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Quality of Life and Self-Esteem of Children


What would be the ultimate goal of early childhood education? To make children smarter? Nurture their self-esteem, or make them competent citizens for the future? Do you notice that even though these goals are different, there is one thing in common among them?

What is common among them is that the goals have been deliberated and decided by adults. Of course, we adults are very keen to the effects rendered by setting these goals. The effects by setting these goals are, for example, development of children's cognitive, social, and non-cognitive skills etc.

We adults have long been ignoring much the inner subjective feelings of children.
Now if we seriously hope to help children who are citizens of the future world, we must be aware of their inner feelings of themselves and the world as a whole.

The concept of quality of life (QOL) was once developed in the field of clinical medicine, where a mere healing of diseases is not at all the goals of treatment. In defining the meaning of health, the World Health Organization has clearly defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Now the concept of QOL is thought to be the global indicator of children's well-being and applicable in early childhood education.

In my talk, I will briefly touch upon the measures of QOL, and my previous survey on the QOL of children in Asian countries. Following them, I would like to present the factors that influence the development of QOL, and their implication in early childhood education.

>>Read the full article (PDF)

This paper was originally published in the proceedings of the 20th Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association International Conference, at which the keynote lecture was delivered. CRN would like to thank PECERA Taiwan for permitting the reproduction of this paper on the CRN website.


sakakihara_2013.jpg Yoichi Sakakihara
M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Ochanomizu University; Director of Child Research Net, Executive Advisor of Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute (BERD), President of Japanese Society of Child Science. Specializes in pediatric neurology, developmental neurology, in particular, treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Asperger's syndrome and other developmental disorders, and neuroscience. Born in 1951. Graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo in 1976 and taught as an instructor in the Department of Pediatrics before assuming current post.
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