Cultural entrainment of motor skill development: Learning to write hiragana in Japanese primary schoolCultural entrainment of motor skill development: Learning to write hiragana in Japanese primary school
The aim of the present study was to examine how the social norms shared in a classroom environment influence the development of movement dynamics of handwriting of children who participate in the environment. To look into this issue, the following aspects of the entire period of classroom learning of hiragana letters in Japanese 1st graders who had just entered primary school were studied: First, the structure of classroom events and the specific types of interaction and learning within such environment were described. Second, in the experiment involving 6-year-old children who participated in the class, writing movements of children and their changes over the period of hiragana education were analyzed for each stroke composing letters. It was found that writing movement of children became differentiated in a manner specific to the different types of stroke endings, to which children were systematically encouraged to attend in the classroom. The results provide a detailed description of the process of how dynamics of fine motor movement of children is modulated by the social norms of a populated, classroom environment in a non-Latin alphabet writing system.