This chapter describes and analyzes a pedagogical practice that Japanese preschool teachers routinely use to support young children's social-emotional development. The central argument is that Japanese preschool teachers deal with children's disputes by employing pedagogical practices that work to scaffold the development of a collective rather than primarily individual locus of control. Japanese educators use the word "mimamoru" to describe a pedagogical strategy of low intervention in children's fights. Mimamoru refers to a practice of minimal intervention, based on watching and waiting. By holding back, Japanese preschool teachers provide opportunities not only for children involved in a conflict, but also the children around them, to experience strong emotions and experiment with conflict resolution strategies. The chapter closes with a discussion of the implications of Japanese preschool pedagogy for conceptions of self-regulation, prosocial behavior, and empathy-related responding. One implication is that more research is needed on how young children in Japan and elsewhere collectively handle misbehavior and emotions in group contexts.
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