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ERIC Number: EJ1108053
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2331-0464
Taming the Wild: Approaches to Nature in Japanese Early Childhood Education
Burke, Rachael S.
International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education, v2 n1 p76-96 2014
The Japanese early childhood curriculum provides ample opportunities for children to interact with nature and to learn about natural phenomena. However, using Kalland (1995) and Martinez's (2008) theories about Japanese constructions of nature, this paper argues that most Japanese early childhood experiences do not constitute direct contact with "nature in the raw" but rather present a tamed, managed version of nature's reality. Drawing on Japanese perceptions of nature, which contrast with the Cartesian world view attributed to the West, the natural environment is revealed as something to be venerated but also the object of revulsion through its potential to harbour pollution. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this paper argues that Japanese early childhood education reflects Kalland and Martinez's claims that nature in its pure form is not revered, but needs to be tamed and managed through rituals to become palatable.
North American Association for Environmnental Education. 2000 P Street NW Suite 540, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-419-0412; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A