2018 年 44 巻 p. 62-81
In recent years, the concept of “classroom standards” has been in widespread use in school education. However, there has been criticism that the standards are likely to undermine the professional autonomy and to impede the professional development of teachers. The purpose of this article is to clarify the actual conditions of the process of making these standards and the way of using them, and to consider the meaning and future issues related to standardization.
In this article, first, I describe the characteristics of implementing standards and review some arguments about the standards. Second, I take up two cases. One is the case in which a prefectural board of education collaborated with a university in teacher training in addition to creating and unfurling the standards. The other is a teacher organization which set the standards at both the city level and the school level. Finally, I discuss the meaning and future issues related to the standards from the perspective of the theory of street-level bureaucrats and the concept of local knowledge.
Findings from the two cases reveal that the classroom standards can be utilized effectively instead of merely applying the standard to a class without consideration of the educational problems specific to each school, children’s different needs and learning conditions. In the former case, the teacher training in which a team composed of young teachers and senior teachers “think through” a lesson design contributed to enhancing the ability to plan and develop lessons autonomously and to carry out organizational lesson improvement. In the latter case, representative teachers from each public primary and secondary school in the city engaged in the process of setting the standards at city level, and each schools made supplementary standards based on the city level standards. This shows that they can use the standards in the context of the actual situation at their schools under the teaching profession.
The adoption of the standards presents issues concerning discretion and control over professionalism. On a relevant note, I discuss the meaning and issues related to the standards from the perspective of street-level bureaucrats and local knowledge. First, the standards can reduce an environmental factors trigger “client domination” by street-level bureaucrats. Secondly, in applying the standard, teachers as street-level bureaucrats can have a function in policy making. At that time, thirdly, in the context of expecting “evidence-based policy and practice in education”, it is important that teachers’ local knowledge is verbalized and translated into explicit knowledge, and furthermore is accumulated as academic knowledge.