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Text mining of children‘s essays on animals
kept in schools
focusing on importance of life
and attachment to animals
HORI,...
Research Background
Activities for Rearing School Animals in Japan
Keeping animals at schools in Japan
→An attempt that be...
Analysis of Essays: Generally focuses on sentence composition and
comprehension abilities
→Evaluation criterion change acc...
To analyze children’s essays from model
elementary schools using text mining,
and conduct an exploratory investigation on
...
Research Objective: “Essays From Model School Project
for Rearing School Animals” 4 Volumes, (2001-2004),
prints 386 essay...
Result 1: Basic Information
• Target essays: essays written by 386 students
• Average character count per person: 326.3
ch...
Result 2: Number of Essays Among Class Grades
Grade
Number
of essays
1st 41
2nd 52
3rd 28
4th 87
5th 94
6th 81
Unknown 3
G...
Word think rabbit
prese
nt
do say animal
banta
m
cleani
ng
care cute
Word
Class
verb noun verb verb verb noun noun noun no...
Result 4:
Nouns = Topics and themes
Frequently used general nouns among higher
grades (Chi-squared test, p<.05)
Frequently...
Result 5-1: Verbs = Actions
10
Present
Do
In that way
Perform
See
Enter
Think
Give
Die
Eat
Go(行く)
Come(くる)
Not + in that w...
Frequently used verbs among higher grades
(Chi-squared test, p<.05)
Frequently used verbs among lower grades
(Chi-squared ...
Result 6: Adjectives
= Feelings and evaluation
Frequently used adjectives among higher grades
(Chi-squared test, p<.05)
Fr...
13
Result 7:Qualitative examination on “die”
with referring to original sentencessad
pitiful
lonely
regrettable
surprised
...
Result 8: Frequency of matching subject
and predicate words
Figure 1. Matching frequency of subject and predicate words 14...
Result 9: Gender differences in the
frequency of using words genders
Index Value
15
Love
Outside
Like
Eat
House
6th grade
...
Result 10: Positive and negative common noun expressions
Figure 2. Positive and negative common noun expressions
16
Rabbit...
Discussion 1
Nouns (express topics and themes)→ Rabbits appeared
frequently (among high appearance and commonly used words...
Discussion 2
Adjectives (expressions of feelings and evaluation)
→ Feelings generated by keeping animals, and feelings exp...
1. Gender differences in the frequency of using verbs:
Girls: Had a natural affectionate and nurturing perspective toward
...
20
Qualitative examination on “die” with referring to original
sentences
Verbs characteristic to boys
The frequency of the...
This research confirmed that children in “Model School
Project for Keeping School Animals for Education”
experienced:
Acco...
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G284 Hori, K & Ito, T. (2018, June) Text mining of children's essays about animals kept at schools focusing on the importance of life and attachment to animals. Poster session presented at the 29th Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP2018), Montreal

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Abstract

In Japan, keeping animals at schools has been attempted, and local veterinarians spontaneously provide support for nearby elementary schools in keeping school animals, and also collected and published children’s essays. This research aims to consider the significance of rearing school animals by examining children’s essays collected in these supporting activities.

In this research, text mining was utilized in order to conduct an exploratory investigation to elucidate the significance of rearing school animals, children’s interaction with animals, development of feelings, affection, and inter-human communication skill through animal caretaking activities without their in abilities due to differences developmental stages.
386 essays have been analyzed, higher school grade children common used active expressions, whereas lower school grade children commonly used expressions suggesting their interest. Emotional expressions were generally positive, regardless of the school grade.

By using text mining, the results of this research indicate that through animal care, children felt the sense of accomplishment, enjoyed contact with animals, obtained knowledge about animals, empathized with animals, considered about animals and other children, and children could consider their own internal state, among others.

This research accomplished its objective to conduct exploratory investigations on children’s interests for animals as expressed in their essays, but in order to understand the significance of keeping school animals, comparative research with essays written by children without the experience of keeping school animals will be required.

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G284 Hori, K & Ito, T. (2018, June) Text mining of children's essays about animals kept at schools focusing on the importance of life and attachment to animals. Poster session presented at the 29th Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP2018), Montreal

  1. 1. Text mining of children‘s essays on animals kept in schools focusing on importance of life and attachment to animals HORI, K. Seigakuin University Japan Ito, T. Wako University Japan
  2. 2. Research Background Activities for Rearing School Animals in Japan Keeping animals at schools in Japan →An attempt that began in the Meiji era. However, structural systems to incorporate such activities into school education is still insufficient. From around 1980s, veterinarians spontaneously began providing support to care for school animals in their neighboring elementary schools. For example, the Tokyo Veterinary Medical Association.→As a part of their support project collected and published children’s essays from model schools. To examine the significance of animal rearing activities in school education.→These children’s essays are effective materials for analysis. 2
  3. 3. Analysis of Essays: Generally focuses on sentence composition and comprehension abilities →Evaluation criterion change according to the developmental stages. Therefore it is Difficult to compare. To investigate the significance of animal rearing activities the actual experience of children must be examined while considering their different developmental stages. Methods of examining the significance of animal rearing experience from analysis of essay =Utilization of text mining Enables an exploratory investigation on the significance of animal rearing experiences, interactions with animals, development of feelings and affection, and the development of inter-human communication ability through animal caretaking activities, etc. Significance of Research: Analysis of Essays 3
  4. 4. To analyze children’s essays from model elementary schools using text mining, and conduct an exploratory investigation on The interests that children had in animals, the activities they were involved in, and feelings generated by animal caring activities. Research Objective 4
  5. 5. Research Objective: “Essays From Model School Project for Rearing School Animals” 4 Volumes, (2001-2004), prints 386 essays by elementary school students Research Method: Converting essay contents into text data, and analyzing the word content using text mining. Utilized Software: Text Mining Studio Ver.4.1 (Mathematical Systems Inc.) Method 5
  6. 6. Result 1: Basic Information • Target essays: essays written by 386 students • Average character count per person: 326.3 characters • Average sentence length: 14.6 characters for one sentence • Total number of content words: 50417 words • Total number of different words: 5313 6
  7. 7. Result 2: Number of Essays Among Class Grades Grade Number of essays 1st 41 2nd 52 3rd 28 4th 87 5th 94 6th 81 Unknown 3 Grade Number of Essays Lower Grades (1st ~3rd ) 121 Higher Grades (4th ~6th ) 262 Unknown 3 Graph 2. Number of essays among higher and lower class grades Graph 1. Number of essays among class grades 7
  8. 8. Word think rabbit prese nt do say animal banta m cleani ng care cute Word Class verb noun verb verb verb noun noun noun noun adjec tive Appea rance Frequ ency(N umber of Words) 1185 1116 434 424 400 365 357 317 298 293 Result 3: Words with high appearance and commonly used words Graph 3. High appearance words Graph 4. Commonly used words Word think rabbit present do say cute perfor m See good school Word Class verb noun verb verb verb adjecti ve verb verb adjecti ve noun Number of users (persons) 310 215 209 183 182 181 161 158 156 152 8
  9. 9. Result 4: Nouns = Topics and themes Frequently used general nouns among higher grades (Chi-squared test, p<.05) Frequently used general nouns among lower grades (Chi-squared test, p<.05) There were no distinguishable differences among words 9 Animal Shed Rearing shed Bantam Cleaning Committee Friends Animals Vegetables Summer vacation Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Word Word Class Word Word Class Frequency Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Noun Rabbits Food School L Animal Person I Shed Name Water Chicken Bantam Beginning Dung Teacher Oneself Hands Female House Outside Attribute Frequency Total Frequency Index Value Graph 5. Usage frequency of Nouns
  10. 10. Result 5-1: Verbs = Actions 10 Present Do In that way Perform See Enter Think Give Die Eat Go(行く) Come(くる) Not + in that way Come(来る) Can become Can enter Endeavor Touch Say Go(いく) Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Word Word Class Frequency Graph 6. Usage frequency of verbs
  11. 11. Frequently used verbs among higher grades (Chi-squared test, p<.05) Frequently used verbs among lower grades (Chi-squared test, p<.05) Result 5-2: Frequency of verb usage among higher and lower grades High group of usage frequency elicited from difference between expected value and actual value of the frequency of verb usage calculated from population ratio 11 Graph 7. Usage frequency of verbs among higher and lower grades Enter Do End Deem Judge Have Think Teach Want + do best Want + do Know Put in Do best Put out No + do Give birth Begin Take Understand Be born Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Touch Play Go Put Give Say Come Present Perform See(kanji ) Stand Shake Sleep Pet End Catch Run See Want+ play Be pleased Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb Verb
  12. 12. Result 6: Adjectives = Feelings and evaluation Frequently used adjectives among higher grades (Chi-squared test, p<.05) Frequently used adjectives among lower grades (Chi-squared test, p<.05) 12 Word Word Class Hot Adjective Many Adjective Scary Adjective Attribute Frequency Total Frequency Index Value Attribute Frequency Total Frequency Index ValueWord Word Class Warm Adjective Cute Adjective Quick Adjective Shameful Adjective Friendly Adjective Red Adjective Interesting Adjective Word Word Class Frequency Good Adjective Cute Adjective Happy Adjective Amazing Adjective Fun Adjective Sad Adjective Fast Adjective Small Adjective Big Adjective Scary Adjective White Adjective Kind Adjective Gentle Adjective Many Adjective New Adjective Warm Adjective Cold Adjective Stinky Adjective Interesting Adjective Lonely Adjective Graph 8. Usage frequency of Nouns
  13. 13. 13 Result 7:Qualitative examination on “die” with referring to original sentencessad pitiful lonely regrettable surprised Raisewithcare Takecareof Eventsinrecollection Experienceof separationbydeath Acceptasanatural death “Animalsdiesomeday” Experienceoflifeand death importanceoflife Neverforget ・ love thankyou responsibility personification ・ heaven Don’tforget observation Socialproblems ・ raisingquestions boys 15.6 3.9 1.3 3.9 0.0 22.1 20.8 10.4 0.0 2.6 10.4 1.3 2.6 3.9 1.3 0.0 girls 17.0 1.3 2.0 3.9 0.7 22.2 26.8 5.9 4.6 2.0 5.2 1.3 2.0 3.3 0.7 1.3 total 16.5 2.2 1.7 3.9 0.4 22.2 24.8 7.4 3.0 2.2 7.0 1.3 2.2 3.5 0.9 0.9 Lower grades 27.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 10.3 13.8 13.8 6.9 6.9 3.4 3.4 0.0 6.9 6.9 0.0 Higher grades 14.9 2.5 2.0 4.5 0.5 23.9 26.4 6.5 2.5 1.5 7.5 1.0 2.5 3.0 0.0 1.0
  14. 14. Result 8: Frequency of matching subject and predicate words Figure 1. Matching frequency of subject and predicate words 14 Rabbit ~ is present Rabbit-care Food(餌)-give School-come Animal-like Animal Rearing Committee- enter Rabbit-die Shed-enter Care-do Food-eat Feel-good Caretaker-do School-present Caretaker-enter Food(エサ)-give Bad-feel Cleaning-do Bantam-present Animal shed-present Animal-care
  15. 15. Result 9: Gender differences in the frequency of using words genders Index Value 15 Love Outside Like Eat House 6th grade Touch + cannot Touch Shed Can + not Well Think Perform Present Person Greenland Boss Good Receive Teach Die Deem Do Go Work hard + want Live Task Teacher Give to me Rabbit Listen Wear Day Escape Chicken(鶏) Take Work hard Rearing Dung Change Recess Water Change Front Go out Put in Rearing Two people Strength Dislike Tasty Black Food Take Interesting Is there Two animals One animal Calm Chicken s-girls s-boys s-unknown Index Value Index Value Graph 9. Usage frequency of words among genders
  16. 16. Result 10: Positive and negative common noun expressions Figure 2. Positive and negative common noun expressions 16 Rabbit Water Feelings Chicken Animals Shed Goat Body Day Carry in arms Face Boss Bantam Dung Ears Person Cleaning Care Evaluation
  17. 17. Discussion 1 Nouns (express topics and themes)→ Rabbits appeared frequently (among high appearance and commonly used words). Verbs (express actions)→ There were both expressions of active expressions and interest. Estimated from combining analysis of frequency usage for verbs and subject-predicate relationships among higher and lower grades. (Higher grades) were characterized by active participation, such as “joining the animal rearing committee,” (we) “feed” and “clean.” (Lower grades) were characterized by expressions of interest rather than active participation, such as “touch” the animals, “play”with the animals” and “go” to the animal shed. Identical suggestions were obtained from qualitative examination on “die” by referring to original sentences. 17
  18. 18. Discussion 2 Adjectives (expressions of feelings and evaluation) → Feelings generated by keeping animals, and feelings experienced toward animals were usually positive. (Feelings generated by keeping animals ) “good,” “happy,” “fun” (Directed toward animals) “cute,” “amazing” Comparison between word count of frequency of appearance and commonly used language → Results reflected standpoints of “active participation” and “do not participate but show interest.” Overall, children were positive about animals and keeping animals regardless of their grades 18
  19. 19. 1. Gender differences in the frequency of using verbs: Girls: Had a natural affectionate and nurturing perspective toward animals, such as “like (love)” “(animals) eat,” “touch,” “cannot touch,” “well,” “present,” “outside.” Boys: Considered it as a task. Made observations from continuously being around life and death. Ex. “I want to work hard,” “task,” “teacher, “die,” “live,” “escape.” 2. From sorting the results of positive and negative depictions of nouns: (Utilization of Text Mining Studio Ver.) Rabbits were most often depicted in both a positive and negative context. Other nouns→Less negative expressions. Very positive expressions for nouns such as feelings, animal, goat, bantam, care, Discussion 3 19
  20. 20. 20 Qualitative examination on “die” with referring to original sentences Verbs characteristic to boys The frequency of the use of verbs:”die” ranks first in boys Total・girls: under the 20th place Qualitatively examine with referring to original sentences: examination of contexts expressing “death” ・Boys often express death as experience of separation. They do not tend to perceive “death” as an episode related to animals, compared to girls. Girls seem to accept old animals’ death as a natural matter. On the other hand, boys do not perceive it as a natural death. Discussion 4
  21. 21. This research confirmed that children in “Model School Project for Keeping School Animals for Education” experienced: Accomplishment and being fond of taking care of animals. Labor participation and understandings of animals. Compassion for animals and others. Enjoyment in interacting with animals. Personified animals in perceiving happiness of animals. One’s own happiness and reflexivity. Future Tasks: Investigate the significance of schools with animal rearing education by comparing this research result to that of children without the experience of keeping school animals. Conclusion and Future Tasks 21

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