In this section, we share some initial findings from our analysis of the curricula during pre-primary to primary transitional period collected from municipal governments nationwide. This analysis is part of the larger study1 abovementioned.
|Step 0:||No intention|
|Step 1:||Forward-looking but plans pending|
|Step 2:||Some exchange activities have started between ECEC and elementary schools, such as children’s learning sessions and school events as well as teacher study groups. However, no activities specific to the curriculum alignment have been considered|
|Step 3:||Regular exchange activities, such as children’s learning sessions and school events as well as teacher study groups, and the transitional curriculum has been created and applied|
|Step 4:||Further improvement planning is underway based on the experience and lessons learned from the transitional curriculum implementation|
|Others:||Not organized both in kindergartens and nursery centers|
●Purpose： To discern the current status and trends in the curriculum implementation during the transition period from pre-primary to primary education and to analyze characteristics of effectively organized curricula.
●Scope of the study： In-depth review of “resource materials on ECEC-elementary connection” compiled and submitted by prefectural and municipal governments including teaching guides, guide books, case examples, pamphlets, etc. 51 municipalities have developed the curriculum in FY 2008-2011 period, and 96 in FY 2012-2015 (some overlaps).
●Data collection and analytical methods： The MEXT requested for submission of the resource materials (as above) during the kindergarten section chiefs’ and officers’ meetings in FY 2012, 2014 and 2015. Among those collected, we extracted data concerning the curriculum during pre-primary to primary transitional period, and grouped them into the two groups - FY 2008-2011 group and the FY 2012-2015 group. Then, per each municipality, we undertook an in-depth review of the following aspects. They are: curriculum development status, content area, framework alignment, covering period (i.e. when the “Approaching Curriculum” starts, when the “Starting Curriculum” ends), purposes for exchange and coordination, relevant case examples, provision of guidance to teachers, innovative measures taken in terms of environment, educational materials, teacher support and guidance, cooperation with home/family, considerations for the special needs, and who have developed the curriculum.
●Results： Some of the main findings are as follows.
●Analysis: Some characteristics of well-designed transitional curriculums are identified as follows.