Neoliberalism and neocolonialism in the mix: Evidence of glocalization in the globalization–localization dynamics of early childhood practices in Hong Kong

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Since the 1990s, Hong Kong has been promoting globally-endorsed, Western-derived early childhood ideologies and approaches, such as the Project Approach (*Chen et al., 2017). This orientation appears to be influenced by policies and practices linked to global neoliberalism and neocolonialism. To shed light on the state of knowledge concerning the implementability of the imported “foreign” practices by Hong Kong kindergarten teachers (teaching children ages 3–6), I conducted a research synthesis analyzing the 10 empirical articles that met the inclusion criteria. The analysis was guided by the two existing theoretical frameworks: (1) Tian Shi (timing/temporal), Di Li (context/spatial), Ren He (human capital) (Chen and Li, 2023) and (2) the foreground-middle ground-background (Chen, 2022) as well as the newly proposed globalization–localization interaction dynamics model. A content analysis revealed three salient findings. First, due to the lack of Tian Shi, Di Li, Ren He, Hong Kong kindergarten teachers’ implementation of the imported early childhood approaches with fidelity has been largely unsuccessful. Second, the evidence corroborates the foreground-middle ground-background theory, suggesting that a hybrid approach (combining both the local and global practices) represents the “best” implementable one. Third, the manner in which the teachers implemented the imported practices seemingly reflects a glocalization-dominant pattern. This pattern constitutes one of the four quadrants within my proposed globalization–localization interaction dynamics model. The four quadrants represent the specific degree of interactive dominance: (1) grobalization-dominant (high in globalization and low in localization); (2) glocalization-dominant (high in both localization and globalization); (3) non-committal (low in both globalization and localization); and (4) localization-dominant (low in globalization and high in localization).

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Policy Futures in Education



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