Higher-degree research being undertaken by Xiang Yi Tao




Professor Robyn Ewing, Dr Nikki Brunker and Dr Marianne Fenech

Thesis title:

The role of the arts in preschool education - music in Australia versus China



Project description

Xiangyi’s project aims to explore the role of the arts, especially music, in preschool settings from a comparative perspective. The research is an attempt to examine the formal intentions and practices of the music curriculum in the ECE sector. Instead of proposing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, this research takes into consideration the complexity of the Australian and Chinese contexts. With a social-cultural perspective, the project adopts a qualitative case study approach. Research methods consist of document analysis, classroom observation, semi-structured interview with participant teachers, conversational-based interview with the children, and parents’ questionnaire.

Xiang Yi Tao is a PhD candidate from China. She has a Master of Arts in Higher Education Research and Development Degree from Kassel University (Germany). Prior to her PhD study, she worked as a research assistant at China Innovation Centre, China-Europe International Business School and was later promoted as the centre manager. She also assisted in Sydney Story Factory - Creativity and Creative Writing Project from 2015-2016, and visited early childcare centres as a casual music teacher.


  • China Studies Centre Research Grant (2018)
  • China Studies Centre Research Grant (2017)
  • Thomas T. Roberts Education Fellowship (2015)

Professional and community role

  • Certified music teacher with ONZA

Conference presentations