Early Childhood Education Schools in Brazil: Play and Interculturality

Early Childhood Education Schools in Brazil: Play and Interculturality

Tizuko Morchida Kishimoto (Sao Paulo University, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5167-6.ch013
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This chapter investigates play and interculturality between Brazilian and Japanese children in early childhood education schools in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The research context is 27 schools in five cities with nursery and kindergarten. Three questions structure the article. The first deals with family motivations indicating Japanese education and culture as one of the reasons for choosing the schools. The second examines the objectives and educational practices, and the third explores the play and interculturality between Japanese and Brazilian children.
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The bibliographical sources used for understanding Japanese tradition comes from two volumes of a UNESCO-sanctioned series on Japan called Sources of Japanese Tradition compiled by Tsunoda, De Bary and Keene (1964, 1958), and the work that illustrates how the Japanese see their own culture, Essays on Japan from Japan, a collective work published by Nippon Steel Corporation (1987). Japanese childhood education is analyzed in the books, Becoming Japanese: The World of the Preschool Child, by J. Hendry (1986), Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, USA and China, by Tobin, Wu and Davidson, (1987), and articles by researchers such as Watanabe (2010), Kato (2000), Izumi-Taylor et al. (2007), and Izumi-Taylor and Ito (2015). The studies of Kishimoto (1995, 1997, 2000, 2009), DaMatta (1991), L. Barbosa (1992), M. Barbosa (2010), and Kishimoto and Demartini (2012) provide further bibliographic sources on education and culture in Brazil.

The intercultural perspective adopted in this study comes from UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity that, beyond art and language, identifies distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual, and affective traits of a society or cultural group encompassing lifestyles, values, traditions, and beliefs.

The analysis of play follows Brougère’s (1998, 2005) conception of play culture as a social activity and a product of culture in which the child’s decision and the expression of cultural codes shared during the playing experience prevail.

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