Why do parents pay to have their children educated? The aim of this article is to clarify parental awareness and motives for paying for their children's education, focusing on the parents of high school and college students. Firstly, a theoretical framework is proposed for parental fund-injection behavior into their children's education. This behavior can be defined using two criteria. The first is Investment, Consumption or Gift, and the other is Child-Oriented or Parent-Oriented. Secondly, a statistical analysis is performed using survey questionnaires targeting parents of high school and college students, and the following results are obtained. 1. Over 50% of parents agree with the two statements, “College life is valuable for acquiring life knowledge, ” and “Studying at university will improve a child's ability and skills.” Many parents have a strong awareness toward their children finding employment and making progress. These results demonstrate that a relatively high rate of parents have the awareness of “Child-Oriented Consumption” and “Child-Oriented Investment.” 2. The results of the factor analyses are as follows. Four factors are derived from high school student's parent data: “producer of child's ability, ” “gift inter vivos, ” “necessary costs, ” “expectation of returns, ” and three factors are derived from college student's parent data: “producer of child's ability, ” “assessment of profitability, ” and “gift inter vivos.” 3. The model of parents as sponsors of educational expenses can be determined from the positive and negative signs of the factor scores. The largest group of parents of high school students is the “Living Wallet”(16.1%) whose factor scores are all negative. The second largest group is the “Devoted Self-seeker”(15.4%) whose factor scores are all positive. Looking at parents of college students, the largest group is the “Devoted Self-seeker”(31.2%), and the second largest group the “Living Wallet”(29.4%). Finally, based on these findings, parents as the sponsors of educational expense can be separated into two types. One fits the theoretical framework of this article and the other does not. The motives and awareness of the first type can be explained as Investment, Consumption or Gift. However, we cannot explain the latter type, or “Living Wallet.” The motives of the “Living Wallet” do not fit within the framework developed in this paper. It is likely that they have extremely negative motivations, such as risk aversion strategies or educational expenses as insurance. Further research is necessary to clarify this issue.
Many people living in advanced countries have sympathy for the desire for self-realization or self-discovery. However, particularly in Japan, society does not provide any support for the process of jibun-sagashi (finding oneself) or the negative consequences of the process. Given this situation, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibility of institutional support for jibun-sagashi. For this purpose, the gapyear in the U. K. is chosen as a subject of a case study, since it is an institutionalized support system that allows mainly young people to take time off for a process of self-discovery, with a time limit. The contents of newspaper articles during the past fifteen years are used to examine the social awareness that is said to be the basis for the popularity of the gapyear. From an analysis of the contents of newspapers, it is clear that positive expectations have long been placed on the gapyear, although many problems, which in some cases threatened its viability, have also been revealed during these fifteen years. These problems have included a deterioration of the financial situation of students led by the introduction of university tuition, and the excessive institutionalization and commercialization of the gapyear. There are two aspects of the expectations toward the gapyear: it is seen as a period for finding oneself, and as a period for learning new skills and gaining new experiences. The two are not separate, but rather are related to each other. These findings confirm the fact that it is important for society to support people in taking a gapyear or similar period in response to these expectations. Yet, on the other hand, it seems that expectations are thrown at the gapyear in an uncritical manner, and there is a need to accurately grasp this situation. How do people experience the gapyear or other similar self-discovery, what needs do they feel that makes such a period necessary, and how do these experiences bring actual benefits in their future careers? It is critical to find answers to these questions. In addition, it is possible that the gapyear has resolved the problems resulting from the distortions of the educational system or employment situation, rather than rectifying these systems themselves. These points are essential when thinking about the possibility of institutional support for jibun-sagashi in Japan as well.
The purpose of this study is to clarify the internal structure and dynamism of teachers' culture and its interactions with the outside world, by analyzing a survey of teachers' attitudes towards teaching evaluations by students, carried out for all public high school teachers in Kochi Prefecture in 2004. Previous studies in the field of educational sociology have pointed out the following properties of teachers as a group, which demonstrate an introverted and pro-status quo nature: exclusiveness, conservatism, nonintervention, and the prioritization of harmony with colleagues. On the other hand, some recent studies in the field of educational administration argue that collaboration between teachers can contribute to the improvement of schools. However these various properties are only described independently, and there has not been sufficient clarification of the relations among them within the reality of teachers as a group. For example, what is the relationship between collaboration and placing priority on harmony? Recent policies for educational reform have aimed at changing the conservative culture of teachers. Unless we have an adequate understanding of the internal structure and dynamism of teachers' culture, however, we cannot decide which strategy is better. There is a need to clarify its internal structure and dynamism. To elucidate the problem mentioned above, firstly, this paper presents the results of an attitude survey conducted by questionnaire targeting all teachers in public high schools in Kochi prefecture. The reason I chose Kochi is that it is one of Japan's most advanced prefectures in the area of teaching evaluations by students, which have been introduced during the past several years in Japan. Secondly, from these surveys, I extract six factors of school organizational culture by factors analysis, and search for causal relationships between these factors and teachers' attitudes towards teaching evaluation by multivariate analysis. Thirdly, based on these findings, I discuss the internal structure of teachers' culture. The paper reaches the following conclusions: (1) The organizational culture of a school has a greater effect on each teacher's awareness or attitudes toward educational reforms than their individual attributes. (2) Collaboration by teachers' groups needs to be divided into two properties: democratic collaboration and collaboration for improvement. (3)Democratic collaboration is the basis for collaboration for improvement, which make it possible for teachers to transform themselves; on the other hand, there is some possibility of it leading to exclusiveness, conservatism and nonintervention. (4) In order to foster collaboration for improvement on the basis of democratic collaboration, there is a need to escape from nonintervention through the building of friendly relationships and promotion of the redundancy of information, and to avoid conservatism and exclusiveness by the achievement of open management with adequate communications between administrators and ordinary teachers. (5)The properties of teachers as a group that have been mentioned in the past, such as exclusiveness, conservatism and nonintervention, should be understood within a variety of dimensions, based on the factors of organizational culture mentioned above, and on this basis, different appropriate strategies should be devised for solutions.