Should kindergarten be more focused on play or academics? How does education in Hong Kong differ from American/Western education? In this episode of the Fueling Creativity in Education podcast, Dr. Cyndi Burnett and Dr. Matthew Worwood welcome Dr. Alfredo Bautista, an Associate Professor & Associate Head of the Department of Early Childhood Education at The Education University of Hong Kong. Alfredo is also Co-Director of the Centre for Educational and Developmental Sciences.

Listen in to learn about the current state of education in Hong Kong and how creativity is perceived in the Chinese educational system. Then, Alfredo shares his research on early childhood creativity in Hong Kong kindergarteners, detailing the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western education.

“We are making progress, schools are slowly learning, teachers are slowly improving and getting more and more pedagogical ideas, but there is still a lot of work to do.”

 – Dr. Alfredo Bautista


Alfredo highlights the roles of structure and freedom in early childhood curriculums and shares his fascinating opinion on whether kindergarten should be play-based or academics-based.

Plus, the trio shines light on the importance of recognizing your values as a parent and being able to decide what type of education your child needs, as they do in Hong Kong – yet in the US, there are barriers to choosing your child’s educational environment. Tune in to learn more!

Alfredo’s Tips for Teachers and Parents (Preschool/Kindergarten):

  1. Creativity emerges when there is some sort of framework. It’s important to learn how to design activities that provide a framework and give children the freedom to complete that framework in different ways.
  2. Design activities that require exploration and experimentation.
  3. Have discussions with colleagues and other parents about what they understand creativity to be.

About Dr. Alfredo Bautista:

Dr. Alfredo Bautista is Associate Professor & Associate Head of the Department of Early Childhood Education at The Education University of Hong Kong. He is also Co-Director for the Centre for Educational and Developmental Sciences. Alfredo graduated in Psychology and Music in Madrid (Spain). He worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria (Canada) and Tufts University (USA). Subsequently, he joined Singapore’s National Institute of Education, where he served as Research Scientist and Assistant Dean of Professional Learning. Currently, Alfredo leads several early childhood education projects focusing on Curriculum, Pedagogy, Teacher Education and Professional Development, teaches courses for pre- and in-service kindergarten teachers (e.g., Music/Arts Education, Curriculum Design, Play), and supervises seven doctoral students. Alfredo is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal for the Study of Education and Development and serves as Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member for other peer-reviewed international journals.

Connect with him on LinkedIn
Follow him on Twitter 

Have a question? Email Dr. Burnett and Dr. Worwood at!

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