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Japanese Daycare Group Attends TC Seminar

Professor Leslie R. Williams didn't know that an early childhood conference that she and Ms. Mari Mori, a doctoral candidate and adjunct instructor in Early Childhood Education, attended in Yokohama, Japan, three years ago would lead to an ongoing relationship with the Independent Day Care Association of Hiroshima. But it did.

Williams, Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, says at that conference she and the leaders of the daycare association "discovered that they had many things in common." The next thing they all knew, Professor Williams, Ms. Mori and the Hiroshima organization, which is made up of a variety of private daycare directors, administrators, and daycare teachers, met again in Hiroshima and Honolulu and decided to work together on "a regular basis." They finally worked out an Autumn Seminar to the United States, and specifically to Teachers College, to study daycare as well as to undergo professional development.

Among the 31 members of the delegation that spent time at TC during the week of October 13, Ms. Masako Fujiwara, the Director of the Wakoen Daycare Center talked about why she wanted to attend the seminar at TC. Ms. Fujiwara said she was eager to learn more about how "a multicultural society deals with children and daycare and how it acknowledges the differences in society."

The visitors had a rigorous schedule. They attended several lectures by Professor Williams, observed daycare centers across the city, met members of the TC faculty and administration, held small group discussions comparing the daycare systems of both Japan and the United States, and planned for ongoing staff development.

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