The question of how children become eager, motivated learners and caring, responsible citizens has perplexed educators around the world. Educating Hearts and Minds, a portrait of Japanese preschool and early elementary education, offers a fresh perspective on these questions. Its thesis--which will surprise many Americans--is that Japanese schools are successful because they meet children's needs for friendship, belonging, and contribution. This book brings to life what actually happens inside Japanese classrooms. In a sharp departure from most previous accounts, this book suggests that Japanese education succeeds because all children--not just the brightest or best-behaved--somehow come to feel like valued members of the school community. Ironically, Japanese teachers credit John Dewey and other progressive Western educators for many of the techniques that make Japanese schools both caring and challenging, but that never caught on in this country. This book brings to Americans the voices of Japanese classroom teachers--voices that are at once deeply consonant with American aspirations and deeply provocative.
"...a major contribution to the study of early childhood education. This book is useful in a wide variety of instructional settings: from basic courses on Japanese culture to introductory education classes. I would especially recommend it for use in preservice teacher development courses, as the book not only demolishes many pernicious myths about Japan, but also raises fundamental questions about American assumptions regarding early childhood education." Education About Asia "With this remarkable book, Lewis joins the top rank of Americans writing about Japanese education. Her book is accessible and engaging, written in a personal, clear, and jargon-free style, and is filled with lively examples. It overturns many assumptions and cliches...Libraries that hold only a few books on contemporary Japanese education should have this one alongside seminal works of Thomas Rohlen, Merry White, Joy Hendry, Lois Peak, and Joseph Tobin." Choice "Lewis has made a real contribution to our understanding of early school education in Japan, and by implication, how children become Japanese." Kyoko Inoue, Curriculum Studies "Lewis brings forth these themes and conveys them through the use of indigenous paradigms and metaphors. She offers the average student some simple yet powerful ways to make sense of modern Japanese culture." Gerald LeTendre, Resources