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ERIC Number: EJ868186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
"Hansei": Japanese Preschoolers Learn Introspection with Teachers' Help
Izumi-Taylor, Satomi
Young Children, v64 n4 p86-90 Jul 2009
Helping children to refine and coordinate old ways of thinking is based on constructivist teaching, which promotes children's introspection skills. Several Japanese early childhood teaching practices align with constructivism, and Muto (2002) recommends that teachers reflect on their teaching methods and on their assessment of children by focusing on children's everyday life experiences. Japanese teachers also encourage preschoolers to be introspective. The Japanese word for introspection is "hansei," a cultural learning theory considered to be a fundamental skill that contributes to social and personal development. It is a tool used to raise Japanese children's standards of behavior or action, both at home and at school. Because Japanese people strive to avoid criticism by others, monitoring one's behavior is a necessity. Hansei is interpreted as reviewing past behavior, evaluating and critiquing it, and finally improving upon it. Hansei is very common in Japan, and it is familiar to all Japanese except the very young. This article describes how Japanese preschool children learn to be introspective, with teachers' support. Japanese teachers' teaching strategies are based on their beliefs that children are autonomous beings capable of self-regulation, with teachers' help. This article is based on observational data the author collected from 2003 through 2005 at three preschools in Kawasaki and Shizuoka Cities, on the main island of Japan.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan