The Department of Early Childhood Education is one of the departments in the Faculty of Education Studies of The Hong Kong Institute of Education. The Department is committed to raise the professional status of the early childhood practitioners in Hong Kong. With more than 1,800 students enrolled in our programmes each year, we deliver a range of programmes to cater for students' varying needs and choice of study modes, including both full-time pre-service and part-time in-service programmes. The Department is a pioneer in ECE and has trained, over the years, some of 80% of Hong Kong's kindergarten teachers.
All staff in the Department strive to optimise the potential of each and every prospective and practising early childhood teacher by providing practical and creative learning experiences in a stimulating and supportive environment. The Department also aims to help our students become expert teachers who are able to make valuable contributions to early childhood education in Hong Kong.
The Department is led by the Head and consists of 85 full-time academic and teaching staff. Apart from providing support and guidance to the early childhood education profession through their teaching, staff in the Department engage in a range of research and scholarly activities in an attempt to promote the quality of early childhood education services provided to young children in Hong Kong. Staff are regularly invited to conduct staff development seminars and workshops and to serve as consultants for early childhood institutions. A large number of projects have been and are being conducted in collaboration with early childhood institutions, aiming to enhance children’s learning. Examples include literacy projects, implementation of innovative practices such as the project approach and High Scope, resolving conflicts through social problem solving, partnership with parents, mentoring of staff, and conducting self-assessment and self-improvement of teaching quality through the use of performance indicators. The Department is also active in academic exchange activities, organizing conferences, seminars and teaching and learning workshops for the profession, and collaborative projects with overseas academics.
Conducting research is an important activity of the Department of Early Childhood Education. Research in the Department covers many topics that can be placed in three broad categories:
1. Young children's development and learning
2. Early Childhood Curriculum
3. Early childhood teaching and teacher education
Research findings produced by academics in the Department make a valuable contribution to the education of young children in Hong Kong, and may guide policy decisions. In addition, research in the Hong Kong context can inform the development of theory worldwide.