1999 Volume 66 Issue 4 Pages 443-453
The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between the control policy, enforced by an educational affairs section of Chiba, to "Jiyu Kyoiku" ("liberal education") and amendments to the system by local government officials (1926). At the time, experiments in education by the elementary school attached to the normal school and private schools were regarded as part of "Taisho-Jiyu-Kyoiku". Furthermore, the study will show that the governmental authorities suppressed the educational practice of allowing voluntary study by children, both the study and the movement. On the local level, some good results were obtained; however, the new practice of elementary education had to be undertaken under conditions of confrontation between the educational movement and the Ministry of Education. And also the timing was considered to be coincided with the historical transformation from "Taisho-Democracy" to "fascism". In this study I would like to focus on a control policy against "Jiyu Kyoiku", which was promoted by Chiba prefecture, along with an examination of the local educational practices as they involved the local government itself. In particular, I examined how an amendment to the system of local government officials (1926) made a transformation of the educational administrative organ of Chiba and served to control "Jiyu Kyoiku". As a result, it becomes clear that Chiba prefectural authorities intended to "control" "Jiyu Kyoiku", and were motivated by: 1) specialization in the function of educational administration, 2) an amendment to the system of local government officials (1926), especially a general demand for control of the system of public schools with the repeal of the county office, and 3) the oppression by the Chiba prefectural assembly of a disunited education system in the county office. The meaning of the word "control" reflects the intention of Chiba prefectural authorities to damage the dignity of the primary school attached to the normal school, as it was a model of "JiyuKyoiku", and to build up a control system with the public schools in Chiba. The latter, especially, was meant to be an "improvement" in problems caused by "Jiyu Kyoiku" at public schools, which were different in fundamental approach from the elementary school attached to the normal schools. The concept of, "Kyoiku no Kyodoka" (the localization of education) was set up as a fundamental aspect of "Shogakkou Kyoiku Kaizen Yoko" (the reform plan for elementary education). Since then, the exhibition of local educational items has held onto the concept and, as a result, gradually materialized through prefectural initiatives. Such cases were one aspect of responses to local education initiatives by the Ministry of Education. In short, the autonomy of the educational administration of Chiba came to fulfill the function, which, as a result, promoted the political infiltration into the process by the Ministry of Education. Thus, the new educational path that developed in the 1920s curtailed its own activities and was gradually absorbed into the educational administration.