The quality of early learning environments and early child development: Observations from diverse Asian contexts

13th June 2019 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Qualitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Professor Nirmala Rao (University of Hong Kong)

Location: Seminar Room G

Convener: Victoria Elliott

This paper will consider the influences of the quality of early childhood education centres, family characteristics and home learning environments on early childhood development.

It will provide an overview of findings from single jurisdiction and multi-country studies conducted in Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland as well as several countries in the East-Asia Pacific and South Asia. The paper will illustrate some of the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with (i) developing contextually sensitive measures of the quality of early childhood education; (ii) evaluating multiple domains of early development and learning; (iii) measuring family background; and (iv) assessing home learning environments. It will also highlight the importance of processes to ensure data are reliable, valid and comparable in studies with young children in diverse contexts. Findings from empirical studies that document the influence of family background, gender, urbanicity, ethnicity, and the quality of early learning environments on early child development have implications for policies and practices to enhance children’s early development, learning and psychosocial well-being.


In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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