Questioning Class and the Shapes of Resonance


Text: Saeko Imai

→ Tap here for the English version



















Questioning Class and the Shapes of Resonance

Text: Saeko Imai


How are the children at Yamanoko spending their time since April?

As a major change, we questioned how we operated our facility based on classes, and stopped distinguishing children and adults by the labels such as kogomi and akebi. The words kogomi and akebi became words that only indicated the name of the room. We then set up the staffing and environment so that the children could spend their time in an interest-based environment that answered the question, “What do they (the children) want to do today? I think this has had a great impact on the children’s daily lives.


As a result, there has inevitably been an increase in interactions that transcend the concept of class. For example, Y(2 years old), who used to be a Kogomi, is now playing as much as he likes with A, D and Ak (5 years old), who used to be Akebi. Y seems to be interested in people who are a little older than he is, and spending time with them seems to be expanding his own play style and language skills. E and M (5 years old) can be seen waiting for T (2 years old), who has recently joined the larger Yamanoko, to move more slowly than they do and tickling her to make her laugh. I think what is happening there is “resonance”. Y “resonates” with the older children as he watches them move their bodies comfortably, and he enjoys spending time with people who have reached the level he wants to reach. And for Y, that time itself is a great learning experience. E and M, may have seen themselves in the past in T, who had just arrived in a new environment,  and perhaps “resonated” with her, and a sense of “camaraderie” intuitively sprouted in them. I think that because the classes were removed and the concept of “companionship” was expanded, there was better access to connect with each other.


Because of the increased accessibility to each other, clashes inevitably occur between those that spend their daily lives together. Children who cannot explain themselves in words protest by putting out their hands, while those who can explain themselves in words attempt to sort out their feelings. There are of course times when tears are shed, hands are raised, or they try to hurt the other person. As an educator, I am careful not to deprive the children of their learning, but at the same time, I encourage their imagination about the feelings of others, using language and other activities that they can understand.


Yamanoko,  a place where many children resonate with each other, breathes like a living organism and is constantly changing. Please continue to watch over us with warm eyes.






Kogomi and Akebi Blend Together

"うるい・こごみ組コミュニティの変化       Changing Community (Urui and Kogomi)"


うるい・こごみ組コミュニティの変化       Changing Community (Urui and Kogomi)

"保育者の「混ざりあい」が生む変化           "



The Changes Brought By “Fusions” of Child Educators