Japanese preschool approaches to supporting young children's social-emotional development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter describes and analyzes a pedagogical practice that Japanese preschool teachers routinely use to support young children's social-emotional development. The central argument is that Japanese preschool teachers deal with children's disputes by employing pedagogical practices that work to scaffold the development of a collective rather than primarily individual locus of control. Japanese educators use the word "mimamoru" to describe a pedagogical strategy of low intervention in children's fights. Mimamoru refers to a practice of minimal intervention, based on watching and waiting. By holding back, Japanese preschool teachers provide opportunities not only for children involved in a conflict, but also the children around them, to experience strong emotions and experiment with conflict resolution strategies. The chapter closes with a discussion of the implications of Japanese preschool pedagogy for conceptions of self-regulation, prosocial behavior, and empathy-related responding. One implication is that more research is needed on how young children in Japan and elsewhere collectively handle misbehavior and emotions in group contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren's Social Worlds in Cultural Context
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783030270339
ISBN (Print)9783030270322
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 10
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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