Date of Graduation

Fall 2020


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth King


While it has long been recognized that child-directed learning is a central feature of effective early childhood education, the impact of culture on its implementation is only recently gaining attention. In Asian contexts specifically, previous studies have documented challenges in implementing child-directed learning styles. This study applies holistic analysis to a collective case study of six Filipino preschools, documenting and analyzing their pursuit and implementation of child-directed learning. The study uncovers significant discrepancies among Filipino preschool directors and teachers regarding the meaning of “child-directed” and “play-based” learning, and it identifies apparent cultural barriers to implementing child-directed learning more effectively. The conclusion offers educational and policy recommendations in light of the data and findings, including more culturally relevant approaches to child-directed learning.


child-directed learning, pretend play, child-initiated activities, open-ended questions, cultural influences on pedagogy, progressive preschool, Philippines, East Asia

Subject Categories

Early Childhood Education | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education | Sociology of Culture


© Teri J. Pardue

Open Access