative culture, teachers’ enactment of play pedagogy and home-school cooperation. The practical and policy implications of the study may suggest adopting a holistic support model in the analysis and actively seeking to integrate parents, teachers and kindergartens in constructing an optimal play learning experience for young children.


Play-based learning Holistic support model Whole-child development Early childhood Mixed method 



The authors would like to thank the School Development Team of the Centre for University & School Partnership at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for helping with the data collection and kindergartens from the “Play-Learn-Grow in Hong Kong Kindergartens” project participated in this research study.


This work was supported by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) under Education Development Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for University and School Partnership, Faculty of EducationThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Educational Administration and Policy, Faculty of EducationThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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