This paper will serve as a critique of the article entitled “Chinese Parents’ Perspectives on Home-Kindergarten Partnership: A Narrative Research.” It will discuss the benefits and the challenges of these types of home-kindergarten partnerships, and whether or not the researcher was able to effectively discuss the topic in a manner which served to adequately address their basic premise.
Keywords: Chinese, parental perspectives, home-kindergarten partnerships, benefits, challenges, analysis
Chinese Parents’ Perspectives on Home-Kindergarten Partnership: A Narrative Research
“Chinese Parents’ Perspectives on Home-Kindergarten Partnership: A Narrative Research” works to discuss the successful use of home-kindergarten partnerships utilizing Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological theory (Chen & Agbenyega, p. 95). In order to obtain the information for this particular study, interviews with the six sets of Chinese parents whose children attended three separate kindergarten classrooms in Zhejiang, China were completed (Chen & Agbenyega, p. 95). It was critical to the success of these home-kindergarten partnerships for the parents to be willing to deal with the complexities and educational borders and boundaries in order to work to form these new types of home-kindergarten relationships, and the study was designed around understanding the perceptions of this relationship held by the parents (Chen & Agbenyega, p. 95).
The benefits of this particular study do not necessarily lay in the research, although they do in a certain sense. This study shows that there are individuals present within China who, in spite of the highly traditional and strictly regulated society, are willing to go against traditional and conventional social norms in order to work to provide a benefit for their children in regards to their learning, specifically their physical and cognitive development, as the home-kindergarten partnership focused on multiple types of activities, including group excursions, sports, and other events and activities.
The difficulties, on the other hand, are concentrated within several areas. First, the parents had to be willing to go against traditional cultural and social norms, an issue that is not easy in many countries, and far more difficult in countries that are more traditional in nature, such as China. In addition, there was no clear way to obtain quantitative data for this particular study. All information gathered was not only qualitative, but subjective, as the information was gained, not as a result of observations, but as a result of interviews with the parents, receiving their perspectives on the home-kindergarten partnerships, which may be considered to be non-scientific at best, and unable to be used within a study as the only means of data at worst.
While it may be said that Chen & Agbenyega worked to attempt to find out the answer to their question, investigating the methodologies and opinions of parents in regards to the implementation of a home-kindergarten partnership, it must be said that they did not appropriately utilize the question to answer their research. Perhaps it is better to state that they did not utilize their research in the appropriate manner in order to determine the answer to the question. While it is true that the question of perception is subjective, these types of subjective inquiries are most accurate when used in conjunction with a form of empirical data. Though Chen & Agbenyega have included a literature review, and they have provided a theoretical framework for the use of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological theory of child development, it would have been more accurate to observe the children who were participating in the home-kindergarten partnership, and record the necessary data, utilizing a control group of kindergarten students who were not participating in the home-kindergarten partnership. The researchers would then be able to compare the progress of the children, and follow that up with interviews from all sets of parents in order to determine whether or not perception followed true with the resulting application of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological theory.
While the premise of the research done by Chen & Agbenyega is sound, analysis shows that the practical application of their theories in order to test out their hypothesis was flawed in execution. With a few simple changes to their basic theoretical framework, it would be possible to complete this study with far more accurate results.
- Chen, F., & Agbenyega, J. (2012). Chinese parents’ perspectives on home-kindergarten partnership: A narrative research. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(2), 95-105.