The purpose of this research is to determine which samurai classes among the graduates of Kanazawa I Middle School in the old Kaga domain successfully entered new careers as elites in school education. The data for the research was gathered from a list of Kanazawa I Middle School graduates for the middle and final part of the Meiji Era. In recent years, research on the samurai classes that dealt with reorganizations of the old social standing into new class systems did not observe the classes as a single group, but examined them according to their property, social awareness and cultural ethos, which were divided unequally under the old social class system. In this thesis, I choose to focus my analysis on social awareness and cultural ethos in the middle and final part of the Meiji Era, a time in which models of people who moved ahead in society were spreading among ordinary people. Below are the outcomes of my research: 1. There was one specific condition that significantly improved the prospects of a family producing an elite. The families that succeeded in producing elites were ranked yoriki and kyunin or higher. My calculations on the number of elites produced show that there were significant differences between families in these ranks or higher and those that were not. It was found that the families in the higher ranks produced elites four to five times as often than the lower families, which makes it clear that higher ranked families produced more elites in school education. Of the families lower than the two above-mentioned ranks, there were some whose ranks had risen due to promotion within the clan. Although such promoted families were a minority under the strict class system, it seems that they were regarded favorably in the society after the Meiji Restoration, which set a greater value on academic background. By contrast, Ifound that the ratio of production of elites from kachi and ashigaru ranks was very low. 2. Why is the percentage of elites produced in school education high in the yoriki and kyunin ranks? It seems that the reason is that the members of these ranks internalized the original attitudes of the samurai toward “duty” and studying. After the Meiji Restoration, they did not find value in studying due to its merits, but naturally entered into schools of higher grade under the modern system under their attitude that samurai should have “a homeless mind.” They tried hard to make themselves into a functional group by educating their children and by marriage strategies.
This paper clarifies the process of curriculum tracking in urban high schools today. One aim is to examine the functions of curriculum type on the process of educational attainment, that is, track placement and the effect of tracking on the educational expectations of students. The other aim is to analyze the effects of family background on these processes. One crucial point is to construct a typology of curriculum that reflects the two main ideas of the current reform of high schools, which are to construct the contents of the curriculum to correspond to the diverse interest of each student, and to introduce the elective subject system, which allows students to choose subjects to learn according to their own interests. Using data collected from high school seniors selected based on the educational attainment of the alumni, contents of the curriculum, and range and amount of elective subjects, we constructed multinomial logit models on track placement and career expectations. The main results are as follows.(1) Students with highly educated parents tend to enter the academic-oriented curriculum but not the vocational-technical curriculum, after controlling for other important factors.(2) Since the association between parents' education and children's academic performance is weak, the indirect effect of family background on track placement is not very strong.(3) On one hand, the academic-oriented track channels its students into higher education, but the elective system guides them to professional schools.(4) Parents' years of schooling have a positive effect on the expected education of their children, after controlling for other variables.(5) There is no interaction effect of parents' education and curriculum type on students' educational expectations.
How are past events explained by teachers in the classroom, and how do their narrative styles relate to the framework of understanding the past? While analysis in textbooks has been central to the study of history education, the way in which these textbooks are used and explained has not been fully clarified. Through a comparison of American and Japanese history lessons, this study identifies styles of explanation of teachers and explores how the past, present, and future are structured in their narratives. Observations of history lessons revealed that in Japanese classrooms, teachers explained past events chronologically as a long sequential chain, and focused on historical figures' emotional states, which were not treated in the textbooks, to link the events in the chain. In this framework, “empathy” was considered the ability most needed for understanding history. In American classrooms, by contrast, teachers re-framed historical events in a causal order. They first defined a certain event as an effect and asked students to find causes. Teacher's questions about why an event happened framed a continuous temporality to show a clear correspondence between cause and effect. In this process, information that did not contribute to the explanation of the effect was eliminated. The identification of causes by looking back from effects was taught as a skill, and “analysis” became the most important ability for understanding history. These two methods of understanding the past, “temporal sequential” order and “causal” order, also influenced the way students thought about the direction of causality and about the future. How history is taught deeply relates to the socialization of cognition. The differences between the two countries suggest the importance of studying teachers' styles of presentation and explanation, in addition to studying textbooks.
The rise of transnational society has made multicultural education an imperative not only for Western countries but also for today's Japan, which is experiencing an influx of people with different cultural backgrounds. This paper aims at grounding one of the core concepts of multicultural education “equity pedagogy” on everyday school life, using ethnography as a method. It analyzes the process of equity pedagogy and its relation to societal context in a comparative framework, and makes some suggestions for theorizing equity pedagogy from the point of view of school members embedded in the society. Participant observations and interviews were conducted at two comparable public elementary schools, in Japan and the United States, where teachers encouraged multicultural education for newcomer foreign children. A comparative analysis of teachers' attitudes and behaviors toward the newcomer children reveals that teachers redistributed three different kinds of resources to these children: “physical, ” “cultural, ” and “relational.” The way they were redistributed, however, differed between the two sites in accordance with how teachers saw the needs of newcomer children, and also how they perceived their teaching. In the U.S., due to the pressures of standard testing and accountability, teachers took “efficient teaching” for granted, and this consequently led them to overlook any resource redistribution that seemed “inefficient” for raising test scores. In Japan, both the indifference of teachers toward the needs of newcomer children and an implicit consensus on “relationship-building teaching” encouraged the teachers to provide the newcomer children with only the resources that seemed to enhance friendship in the classroom. These ethnographic findings have several theoretical implications. First, they suggest the necessity of conceptualizing equity pedagogy as a practice drawn from teachers' “recipe knowledge, ” and that the theory needs to be constructed focusing on the relationship between “recipe knowledge” and resource redistribution. Secondly, the findings imply that teaching practice in Japan needs to address relationship-building in a way that is centered on the consensus about the needs of newcomer children. Analyzing such experimental cases in the future will be beneficial for constructing a theory of equity pedagogy that reflects the social reality of Japanese education.