Citation

Preschools as "community": The role of parents in care centers

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Abstract:

Japan is depopulating so understandably the increase in childcare support for working mothers is seen as important. Indeed, even though fewer babies are being born, many day-care centers (hoikuen) have long waiting lists. This paper adds the perspective of preschool directors, teachers and parents to this discussion of the social phenomenon of the declining birthrate and ensuing public policy. What exactly is expected of preschools by educators and families?

Findings from an ethnographic case study of two day-care centers in suburban Japan reveal that although the central and local governments are concerned with the distinction between child “care” and child “education,” the directors, teachers, parents, and children at day-care centers frame the purpose of their activities also in terms of “community.” These nurseries are indeed educational centers with a strong commitment not only to teaching the children under their “care” but with a mission of family support to “build and serve the local community.”

The data for the study were collected through a qualitative methodology, including in-depth interviews with directors, teachers, and parents as well as participant observation of the preschools recording the daily activities and events of the preschools. Importantly, this data reveal that fathers play a central role in center activities and school community. In the case of the two preschools investigated in this study, hoikuen are much more than mere care facilities to facilitate and encourage mothers to have more babies, but rather institutions central to the lives of the families.

Author's Keywords:

Community
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486298_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Poole, Gregory. "Preschools as "community": The role of parents in care centers" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486298_index.html>

APA Citation:

Poole, G. "Preschools as "community": The role of parents in care centers" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486298_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Japan is depopulating so understandably the increase in childcare support for working mothers is seen as important. Indeed, even though fewer babies are being born, many day-care centers (hoikuen) have long waiting lists. This paper adds the perspective of preschool directors, teachers and parents to this discussion of the social phenomenon of the declining birthrate and ensuing public policy. What exactly is expected of preschools by educators and families?

Findings from an ethnographic case study of two day-care centers in suburban Japan reveal that although the central and local governments are concerned with the distinction between child “care” and child “education,” the directors, teachers, parents, and children at day-care centers frame the purpose of their activities also in terms of “community.” These nurseries are indeed educational centers with a strong commitment not only to teaching the children under their “care” but with a mission of family support to “build and serve the local community.”

The data for the study were collected through a qualitative methodology, including in-depth interviews with directors, teachers, and parents as well as participant observation of the preschools recording the daily activities and events of the preschools. Importantly, this data reveal that fathers play a central role in center activities and school community. In the case of the two preschools investigated in this study, hoikuen are much more than mere care facilities to facilitate and encourage mothers to have more babies, but rather institutions central to the lives of the families.


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