The Modification and Adaptation of Montessori Education in Japan

By Kimiko Kai.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

During the last hundred and fifty years, the modernization of Japan has involved the borrowing of many ideas from other countries. However, these ideas were not simply transplanted uncritically. At the same time, some of their basic philosophical aspects were not completely understood. Ideas were and continue to be adapted, thus reflecting the different needs of Japanese culture and society. An illustration of this process of borrowing can be found in early childhood education, especially after the first Japanese kindergarten was established, based on the ideas of Friederich Froebel (1782-1852). Another example of Western ideas influencing Japanese education is the ideas of Maria Montessori (1870-1952). This paper describes the adaptation of a foreign educational movement. In addition, characteristics of Japanese early childhood education will be described, as well as government policies.

Keywords: Montessori Education, Early Childhood Education, Japanese Education, Cross-cultural Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp.667-676. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.221MB).

Prof. Kimiko Kai

Professor, Department of Early Childhood Care & Education, Faculty of Human Life Sciences, Fuji Women’s University, Ishikari-city, Hokkaido, Japan

Professor Kimiko Kai teaches early childhood education at Fuji Women’s University, Hokkaido, Japan. She has worked as a teacher trainer in Japan for over thirty years. Her interest in early childhood education brings a special perspective on her research work in education. In addition, she is an active member of the Society of Early Childhood Care and Education and Montessori Associations in Japan.


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