Exploring the quality of teacher–child interactions: the Soka discourse in practice

Kiiko Ikegami, Corine Rivalland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Numerous research has shown that quality of interactions between early childhood teachers and children contribute significantly to children’s holistic development. Most literature on this topic comes from developed/Western countries and little is known about the kind of interactions occurring within the Soka kindergarten model. This article, based on a qualitative multi-site case study, explores the insider perspectives of 12 Soka early childhood educators based in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Of interest was how Soka values and beliefs influence educators’ relationships and interactions with young children. Postmodern ideas of discourse, power and knowledge framed the analysis. Findings indicate four components: humanism, respect, compassion and unlimited potential are major philosophical factors influencing positive relationships between teachers and children. The results suggest greater research into humanist perspectives, and how this can be utilised to benefit teachers and children, may be warranted.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)521-535
    Number of pages15
    JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016


    • early childhood education
    • humanist education
    • postmodernism
    • quality teacher–child relationships
    • Soka philosophy

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