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Global trends in the research on early childhood education during the COVID-19 pandemic: A bibliometric analysis

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Su, J., Ng, D.T.K., Yang, W., & Li, H.
Publication Date: 
9 May 2022


During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and preschools worldwide have been suspended, causing many challenges for students, parents, and teachers. Through home-schooling, preschool children struggle to accept new (online) learning modes. Teachers need to acquire digital skills quickly to deliver online teaching, while parents need to take on the role of a tutor at home to facilitate their children’s learning. This study aims to gauge the global trends in the research on early childhood education (ECE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly considering the need for a swift response to the impact of the pandemic. We employed the bibliometric approach to studying ECE studies during the pandemic by identifying the countries of most-cited publications, most-cited categories of studies, and research methodologies used in the eligible studies (N = 507). Analysis reveals that technology integration in ECE has grown fast to timely facilitate online teaching and resolve varied challenges such as parental stress, a lack of resources, and the quality of education in this field. Based on the bibliometric approach, we highlighted research focusing on key themes such as online learning and teaching, physical activity, stress and mental health, and families in early childhood. This study offers a global perspective on ECE research during the pandemic and provides researchers, policymakers, and practitioners with future directions.