The purpose of this paper is to examine the actual conditions of the kindergarten education in the Taisho period, focusing on the case of Kobe Kindergarten. In the early Taisho period, Kobe Kindergarten introduced psychology and started to research the physical and mental development of the Kindergarten children. On the basis of the psychological study, this kindergarten carried out the new educational methods such as Montessori method and the outing. In conclusion, the following three points are clarified. 1) The teachers of Kobe Kindergarten worked out the standard of the children's development and gave individual teaching to the children who were below the standard. In this process, they examined the effectiveness of their own teaching and intended to establish the teaching methods which suited the growth level of each child. 2) Their psychological study proved that children naturally had intellectual interests. As a result, the teachers recognized the importance of the intellectual activities, and adopted them together with physical and emotional education to encourage the well-balanced development of children. 3) The link between the kindergarten and the elementary school education was reviewed. The teachers thought that they shouldn't teach in advance what was going to be taught in the elementary school, and they pursued what the kindergarten could do to the children as a fundamental education. They objectively showed the actual effect of the kindergarten education to the elementary school teachers and asked for their understanding.
This report aims to clarify the recognition of 'playing' in the early childhood education theory developed by Nomura Yoshibei. Nomura was a teacher who criticized the aptitude development centered education and insisted that education through playing was needed in preschool during the high economic growth period when the expectations of early-education was on the increase. There are three features in recognizing 'playing' in his theory. Firstly he recognized that a child does not take action unless she/he enjoys it and concluded that playing only comes into existence by enjoying. In order to demonstrate that enjoyment is the fundamental requirement of playing, he showed the development of playing using the expression 'Tanoshimino Za (the seat of enjoyment)'. Secondly, he recognized that playing should not just develop from 'voluntary playing' into 'themed playing', but should go further, into advanced 'voluntary playing', in a process of continuous development. He points out that although 'voluntary playing' is the 'true playing', in preschool settings it is necessary to conduct 'themed playing'. However 'themed playing' has to be developed out of 'voluntary playing'; if not being developed as extension of 'voluntary playing', 'themed playing' becomes 'studying' not 'playing'. He also recognized that 'themed playing' has an 'educational effect', enriching children's 'voluntary play'. He identified the 'voluntary play' in which children develop something they learned, made and achieved in 'themed play', as 'advanced voluntary playing'. Thirdly, while demonstrating the leadership role of a teacher in playing based on the trusted relationship with children, he points out accurately that the activity is not teacher-led studying. He demonstrated the leadership role of a teacher as a 'peer', not as a guide with one way instruction, who invites the children to participate in playing, creating playing together with them introducing various themes.
While studying medicine in the 1890's, Maria Montessori studied also an intellectual handicapped child's medical treatment education and anthropology, which led to a deeper recognition of the importance of education. Through this process, she investigated the pupils at the elementary school in Rome and published two papers in 1904. Although they were the investigations conducted as pedagogical anthropology research, they contained many important elements concerning the composition of her thoughts on education. However they have been mostly over looked until now. The purpose of this paper is to show clearly how she considered the relationship between physique, environment and education and how she developed these viewpoints in her future research. As a result, it becomes clear as follows. First, she was interested in the internal factor and investigated it from the view of anthropology regarding the relationship between a child's physique and their intellectual levels. However, through advancing this positive investigation, she noticed the importance of the environment and gradually became interested also in external factors. And she found that the physique could be influenced by external factors. Moreover, she revealed the disadvantages in the school of the child of a lower layer by analysis of a family's conditions and criticized the fact that education extended such a gap. And she recognized it was necessary to compensate for this disadvantage or gap through education. Considering the problems caused by a disadvantaged family's condition, she showed in future research the contents of the fundamental capability which should be acquired before entering an elementary school.
The purpose of this study is to examine the state of Certificate Examination System for kindergarten teachers during the Meiji Period. In the early developmental stage of the kindergarten, many unqualified persons were employed as teachers and there were few kindergarten teacher training schools. As such, the training and hiring of qualified teachers became an important subject. The Certificate Examination System for kindergarten teachers was similar to teacher training school and succeeded in creating a large number of qualified teachers. In 1925, for example, 41% of qualified applicants passed the Certificate Examination System. One way was though passing the examination. The other way was though a vetting process where the applicant's academic background and experiences were assessed. Despite the importance of this system, before the establishment of the "Imperial Order on Kindergartens" in 1926 the qualifications for sitting for the examination, the subjects that appeared on the examination and even the passing grade level varied from prefecture to prefecture. In short, there was no clear standard during the Meiji period. In this paper, I introduce and discuss Meiji Period materials that document the Certification requirements for Ehime, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.
Before Tao Xingzhi (1891-1946), established the first kindergarten for the common people in 1927 in China, there were only children of upper class who could have preschool education. However, Tao considered that it was the working class who really need kindergartens. The intent of this paper is to clarify Tao's preschool education conception by entering into his experiments on kindergartens in the countryside and examine the influence it had on modern China. First of all, Tao pointed out three faults of the preschool education system then. Most kindergartens were managed by foreign missionary societies, using equipments and teachers from their own country, therefore the content of teaching is unaccommodating to Chinese society and costing a lot. That was the reason why children of the common people could not enter kindergartens. In order to change this situation, Tao started the experiment on establishing kindergartens for working people in China. By fully making use of the nature materials in the countryside, the kindergartens cost less but have good effects. However, Tao faced the problem of lacking of teachers at that time. Therefore Tao suggested a system to train teachers while working. In this paper, two kindergartens were picked up as examples in order to show the progress of Tao's foundation and the detail of the administration. The most important point of Tao Xingzhi's preschool education theory and experiment is that, he has found the first kindergarten for common people, which occupied the most part of Chinese population. Tao established his own theory of training teachers, making curriculum, and his experiment of kindergartens had great influence on later preschool education in China. I'll continue to examine it.