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ERIC Number: EJ929632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-1090-1027
The Meaning of Play: A Cross-Cultural Study of American and Japanese Teachers' Perspectives on Play
Taylor, Satomi Izumi; Rogers, Cosby Steele; Dodd, Arleen Theresa; Kaneda, Toshiko; Nagasaki, Iku; Watanabe, Yasuhiro; Goshiki, Toru
Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, v24 n4 p311-321 2004
Early childhood teachers' understandings of play were examined in a qualitative comparative study of 41 Japanese and 41 American participants. Qualitative analysis of the data yielded five themes: the power of living, the opportunity to learn and to develop, fun activities, child's work, and the opportunity to explore nature. Two themes emerged in regard to the meaning of play for adults: enjoyable and voluntary activities and child's play. Finally, we identified two themes regarding playfulness: state of heart and fun feelings. Teachers in both nations used rhetoric that is congruent with the current Zeitgeist of developmentally appropriate early education. One theme that differentiated the groups was the notion that play is children's work. While several Americans mentioned this slogan, this was not the case for the Japanese participants. In contrast, the theme of play as the power of living was more representative of Japanese teachers' understandings of play, and this reflects the philosophy set forth by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. (Contains 3 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; United States