The Annual of research on early childhood Volume 31
2009-07-21 発行

A Study on the Potential Utilization of Portfolio among Coordinators in Kindergartens and Nursery Schools in Japan

Iino, Yuki
The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of portfolios, developed by coordinators in kindergartens and nursery schools in Japan. The coordinators are early childhood teachers who play various roles in different settings. Their roles are of particular importance when they provide support for children with special needs and childrearing families, as well as support to other early childhood education teachers. Hence, specialised knowledge and the ability to play different support roles are required for the coordinators. It is essential for the coordinators to organize information efficiently in order to keep track with on-going practice and to retrospectively evaluate goals set for the future. In the absence of effective record keeping system for the coordinators in kindergartens and nursery schools in Japan, a potential use of portfolios, that had not been yet well known in Japan, was investigated in this study. As part of a training program for 17 coordinators, they were asked to develop a portfolio for a period of two weeks. Content analysis of the portfolios revealed a wide variety of information about children, parents and teachers in form of written documents, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Large amounts of information were dedicated to the support for childrearing families and children with special needs. Survey was also used to find out the benefits of the portfolio development. Unlike the existing recording system that focuses on the objective descriptions of children, portfolios allow the coordinators to include their perceptions of children into the records, thus increasing their awareness of their own. When asked about the potential usefulness of portfolios in addition to the existing recording system, 94% of the coordinators recommended the adjunct use of portfolios. It is a task of future research to explore exactly how portfolios should be combined with the existing record keeping system.
training program
enhance the qualifications