Sunday, January 5, 2014

preschool in three cultures

In one of my courses I had to read a study and analyze the research question and method. I choose to read preschool in three cultures Japan, China and U.S.
In the research book written by Joseph J. Tobin, David Y. H. Wu, Dana H. Davidson, called Preschool in Three Cultures a comparative study is done to compare preschools in three cultures, China, Japan, and America. The researchers went to each country, choose a school and started to videotape a typical school day. They then edited the videos and showed the edited videos to the the school where the videos were taken, educators who are not in the  school but in the same country. Researchers showed the twenty minute videos to educators from other countries. Doing this, researchers made the study intercultural rather than cross-cultural. The purpose of this method is to gain more insight of the outsiders’ culture through their comments and feedback about the other two cultures videos.

A lot of interesting finding were found from this study. And here is some findings from each country:

Japanese nuclear family
Japan:  Movement to the cities and the lack of peer interactions,  created a fear of that next generation would miss the opportunity to learn how to be part of  a group and learn morals and accepted actions in a society. Therefore, preschools in Japan are mainly structured on the Japanese goal to rear a “True Japanese”. Rearing a true Japanese is by showing the fun and enjoyment of joining a group rather than forcing children to be part of the group.

One child per family
China: Since families tend to have only one child, due to the “One child per family” law; parents and grandparents are seen as spoiling the child, making the child selfish. Therefore, the goal of preschool is to “correct” the mistakes of the family in rearing the child, and educate the child to be a good citizen.  In addition, the government places emphasis on the schools to make sure that this child is healthy, educated, and well raised.

U.S: After the Vietnam, Women’s Liberation Movement, fifty percent divorce rate; American family’s construction was changed. The increase of families with dual-careers or single mothers resulted with a need in the need for extended child-care. Preschools therefore were seen as a supportive institution for the family. The pre school's goal is to build self reliance, free choice, and individuality in a child through a controlled environment.

I have found that all of the three countries had the same end result they want their preschoolers to reach which is to learn how to have an effective roll in a group. Nevertheless each country has its unique way to teach preschoolers how to act in a group. The methods each preschool used is so much affected by each culture norm and believe.

Click her for: the full research analyses

Click her for: the research presentation