Quality Improvement of meaningful pedagogy in play-based settings

Dr Liang Li, senior lecturer, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Email:
Xianyu Meng, PhD student, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Email:

There is an international trend in the movement of the quality of Early Childhood Education and care (ECEC). The Chinese government, in particular, has made an effort to lift up the qualification of ECEC services and the improvement of the quality of teaching in play is prevalent in the recent research agenda in China. This paper will report two educational experiments implemented in two Chinese institutional settings to investigate how play can be designed to support children’s meaningful learning experience, thereby improve the quality of teaching and learning in play-based settings. The cultural-historical concepts of motives and meaningful learning in a double sense will be used to frame the study. The visual methodology is applied to explore the pedagogical interactions in play. We argue that play as a pedagogical tool can be designed to support teachers’ quality engagement with children by valuing children’s perspectives, thus motivates children’s personally meaningful learning.

Play, Motives, Meaningful learning, quality of pedagogy, children’s perspective

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