Sample Paper on Preschools in Three Cultures

Question One

Tobin explains the explicit and implicit cultural logic and practices that further enable children to acquire their culture and transfer it to other and next generations. There cultures instilled among the US, Japan and Chinese children are generated through generational inheritance. Despite modernization across the generations, there are instinct cultural practices that are unique in each country or population that the children have to learn. Despite having some cultural practices having borrowed from other cultures, there are distinct practices that remain in practice despite the external influences. This work focuses on the explicit and implicit cultural practices that are distinct among the three countries as shown in the book by Tobin (232).

The distinction is well explained where different cultures either embrace on one or the other form of transferring knowledge and experiences. Tobin expresses that the explicit cultural logics and practices as the ones that are borrowed and applied across many cultures and thus explicitly affecting the pres-schooling culture. Tobin argues that pre-schools are places where children develop physically, intellectually and emotionally as well as leaning their culture. The explicit logic is that enshrined in the curriculums and the common knowledge where the children learn what is taught even in other cultures. The explicit logic and cultural practices taught in class are meant to continue and transmit the taught or class knowledge as placed in curriculums. The explicit changes that the author oversaw included the increasing changes associated with increasing urbanization, declining birthrates, women’s work permit as well as the development of new technologies. There are commonly shared practices and beliefs possessed by teachers as well as practices and beliefs that are shared by the children as learnt from their parents. The author also indicated that the widespread sharing within a nation of approaches for teaching is associated with the “implicit cultural practices and beliefs” that are not directly written or taught directly in class for the pre-school children. The author distinguishes between the implicit from explicit cultural practices through the way they are channeled from one generation to another.

The Practices Illustrating the Concept

The best practices that describe the implicit approaches to teaching is how the children are brought to the attention of their culture by the teachers. There are not much differences when it comes to the explicit practices of teaching that are relatively the same across the generation with additions and changes brought about by the new technology and the new learning approaches. For instance, the implicit teaching practice in Japan is the allowing children to solve their differences for instance, through fighting among themselves and learning to reflect on the situations and apologizing to each other. The scene in Japan is taught by two children fighting where the teacher pays little attention to the children but lets them fight. The author gives two scenarios one after twenty years where the teachers in the respective classes allow the children to fight until they solve their problems and apologize to each other. The teachers, Morita-sensei and Fukui-sensei, used an implicit learning process where the teacher is allowed to support the child development through waiting (machi no hoiku) and embracing watching and waiting (mimamoru) to facilitate non-intervention when children are fighting. This has been termed as an implicit Japanese characteristically approach towards class management (240).

Another scenario made for the US explicit teaching practices and logic is the option of choice where the children are given choices to select their best options. This culture is unique to the US inheritance and system that encourages children to have power in making choices as well as deciding on what to do with their lives in future. This practice is not common to other cultures like that of Japanese or Chinese. The US culture of expounding on the choices focuses on the reasons why it is an implicit culture that is not practiced by Japanese since the culture in Japan is for exploring and learning while that of US is that of choice-based approaches. The Chinese government has set rules to ensure that students go out there and explore things based on the curriculum provided to enhance the learning process. These implicit learning approaches are not taught across the published and internationally accepted curriculums, which depict the explicit cultures and practices favored by governments. The US scenario gives choices where two parents are shown giving their children options to select their favorite activities. The choices presented ate not unconstrained and they are open to allow the continuation of the American culture which emphasizes on the aspects of choice. The children are taught on this implicit practice that reflects the American society and the choices as inscribed in their culture and taught across generations. Through this, as the children grows up, they learn to make their own choices and decisions regarding what they want to do with their lives. It is the reason most Americans work hard to achieve the American Dream because they believe that it is their right to become better every day.

Question Two

The forces of globalization and modernization are touted to lead pre-schools across the world in becoming more similar. This assertion is rejected by Tobin but there are some degrees of adoption or influence by the modernization process. There is the belief that school should be fun and that with choices as indicated by the American learning system as influenced by the technology and modernization. The case of the American focuses on the core platforms involved in modernization. However, it is always challenging for the preschools to find the right balance in change and continuity. In this case, cultural educational practices become more resilient as a result of globalization and modernization.

There are notions of democracy where children are allowed to choose between playing at the water table and playing Legos where the evidence of exercising persons’ rights of democracy is exhibited. The globalization process as seen in the pre-schooling teaching in the US is also shown in the adoption of the independent decision making in accordance to the instilled culture and as adopted across modernization processes. While the technology has continued to change, the aspects of allegiance to patriotism, holding up of democracy, and the need to embraces choices across all practices.

How it is Illustrated in China and US

The Chinese story on the following and adoption of the modern and globalization processes also pick some issues and retain others. The research by Tobin (234) indicated that Chinese pre-schools are heavily borrowing from abroad on styles and formats of teaching the children. This is an indication of the primary influence of modernization and globalization. The progressive Chinese preschools are gaining new approaches to learning and teaching the core knowledge as stipulated in the Chinese curriculum. Globalization has therefore challenged Chinese preschools whereby they feel that it is their mandate to ensure that the children acquire the perspectives, social skills and values that are linked to the modern society. There are however some characteristically retained Chinese reflections that have not been influenced by the modernization. It means that there are some Chinese preschools that have remained loyal to the same old pedagogy and curriculum. One of the cultural practices that have not changed is the approach in the way that information is passed from a generation to another. There is the adoption of the Chinese progressive educational reforms that are contained in the way learning is contacted, monitored and evaluated. Among the old traditions presently held by the Chinese learning culture is the story telling approach to learning. The main reason for holding on to the old system is to ensure that the Chinese core cultural values are not lost or compromised by globalization and modernization. It is the mandate of the preschools to ensure that the young children have acquired the values, social skills and perspectives of Chinese cultures.

Tobin (241) focuses on the two scenarios where Chinese children teach other through story telling. In one scenario, one boy (Ziyu) stands to tell the class sat on the rug of a famous Chinese story that transfers the morals and teachings from a generation to another. The story Ziyu tells presents a form where children learn from each other and build their moral standings from the stories and folk tales. The children went on to vote on the basis whether Ziyu was a good story teller or not. There were also the moral lessons learned that focused on the cultural and communal passing of stories and themes. The teacher challenged others to prepare to tell their story based on the voting for Ziyu on his prowess to share stories. This system of Chinese is a hybrid of the modernization and the cultural tradition of learning. There are progressive beliefs that are initiated in the children learning curriculum that embraces a democratic classroom, content-area focus and self-expression, all integrated with the Chinese traditions and socialist in the curriculum is the evidence of the influence of the modernization. The mastery of storytelling and the integration of the modern ways of assessing and comprehending contexts have evolved benchmarked on the globalization and borrowing from other systems of learning.

How China and US have Responded to Globalization

In conclusion, Tobin (235) was right that preschools were not becoming similar despite the adoption of some similarities. The evidence of Chinese children storytelling practices is important in highlighting the impact of modernization while maintaining the effects of socialism and tradition of learning for the small children. Folk tales as indicated in the Chinese system of learning are an indication that the implicit system remains embedded in a community learning system despite the influence of the globalization. The example of the US focuses on democracy as a modern aspect in influencing the choices of children is evidence of post-modernism and the cultural backgrounds are still embedded in the system despite the approaches to maintain patriotism and identity of the Americanism in the preschool children.


Works Cited

Tobin, Joseph Jay., Yeh Hsueh, and Mayumi Karasawa. Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited:     China, Japan, and the United States. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2009. Print.