This study focused on conceptual subitizing, a cognitive process involving the rapid recognition of a number of objects by seeing the number pattern as individual parts and as a whole. This process is important to help children in early childhood cultivate their number sense through various experiences and learn mathematics after graduation. However, details about conceptual subitizing have not been fully clarified. In this study, we analyzed conceptual subitizing in 5-year-olds by focusing on their reaction time. We confirmed that the ability to promptly perceive a small number of dots (1–3) was the basis of conceptual subitizing, and that this process was affected by the actual number of dots as well as by their combination. Conceptual subitizing can be enhanced through experiences in play, so we need to consider how teachers can improve children’s experiences and thus improve number sense.
This study investigated how five- and six-year-old children produced improvised expressions by manipulating the drawing frame during daily drawing activities. Participatory observation was conducted over a one-year study period in four certified children’s nursery classes for five-year-olds. Drawing activity data were collected and analyzed qualitatively using Sawyer’s frame-level model. The results were as follows. (1) Children maintained/expanded the drawing frame using various “director voices,” which comprised utterances or drawing activities that encouraged a group to proceed. (2) Children strategically and contextually used implicit and explicit metacommunication. (3) Use of the director voice was not assumed by specific individuals; rather, children flexibly adopted others’ suggestions and instructed each other while drawing.
This study examined an early childhood teacher’s decision making when children expressed negative emotions under different types of interventions. Cases of four-year-old children’s negative emotions were collected through participant observation. Subsequently, representative cases were chosen and the teacher’s decision making was evaluated through interviews. The findings suggested that the teacher valued children’s negative emotions from a medium - to long-term perspective regardless of the type of intervention. However, the teacher avoided direct intervention in situations where a child’s feelings were different from others, and she respected each child’s feelings equally. Moreover, the teacher proactively intervened with children in order to foster their ability to understand and express emotions, whereas she avoided intervention with children when she intended to help them regulate their emotions on their own. These results indicate a relationship between the strength of the teacher’s intention to nurture children and the type of intervention.
The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics of a teacher’s verbal support during conversations in a class of five-year-old children, with a particular focus on helping children solve problems independently. Participants were five-year-old children in a class at a certified nursery school in Tokyo. The teacher of these nine children was a woman in her 40s with 13 years of experience in childcare. Participant observations were carried out once a week from July 20xx to March 20xx+1. The teacher adjusted the degree of her verbal support of children depending on the situation when helping them present questions, provide new information, and express themselves more clearly.
This study clarified the reasons for work stress causing burnout among childcare workers, and suggested work environment improvements. The results were as follows: 1) the shorter the break time, the more exhausted the childcare workers were, and a break time of at least 30 minutes during the workday was essential; 2) burnout resulted if childcare workers brought work home for five days per week or more; and 3) when work that was brought home should have been accomplished during regular work hours, the childcare workers felt stressed, whereas if they believed the take-home work helped them improve their skills, the work was perceived as rewarding rather than stressful.
Better approaches to teacher training and professional development, especially for younger ECEC practitioners, are in significant demand due to the increased need for a larger ECEC workforce and the fact that members of this workforce are relatively young. We examined the mentoring process in a kindergarten that has succeeded in developing and retaining its teachers. We used a mentoring framework proposed by K.E. Kram to perform a qualitative analysis of a “reflection note,” a tool by which a mentor and her protege communicate daily. We identified five mentoring functions, “Exposure-and-visibility,” “Protection,” “Challenging assignments,” “Role modeling,” and “Acceptance-and-confirmation,” and found that each function comprised several sub-functions. We also found indications of interactions among the mentoring functions.
Professionals may experience a perceived gap between work expectations before entering employment and their actual experience in the workplace. This gap may cause a shock-like reaction called “reality shock,” which can cause them to quit their job early. The purpose of this study was to identify such gaps perceived by new nursery teachers and to classify them into categories. Eighty-four gaps were identified based on semi-structured interviews of 11 nursery school teachers. The similarities between the gaps were evaluated based on the results of classifications made by 33 evaluators. Cluster analysis and multi-dimensional scaling were performed based on the distance matrix, and the gaps were divided into 10 categories. Two dimensions named “bad/good work handling” and “subjects involved: adults/children” were found.
In this study, a nursery teacher training class was conducted that focused on the following: (1) lecture followed by practice, (2) preparative experience for nursing practice, and (3) the way each individual interacted with insects. In addition, the study aimed to analyze the effect of the class on students’ negative feelings about insects and on nursery teaching practice. We administered questionnaires to 85 female students before and after the class. Many students showed interest in the class, since it allowed them to experience nursery teaching practice after acquiring knowledge and to have fun with their classmates. We also found that students’ negative feelings about insects were reduced. Some students could participate in nursery teaching practice using insects with confidence, which may have contributed to enriching children’s experiences in playing with natural objects.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of parent training in collaboration with a public child development center for parents who feel difficulty in child rearing. Participants were 12 mothers with children between 3 and 8 years old. A total of 6 sessions and 1 follow-up meeting improved parents’ confidence in childcare and reduced their confusion, and these effects were maintained. We found no negative or offensive emotions regarding childcare. Overall, the satisfaction level of the participants was high; therefore, we think that it is meaningful to continue the parent training. Moreover, we think it is necessary to provide specialized support for child rearing in collaboration with the community.
This study examined the hypothesis that child-rearing attitudes in mothers with preschool-age children would be affected by maternal mental growth, which in turn would be influenced by mothers’ awareness about their parental role and fathers’ involvement in child rearing. The results showed that “purpose in life/sense of existence” and “cooperativeness” were positively correlated with “responsive involvement” and “controlled involvement,” respectively, supporting the hypothesis. Consequently, mothers with high scores for “purpose in life/sense of existence” and “cooperativeness” can care for children with child-rearing attitudes characterized by responsive and controlled involvement.
The first purpose of this study was to evaluate the significance and limitations of parental financial savings on behalf of children cared for at day nursery centers, with regard to how these savings decreased children’s pocket money and their buying between-meal snacks in the Taisho era in Japan. The second purpose was to identify contemporary implications related to renewing home education as a family support strategy. To this end, we reviewed historical materials archived at the Foundation of Kousaikai. The results showed that staff's awareness of children’s pocket money and buying between-meal snacks was important, as was the way staff encouraged parents to save money for children. In conclusion, savings constituted a preventive family support program with dual purposes: decreasing children’s pocket money and reducing the rate at which they bought between-meal snacks.