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< VOLUME 47, No.1 >

< VOLUME 47, No.1 >

Matsui Gota. Reconstruction of Childcare Practices in Teacher Conferences : The Role of “Change Agents” and the Structure of Teacher Conferences.
Research on Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan, 2009, 47(1), 12-21.

The purpose of this study is to clarify the structure of teacher conferences where teachers have the opportunity to reflect on their personal childcare practices and consider the frameworks in which these practices occur. During teacher conferences, the author analyzed the content of teacher questions and examined how these questions worked as change agents to transform the teachers’ childcare practices. The change agents included fundamental questions about their own frameworks of childcare based on their experience. The result suggests that the change agent plays an effective role to reconsider and improve their childcare practices. It is clear that an effective teacher conference has a structure based on an essential intention to support teacher reflection on their personal childcare practices.

Keywords: teacher conference on early childhood care and education, a change agent, an early child hood teacher’s reflection, childcare framework, structure of essential intention
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Tsuzuki Ikuko, Ueda Yoshiko. Development of Three-Year-Old Children’s Reactions to Other Children’s Conflicts in a Preschool : A Case Study Based on One-Year Child Care and Video Records.
Research on Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan, 2009, 47(1), 22-30.

This study analyzed three-year-old children’s reactions to conflicts among themselves in a classroom situation based on one-year child-care records by the teachers and video records of the conflict scenes. We describe five episodes to show the changes of the children’s reactions. During the early period of the class, children generally assumed an indifferent attitude towards others’ conflicts, whereas they often began to interfere as the year went on. This behavior indicates social behavior related to other children’s conflicts begins to develop during age three. Their behaviors changed from that of a simple reaction, such as trying to stop conflicts, to the more complex response of supporting one side or taking expedient actions for settling the conflict. It is necessary for teachers to do appropriate behavior in dealing with children’s conflicts not only for the well-being of the quarreling children but also for the benefit of those children on the fringe, who will often imitate any mitigating behaviors of the teacher.

Keywords: three-year-old child, reaction to conflict, development of social behavior, video record preschool
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Yamakawa Hitomi. How Childcare Workers Improve Their Proficiency from the First to the Second Year : Based on Semi-structured Interviews at a Kindergarten.
Research on Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan, 2009, 47(1), 31-41.

This study illustrates how the expertise of childcare workers in dealing with difficult children develops from their initial experiences. In the research I, a veteran and a first-year newcomer to the profession were interviewed regarding how they deal with difficult children. The qualitative analysis revealed some essential, common themes such as “assistance”, “support” and “intellection” in the interviews. The veteran exhibited the characteristic of “intellection” while the fresh teacher did not show it and reflected on her childcare differently. After one year, the new teacher’s reflections on her childcare practice were examined. The research II compared the new teacher’s first year with her second year. In the second year, she displayed various changes in her reflection, including more “intellection”. The result suggests that experience with difficult children provides good opportunities for a teacher to reflect on childcare practice and reflection can contribute to increasing her/his expertise.

Keywords: childcare workers, a newcomer, reflection, the expertise
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Hayashi Yuko. Preschool Teachers’ Perspectives on the Quality of the Teacher-Child Relationship : With Reflection on Journals in a Preschool.
Research on Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan, 2009, 47(1), 42-54.

This article examines a preschool teacher’s perspective on the quality of the teacher-child relationship with teacher’s reflection of documentation. The teacher-child relationship from the teacher’s perspective is more complex than what is simply called an element of “quality” in many quality evaluation standards. According to the teacher, “quality” is a continuous process carried on with children, parents, and the staff. When accepting a child his/herself, the teacher experiences different emotions such as joy, conflict, and loss of confidence. The teacher shares these feelings or problems with other staff members and discusses ways of developing a relationship with the child. The third person may have difficulty understanding this process but it is necessary for teachers to make efforts to document their practices clearly to others to promote quality childcare.

Keywords: quality of relationship between teachers and children, reflection, journal
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Nakane Makoto. Using the Forum Theatre for Reflecting on Practices of Early Childhood Care and Education.
Research on Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan, 2009, 47(1), 55-65.

The purpose of this paper is to consider the use of the forum theatre as a method for reflecting upon practices of early childhood care and education. Augusto Boal developed the forum theatre, which is a method of discussion through acting in a drama. The author implemented the forum theatre methodology using drama workshops in two day-care centers. Using this forum theatre, participants were able to discuss issues in more concrete ways, to think through their own situations more clearly, and to experience their trials and errors in the process of acting. The result reveals that the forum theatre is very effective in helping participants reflect more deeply on their own circumstances and childcare practices.

Keywords: forum theatre, theatrical workshop, actuality
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Kim Min-jee. The Meaning of “Reflective Teaching” for Novice Childcare Teachers and How to Support Their Transformation : Based on Their Dialogues with Coworkers after Their Practices.
Research on Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan, 2009, 47(1), 66-78.

This research analyzes the influence of reflective teaching on childcare practice by describing the dialogue between a beginning childcare teacher and her more experienced colleagues. The result indicates that this new teacher’s reflection can be categorized into three areas. The first is the immediate and reactionary reflection performed unconsciously during incidents with children (reflection in action). The second is the reflection after care-takers have the experiences that exceed their framework on children and examine their practice (reflection on action). The third is the reflection performed consciously during the events of working with children to reconstruct a new framework of childcare. A mutual learning relationship: “Learn together and concern together”, is very important among childcare teachers and reflection in such a relationship can help improve their own methods of childcare.

Keywords: reflective teaching, novice childcare teachers, discussions (dialogues) with childcare teachers
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