Globally Minded Preschoolers: Playful Investigation of the Interdependence Between Self, Others, and Society

Kutasha Bryan-Silva, Stephanie C. Sanders-Smith, Sylvia Ya Hsuan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focuses on the early years program at International School Hong Kong (ISHK), a school with an explicit mission towards global mindedness. The program aims to move beyond narrow conceptions of us/them, north/south, and east/west binaries. Instead, ISHK urges children to view the world holistically through a range of perspectives. Within the context of ISHK, the early childhood program encourages children to understand the concept of interdependence through strong relationships and caring for others and the environment. The school draws from both Deweyan and Confucian philosophies in an effort to blend ideas of the East and West. Confucian ideals, in particular, support the need for a child to become junzi (君子, an exemplary person) through harmonious relationships, respect and appreciation of differences, coexistence with others, and compassion for the natural world. Deweyan views of democratic relationships support children in learning to work together and find common ground with others. Findings from this study suggest that children at ISHK learn to engage with and challenge peers, encounter and respect cultures other than their own, and investigate ways to conserve the planet. Through this program, children appear to be building early competencies for long-term global engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1155
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Early childhood
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Global citizenship education
  • Hong Kong
  • Progressive education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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