Care and Education

Care and Education

Recently, especially in Western countries, longitudinal research related to human beings’ life-span development has been conducted from many perspectives, including education, psychology, medical science, health studies, economic science, sociology, and studies on social service. These studies have almost uniformly indicated the significance of the environment in which infants and toddlers are nurtured and the qualities of experiences they have there, noting that this affects the formation and maintenance of individuals’ healthy and happy life course.

 

These findings, in fact, have numerous implications for early childhood education and care (ECEC) within home or classroom contexts in Japanese society, but these two fields are known, essentially, to take root in the history and the culture of each society. For this reason, it is natural to assume that it is critical to develop a large-scale longitudinal study unique to Japan. Furthermore, in the future, the integration of these findings with the findings of other cultures may open new pathways to discover the universal principles of human development from a new perspective.

 

At the Division of  Care and Education Research, in recognition of the above-outlined concepts, we are aiming to conduct a large-scale study this year to reveal the actual conditions of Japanese early childhood education and care, the current situation of the systems and policies supporting early childhood education and care within home or classroom contexts, and the working condition and awareness of carers, educators, and teachers. Thus, we will target ECEC provisions and local communities across the nation. Furthermore, beginning with the next academic year, we will officially start a longitudinal study to reveal the relationship between physical and mental development of children and the personnel and material environmental factors  at home or at ECEC provisions. Finally, we are planning to develop an app for smartphones and tablets to collect information from parents, carers, educators, and teachers and also to provide information to them.