Hokkaido University Faculty of Education/Graduate School

Introducing you to our key learning fields

Educational Psychology

Early Child Development and Educational Practice

Research Subjects

Social development of infants and young children; development of infants and young children in early childhood care and education, and related assistance; child rearing and contemporary environments

Research Group Overview

This research group undertakes basic studies on children with a focus on those in infancy and early childhood, and examines practical issues related to child rearing and childcare. The foundations for research on infant development at Hokkaido University were laid by Emeritus Professor Kazuo Miyake in the 1950s, and the university has since then led research on infant development not only in Japan but also around the world. This research group is unique because it opted to do the laborious research tasks of elucidating development processes based on longitudinal studies. The group’s members took over the initiatives taken by Emeritus Professor Shing-Jen Chen, who retired in 2010, and have aimed to clarify problems related to child rearing and development in historical and social contexts.
Since human development begins in infancy, this period and the early years of childhood that follow are mysterious periods filled with neuroplasticity and dynamism. Like other animal species, infants and young children live with a number of biological constraints within social and historical contexts. Today, the scope of their activities is not limited to homes; it covers various places and opportunities, including facilities such as kindergartens and day care centers, and child-rearing support programs promoted by NPOs and other organizations. As social and economic structures are undergoing significant changes, child development processes and conditions may also go through a transition. This research group places emphasis on a multi-faceted approach to growth phenomena, employing natural science techniques in a laboratory environment and fieldwork techniques in homes, childcare facilities and other places.

The research group runs its own website:
Hokkaido University Faculty of Education Child Development & Educational Ecology Research Group
Visit the website for the latest information on the group’s activities and members.


Associate Professor    KAWATA, Manabu