The 41st Annual Conference of the International Association of Early Childhood Education

Rethinking Strengths and Challenges of Early Childhood Education in Japan

1.    Conference theme


​“Rethinking Strengths and Challenges of Early Childhood Education in Japan”


2.    Symposium

- Title: “Strengths and Challenges of Early Childhood Education in Japan: A View from International Cooperation”
- Three Panelists: The panelists are professionals who have been engaged in international cooperation in Early Childhood Education either by the Japanese government or by a non-governmental organization, and the topic will be discussed in light of developing countries.















- Commentator: Prof. Zhou Nianli (Professor, East China Normal University)
- Moderator: Prof. Chiaki Miwa (Associate Professor, Hiroshima University)

- Interpreter: Prof. Liu Xiangying (Professor, Fukuyama City University)

- Language: Japanese (Consecutive interpretation into Chinese is available.)
- Handouts: Japanese, English, and Chinese


〇 Prof. Takashi Hamano (Professor, Ochanomizu University)

- Profile: Specialized in educational development and educational sociology, Professor Hamano has been engaged in research and practices on education inequalities, child poverty, and international cooperation in early childhood care and education. He was the principal researcher of the early childhood education (ECE) research center system by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sport and Technology, titled “Support to Japanese volunteers in ECE and quality improvement of international cooperation in ECE,” and the Global Center of Excellence named “Creating human development sciences sensitive to disparities,” among others. For the last 15 years, he has been the course leader of the JICA training program for ECE administration officers from Africa and the Middle East. More recently, he is the principal researcher of the national achievement tests for the analyses of the relationships between family backgrounds, children’s academic achievements and non-cognitive abilities. Among his books and articles are Early childhood care and education in developing countries and international cooperation, Disparities in child-rearing practices in the world, and “Support for early childhood development for reducing education disparities.”

〇 Mr. Yutaka Hasegawa (Education expert in JICA technical cooperation project in Egypt)

- Profile: Mr. Hasegawa is working for JICA technical cooperation project in Egypt, titled as “Project for Quality Improvement of Early Childhood Development.” His former positions include a public nursery teacher, an assistant professor at a private university, a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer, and a JICA associate expert for international cooperation. Having obtained a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Human Science, Waseda University, he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Graduate School of International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University.

〇Ms. Saki Ishizuka (Coordinator, Cambodia Office, Shanti Volunteers Association)


- Profile: Saki Ishizuka is a coordinator of SVA Cambodia, and has engaged in the project for quality improvement of ECE in state preschools based on “Learning through play and environment” since 2019. Before she took on this position, she had been involved in educational support and emergency relief projects in SVA Tokyo. Aside from the carrier in non-governmental organization, she has been engaged in youth education..


3.    Keynote address

- Speaker: Prof. Brenda I. T. Watanabe (Instructor, Program Co-Coordinator, Early Childhood Education, Hawaii Community College, Hawaii University)


- Title: “Lifestyles Trends and Its Impact on Early Childhood in the United States”


- Abstract: A child’s development is heavily influenced by his/her environment, including lifestyle choices related to nutrition, exercise, social interaction, and community engagement. Modern technological advances and conveniences have impacted how families embrace daily life with their young children in an increasingly “busy world” where exposure to nature has decreased and reliance on technology has exploded, prompting an exploration of the advantages and challenges of this trend.






- Language: English only
- Handouts: English, Japanese, and Chinese

- Profile: Brenda I.T. Watanabe is an instructor and co-coordinator for the Early Childhood Education program at Hawaii Community College. In the field of ECE for 35 years, she has been a preschool/toddler teacher; Head Start manager; and director of Hawaii’s community-based ECE training program, scholarship and Child Care Registry for Practitioners. Currently she is on the board at Hawaii Association for the Education of Young Children (HIAEYC) as well as the steering committee for Hawaii Careers with Young Children (HCYC), a group focused on workforce development. Past conference presentations have been at the National Training Institute (NTI) on cultural approaches to challenging behaviors and HIAEYC presentations on various topics including the Pyramid Model, Inclusive Childcare, Child Nutrition, and most recently, Policies and Procedures with Homeless Families. A mother of six boys and a foster mom to a seventh boy, she lives on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, with her husband who is a pillar of support for all things early childhood.


4.    Commemorative lectures of the IAECE awards of Year 2019

From In-Person to ONLINE (15. May. 2020):

As a result of COVID-19, the 41st Annual Conference scheduled to be held in Hiroshima
University from September 18 to 20, 2020 has been changed to ONLINE Conference.

〇 Winner of the IAECE award for distinguished service: Dr. Tei Yamaoka, President of Information & Education Institute, Ph.D. (Psychology)


- Title of Presentation: “Hospital Play Specialists Activities at Children’s Hospitals in New Zealand” 










〇 Winner of the IAECE award for outstanding research: Dr. Miwako Amano (Project assistant professor, The Center for Early Childhood Development, Education, and Policy Research (CEDEP), The University of Tokyo)


- Title of Presentation: “What do young children learn through intergenerational exchange?: An analysis of anecdotal records of exchange programs between young children and junior and senior high school students.”



- Language: Japanese only
- Handouts: Japanese, Chinese, and English

-  Profile: From the perspective of multicultural symbiosis, she has been researching fieldworks in Japan and overseas extensively and conducting international comparative surveys on early childhood education and childcare support environments in local communities and at preschools. Books: Multicultural Childrearing, Gakken. Childcare Supports in Local Communities, Minerva Shobo, and others. For published research reports on Multicultural Childrearing Network, please refer to HP http://www.tabunkakosodate.net /en/ 

-  Profile: A Ph.D. holder in children’s study, Dr. Amano previously worked as a private kindergarten teacher, and has been working as a facilitator accredited by Nobody’s Perfect Japan for the Canadian-born parenting education program. Her main research interests include how young children develop relationships with different kinds of people around them. Among her books are Language for quality kindergartens: Key to success for middle leaders in facilitating coordinated practices (Co-authored), Maruzen Publishing, and Early childhood development and care and education (Co-authored), Asakura publishing.


5.    Workshops

- Three different workshops will be organized for: 1) Children’s picture books, 2) Music, and 3) Art-based ECCE (Drawings and crafts).
- Language: Japanese only. (However, the workshops are designed in a manner that people with difficulties in Japanese can also participate.)
- Details of the workshops: TBA 


6.    Oral presentation

- Sessions: Japanese, English, and Chinese Sessions (No interpretation services available).
- Choice of a session: Presenters can make a choice of their preference. However, presenters should both prepare an abstract and make an oral presentation in the language of their choice.
- Length of time (Regardless of the number of presenters): 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for questions and answers. It will be 30 minutes in total per presentation. 

7.    Registration fee and participation fee


8.    Deadlines and application method


- Deadline of oral presentation proposals: June 30, 2020
Application method: The proposal format and the submission method will be duly announced on this web site. 

- Deadline of abstract submission: July 31, 2020
- Submission method: The abstract format and the submission method will be duly announced on this web site.


- Attention: Non-members who wish to make presentation proposals, except those overseas members, should apply for a membership to the association headquarters by the deadline of oral presentation proposals shown above.