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The Fourth Child Science Exchange Program in East Asia

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The Fourth Child Science Exchange Program in East Asia, co-hosted by Child Research Net (CRN) and the Ochanomizu University Global COE Program, was held on September 11 (Fri). Experts from China, South Korea, and Japan lectured and presented their research at symposia on "Language Development and Neuroscience: Research and Practice in East Asia." The lively venue was almost filled to capacity, with nearly 200 in attendance, many of whom had come from far away.

First, Dr. Hideaki Koizumi, Fellow and Executive at Hitachi, Ltd., delivered the keynote speech on "Second Language Acquisition of a Foreign Language and Neuroscience." This was followed by a special lecture by Professor Jiaxiong Zhu, East China Normal University, and lectures by Professor Jiang Yong and Professor Zhang Minghong in the afternoon. Each explained the concepts and practice of reading to young children and reading by children as well as the responses of kindergarten teachers in the "Survey on Cultural Conditions."

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Presentations at the afternoon symposia centered on joint research undertaken by Ochanomizu University, East China Normal University, Ewha Women's University in South Korea, and the Benesse Institute for the Child Sciences and Parenting. This was composed of a summary and report on "The Influence of Socio-cultural Factors on Literacy Acquisition in Young Children: A Comparative Study of Japan, South Korea, and China" and a policy proposal. These extremely interesting findings pointed out relations among literacy, child-care type, and form of discipline. Furthermore, this international survey clarified points of similarity and difference in the three nations that underscored differences in historical and cultural background.

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This was the fourth East Asia Child Science Conference Exchange Program. Even within the same East Asia, countries have different cultural and historical backgrounds. As we learn from, understand, and respect one another, CRN will continue to pursue this research and exchange involving children from the viewpoint of Child Science.

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