Since the "PISA shock" in 2000, in which a decline in academic achievement became apparent, education in Germany has undergone reforms. Among these reforms is the introduction of competence based framework into curriculum design. Under these circumstances, the German Society of Geography proposed "Educational Standards in Geography", thereby changing the curriculum of German federal states from learning content based to competence based in nature.
This study aims to clarify the reform trends and characteristics of the revised geography curricula of German states after the PISA shock, from the viewpoint of the competence-based framework. It focuses on the geography curriculum for gymnasium, and then analyzes and compares the curriculum among 16 German states.
The results of the analysis showed that 1) Educational Standards in Geography plays a significant role in guiding the geography curriculum of federal states; 2) gymnasium geography is designed as an independent course in most states' curricula; 3) however, there is a correlation among social studies subjects utilizing the competence-based framework; and 4) most geography curricula contain cross-curricular and action competence as well as subject-specific competence.
Based on these results, the following matters must be considered for geography education in Japan. The first point concerns the ways to incorporate cross-curricula design and action competence into the curriculum, fashioning geography as among the significant areas of social studies, in particular, and school education, in general. The second is to employ new learning methods such a "problem-based learning" and "active learning", in order to provide students learning opportunities to use their competence they have acquired in geography lessons.
This study examines the degree to which tsunami-associated place names - a component of disaster culture - instill memories of tsunami disasters that can be passed down to following generations (i.e. cross-generational awareness of the links between tsunami disasters and tsunami-associated place names). It is believed that tsunami- associated place names play a role in reminding generations of local histories and places hit by disasters such as a tsunami. The data in this study comprises a set of forty tsunami-associated place names listed in Iwate Engan Kochimei Kou: zen (1897), all of which were confirmed as coastal areas in Iwate prefecture vulnerable to tsunamis. Iwate Engan Kochimei Kou: zen is a document produced by Soshin Yamana, known as a historical entrepreneur from that prefecture. Analysis of interview and survey data shows that 52.5% of the place names are known by informants, and 27.5% of the place names with their historical connection to a tsunami are known by informants. However, these place names (especially micro-scale place names which are not on topographic maps) are not well known by neighbouring residents. Furthermore, the study shows that knowledge of a place name is a prerequisite for knowledge of the historical link between that place name and a tsunami.