Recently, advancement-record systems for early childhood education have been commercially marketed in Japan. The academic advancement of children is recorded by using knowledge constructed from many advancement-inspection items. Such a record is required by law, and it's effective for third-party appraisal by the Japanese government. The knowledge conventionally used in such a system, however, has two major limitations. One is the subjective score selection. The advancement score is recorded in ambiguous expressions, such as “possible,” “almost possible,” and “impossible.” The other limitation is that the items are fixed for each school year. If the highest score is selected at the starting point of one school year, the nursery teacher cannot read any developmental process from a constant item value for one year, even if the item is evaluated every month. To resolve these problems, this paper proposes an advancement-record system that uses a new type of knowledge. This knowledge has two key features: 1) Objective score selection based on Vygotsky's psychological theory of “The Zone of Proximal Development,” and 2) Re-designed knowledge using items that can be chosen freely, according to the advancement stage of each child. The proposed system thus provides more detailed daily observation of child development as well as statistical analysis of advancement scores.
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