2019 年 16 巻 p. 45-54
The purpose of this paper is to uncover the historical processes that have led to the formation and development of social education facilities in large metropolitan areas, using Itabashi City in Tokyo as a case study.
The introduction of social education facilities in Tokyo came later than the national trend because of its policy of focusing on people rather than buildings. At first, facilities that catered to youth were turned into social education facilities for residents of all generations. After that, they became lifelong-learning centers. Since the 1990s, however, social education facilities have been in retreat. The location of classes or other learning activities have been moved from social education facilities to community centers near to where the people who participate actually live. Moreover, the role of social educator has also changed and has taken on that of a facilitator of the independent activities of the citizens in local communities.
Taking these circumstances into consideration and by looking at the relationship between social education facilities and a proactive citizenry, we reached three findings. First, the connections between citizens, based on an awareness of the issues in their daily lives, have come to provide a consistent base of support for social education. Second, mutual learning initiatives have provided a foundation for bringing citizens together. Third, with social educators moving into local areas, policies that cover a wide geographical area are now being positioned within a local context. These three findings reveal the possibility that social education can be deployed and developed beyond the restrictions of the placement of administrative facilities.