Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China and the United States
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Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China and the United States

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A comparison of Japanese, Chinese and American preschools, discussing how these schools both reflect and affect philosophies of child-rearing and early childhood education and larger social patterns and beliefs in each society.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published January 23rd 1991 by Yale University Press
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Sarah shieh
Sep 30, 2007 Sarah shieh marked it as to-read
I learned this book on the recommendation of my totur at first,but in china,it's hard to buy it now,because there is no chinese edition yet.
As another reviewer said --- this was great ethnography that is excellent for de-privileging your viewpoint. I was able to get a much broader perspective on what people do to (raise) children, along with all sorts of culturally ingrained perspectives on group socialization, play and even philosophy like how to carry out justice.

There was a lot of dialogue at different levels: What actually happened when they observed classes, all the different people in the same culture who they interviewed and...more
Lisa Wuertz
Totally fascinating! I was a little apprehensive after reading some of the reviews stating it was hard to read and very much like an academic paper, but I did not find that to be the case. It read easily enough and I found so much to be very interesting. From the way the societal values of each culture play out in the way preschools are run to the history of preschools in each country and the impact this has on them today.

This book/study is written by three people of slightly different backgrou...more
I'm already kind of annoyed at the lofty attitude the researchers and the American teachers are taking over the Japanese high student/teacher ratio. "Small classes are sooooo much better for four-year-olds and what do you mean we have a higher teen suicide rate in the US?"

Read the Japanese part and skipped the rest. In my mind, preschool really doesn't seem to matter as much as these authors think it does.

Also, the authors seemed to neglect the fact that, in Japan, "preschool" is everything up...more
Alex Cunningham
"Preschool in Three Cultures" should be a deep and fascinating examination of a fundamental and highly influential part of these societies, and it is. The level of detail and observation is incredible. The analysis - especially of the subtle causal relationships between behaviors - is insightful and well-expressed. It is also overwhelming. Where the writing should be clear in addition to perceptive, it is instead dense and overcomplicated. Where it should let us into foreign environments to expl...more
May not be as relevant as before, since the study was done in the eighties (I think), but the main points are still valid, and Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited gives a pretty thorough update. This and Unequal Childhoods were probably my two favorite texts from sociology class last semester.
Aug 06, 2011 Amanda added it
good ethnography - i think it's cool the way they show the video from each country to all the people in the same and other countries....helps to de-privilidge one viewpoint. it was cool to see the video in class too. you spend the whole time reading the book about it and then you can watch.
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