Published twenty years ago, the original Preschool in Three Cultures was a landmark in the study of education: a profoundly enlightening exploration of the different ways preschoolers are taught in China, Japan, and the United States. Here, lead author Joseph Tobin—along with new collaborators Yeh Hsueh and Mayumi Karasawa—revisits his original research to discover how two decades of globalization and sweeping social transformation have affected the way these three cultures educate and care for their youngest pupils.
In Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited the authors return to the three schools from the first book and also take a look at three new, progressive schools in each country—once again armed with a video camera to capture a typical day. They record the children saying goodbye to their parents, fighting, misbehaving, and playing, as well as moments of intimacy such as teachers comforting crying students. Then the authors show the three videos they shot in 1984 and the six new videos to the teachers and school directors, and their reactions offer sharp insights into their culture’s approach to early childhood education and its connection to developments in their societies as a whole. Putting their subjects’ responses into a historical perspective, Tobin, Hsueh, and Karasawa analyze the pressures put on schools to evolve and to stay the same, discuss how the teachers adapt to these demands, and examine the patterns and processes of continuity and change in each country.
Featuring nearly one hundred stills from the videotapes, Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited artfully and insightfully illustrates the surprising, illuminating, and at times entertaining experiences of four-year-olds—and their teachers—on both sides of the Pacific.