Comparative Research on the Syllabi of Child Development Course in Early Childhood Teacher Education Program

Yuan He, Samuel Song, Azra Fanoos, Ting Li


The current study adopted a case study design with mixed methods to

examine the multiple features in child development course syllabi in early

childhood teacher education programs in two countries, China and the US.

This study provided insights into the twenty syllabi through document review

and questionnaires. Twenty-six participants, viewed as “cultural outsiders”,

were recruited in this study: thirteen from institutions in the US and thirteen

from Chinese institutions. Results showed that the syllabi from the US

universities could be considered “broad” learning and the syllabi from

China as “deep” learning. The Chinese universities in the study focused

more on helping students understand child development knowledge, whereas

US universities emphasized helping teacher candidates apply the knowledge

of child development in practice. Comparatively, US universities

concentrated more on critical thinking and cultural perspectives.


child development; syllabus; early childhood teacher education; cultural outsiders

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