Relocating the frame of reference for studying play: Reflections from fieldwork in Chinese rural preschools


Western play theories and practices have had a dominant role in creating China's current discursive condition for preschool play. They are also essential to current knowledge production about play. However, this dominance tends to be transferred into rural preschools, which have recently mushroomed and demanded play activities. The authors reflect on their own experience in conducting an ethnographic study of China's rural preschools to propose that the notion of “Asia as method” can help to reconceptualize play theories and practices in China. The authors also envision their study as an effort to relocate the frame of reference of play to transform the existing knowledge structure about play while transforming themselves in studying play in Chinese rural preschools.

Publication Title

Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood