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Viewpoint of Child Science Part3. Possibilities and Challenges of Child Science that Integrates the Humanities

Part3. Possibilities and Challenges of Child Science that Integrates the Humanities

Sakakihara: In child science, it is important, of course, to observe and study children. Since we have got together as the Japanese Society of Child Science, we can make our points clear by considering what we can give to them. For example, if we know what child science can do or what problems are occurring with children, it will lead to a solution. The discussion between Professor Asao and Professor Sakura is really interesting. I agree that children nowadays have very few opportunities to encounter nature. Then we need to make an analysis or observation to see what the problem is and what should be done. Do we need to have more nature? Should we do an experiment using a helicopter-like bamboo toy or should we learn how to use computers? We can think that way.

As Professor Asada said, development of one's thumb alone may be a problem, but this could be useful for some purpose. We need to have a social viewpoint, which does not exist so far. Child science may generate various opinions and ideas. Another important point is that children have a very strong sensitivity themselves without being taught by adults. For example, according to the study by Professor Hiraki, seven- to eight-month-old babies can tell the difference between TV images and the real things in the screen. Even babies can understand this and children must have such an ability. Therefore if I may use a symbolic example, is it true that children who play with Tamagocchi don't love life? Maybe we should ask ourselves whether children are really so insensitive or not. Child science offers various perspectives. I can't think of any single field of study that offers such a place for discussion.

Miyashita: Thank you very much. Before starting this symposium, I raised some issues for the panelists. Firstly, I asked them to think about common issues on children from various approaches. I think this has been discussed pretty well referring to brain functions and the "game brain." I also heard some points about how we can give feedback to children. Another point was what should be done to bridge different disciplines across various fields of study. We should not worry too much about this since many opinions and ideas were exchanged today. It is probably more productive to think in various ways. Now I would like to close Session One of the symposium. Thank you very much for your attention.

Takashi Asao, Professor, Nara Women's College

Yoichi Sakakihara, M.D., Medical Director, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo

Osamu Sakura, Associate Professor, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the University of Tokyo

Kazuo Hiraki, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Takahiro Miyashita, Professor, Shirayuri Women's College
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