THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
High School Education Reform and the Future of Culture
Eiji Kikuchi
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1999 Volume 66 Issue 4 Pages 427-435

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the following three subjects: (1)How was 'culture' (kyouyou) discussed in the arguments on Japanese high school education, and what kinds of fundamental forms were marked? (2)What influence did the high school education reforms exert on deconstruction and reconstruction of 'culture' after the Second World War? (3)How can we change our concept of "culture" in the contemporary society? The status group 'culture' couldn't be 'culture as citizenship', as it had reproduced the inequality in social and cultural dimensions. We can find that a well-balanced philosophy of 'culture' was presented soon after the war. However, the way in which we have taken 'culture' as substances has been dominant, and so it was taken narrowly as 'educational foundation' or 'individuality'. The economic logic and theory of educational investment individualized 'culture' accompanied with the elitist ideology. As high school education expanded further and its hierarchical structure deepened, 'culture' was considered as the minute differences between academic achievements. We can recognize the "modem view of the world" as an undercurrent of the 'educational discourse of deficiency' that has dominated high school education reform. Such a structure of discourse generates the fragmented 'culture' in a structural way. Recent reforms of high school education couldn't prevent such tendencies. Thus, the "relations" (ie. relating and relationships) of high school students have some distinctive features which are far from the status of the wholeness of 'Life'. We should break with substantialism and recreate culture in the same way that we reconstruct the "relations" with our various environment respectively in the contemporary society. It is tentatively emphasized the five essential points in this paper are as follows: (1) To view the wholeness of "knowledge" and "Life" more importantly. (2) To try to reflect toward an open-system of "culture". (3) To reexamine the conditions of our jobs and organization in the view of teacher as a coordinator. (4) To reconstruct "relations" through public opinion and communication instead of opposition and dispute. (5) To establish interactive "relations" with the outside world (including political issues). We are now at a fuming point and need to test what kind of "culture" we can reconstruct in our high school education system.

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