How can mental health develop through early childhood learning activities in Japan?

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Wimontip Musikaphan
Nanthanat Songsiri


This qualitative case study investigates concepts on mental health development through early childhood learning concept and activities of Japan. The study sites were an elementary school and a kindergarten in Tokyo, Japan. Data were primarily collected by document research, narrative interviews with sixteen participants and observation with forty five students. Content analysis was used to analyze the data.

The key findings are: 1) Japan has encouraged positive attitude as the first step of mental health firmness, following with physical fitness development. 2) Team-based playing is applied as a way to generate personal self-esteem, cooperation and social readiness. 3) Learning by playing is continually promoted. 4) Public mind is embedded in the way of life 5) Learning curriculum is designed and adjusted based on research 6) Simple but delicate education area is focused and 7) Arrangement of mental health educational environment is strongly focused.

These finding can be adapted to early childhood and primary education in Thailand since it would help
kindergarten, school and parents to hit into the most important point of mental health development as a smart way to “strengthening at heart” of children since they were young. Early childhood education policy for Thailand should be promoted to be based on play-based learning.


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Original Articles
Author Biography

Wimontip Musikaphan, National Institute for Child and Family Development, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Ph.D., National Institute for Child and Family Development, Mahidol University, Thailand