What Knowledge and Skills Do Chinese Kindergarten Teachers Need in a Time of Reform: Director’s Perspectives


This paper reports on a research program that investigates policy and practice relating to the building of a Chinese early childhood workforce in a context of changed government policy, improved standards regarding teacher qualifications and curriculum content, and changing parental expectations. The evolving context reflects the fact that recent economic development in China has witnessed enhanced need for a workforce that is suitable for jobs that require advanced skills and a high capacity to learn. This identified need has brought a renewed interest in early childhood education. Subsequently, policy makers have raised questions regarding what early childhood teachers should know and the skills they need to acquire to be competent practitioners.

The research findings draw on interviews conducted with 24 kindergarten directors from provinces across China. The interview explored opinions about skills and attributes teachers require, level and form of knowledge they need, and how teachers’ capacities might be enhanced.