Educational Studies in Japan
Online ISSN : 2187-5286
Print ISSN : 1881-4832
ISSN-L : 1881-4832
Volume 8
Showing 1-16 articles out of 16 articles from the selected issue
Editorial
Special Issue: Higher Education Reforms in an Era of Autonomy and Accountability
  • Akira ARIMOTO
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 5-18
    Published: 2014
    Released: February 26, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
        In the 21st century, when the universalization of higher education demands diversified students to be more involved in study and rather than in learning, the ideal of scholarship is expected to transform toward both teaching orientation and study orientation, with a focus on the teaching and study process in the classrooms with a result of being a research, teaching and study nexus (R-T-S nexus). In reality, however, it is apparent that the scholarship of research orientation persists throughout the world. This paper attempts to shed light on the given theme by making analysis of the results gained from three international surveys on the academic profession.
        Higher education is defined by the mutual interaction among several important factors, including social change, knowledge development, the national government's higher education policy, and the academic profession's identity and initiative in the process of reacting to the effects of these factors. In this picture, the priority of reform converges to the teaching and study process in which academics' teaching ability and students' study ability are focal.
        The Humboldtian model is useful, not only for students at the stage of elite higher education in the second age, but also for the counterparts at the stage of universalization in the third age, although it needs to be modified so as to be suitable to the situation at the universal stage of higher education development.
        Comparison between academics' preferences in teaching and research orientations by country in the CAP survey reveals that convergence on the research orientation has increased, at least in advanced countries. The universalization of higher education will need more of a teaching orientation among academics worldwide, to support students' study and so the current trend toward a research orientation must necessarily be confronted in the context of R-T-S nexus in many countries, especially in Japan.
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  • Akiyoshi YONEZAWA
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 19-31
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     The dominant role of Kyoju-kai (the professoriate) in university governance in Japan is now facing a critical examination as part of university reforms in response to global competition. What are the determinants of the characteristics of participation in university governance by individual faculty members? In what way does the organizational structure, such as the professoriates at Japanese universities, influence the participation patterns? This article first establishes an analytical framework for the examination of the role of the professoriate of Japanese universities, applying the arguments of McNay (1995) and Ehara (2010). Secondly, the structure of faculty participation in university governance in Japan is examined through analysis of recent survey data on the academic profession in Asia. Thirdly, through a comparative analysis this paper examines how dominance of decision making by the Kyoju-kai or the faculty committees and boards does not necessarily assure a sense of participation among faculty members. Based on the examination above, the author discusses how the legal protection of Kyoju-kai in Japanese universities does not necessarily assure collegium-type university governance, but may lead to a bureaucracy that satisfies neither institutional managers nor faculty members. Finally, the author discusses the significance of the above points in the broader context of the historical transformation of the characteristics of university governance in Japan, and argues for the necessity of further comparative studies based on a precise understanding of the historical and organizational contexts of universities and higher education systems.
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  • William K. CUMMINGS, Olga BAIN
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 33-48
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
      The degree of equality in the delivery of education is an important dimension of variation. Some nations believe that the provision of a highly stratified system enhances quality, at least for the minority who are able to gain entry to the elite academic stream. In contrast, other nations prefer a more egalitarian approach to education where all students attend a common school devoid of ability streams until well into their secondary level studies (Levin, 1978); the egalitarian approach is believed to be just and fair. But does it enhance quality?
     While there are a number of studies that explore the academic consequences of tracking and/or streaming within particular national systems, there are relatively few studies that explore this question across several national systems. The recent OECD supported PISA studies (2010 a and b) enable a cross-national analysis; but the official reports from OECD primarily provide bivariate analyses of these relations whereas a multivariate approach taking into account several system level variables is preferred.
     In this paper we define egalitarian education, examine its historical origins, specify its contemporary correlates, and drawing on multinational data seek to determine if the single nation findings are replicated in a wider group of countries. Additionally we will focus on the position of Japan and the sub-group of rapidly developing Asian economies relative to other countries.
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  • Satoko FUKAHORI
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 49-61
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     The discourse that an educated workforce is essential for a prosperous and sustainable economy in a knowledge-based society has invited heightened policy interest in higher education. In effect, many industrialized countries are approaching, or have already reached universal access, with the majority of their age cohorts enrolling in higher education. This drastic expansion of higher education has invited new challenges to the system, particularly in relation to quality assurance.
     The focus of this paper is to explore models of quality assurance in the age of higher education expansion. In particular, this paper will focus on the Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) Feasibility Study carried out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The study serves as a compelling model for improving the quality of higher education in two respects. Firstly, the AHELO Feasibility Study is a model showing how learning outcomes assessment can serve as an action scheme to engage faculty in generating a common understanding of competence frameworks. Secondly, it is a model showing that competence frameworks can be shared among diverse universities if they are sufficiently abstract, but also that abstract competence frameworks can be articulated into concrete learning outcomes that are attainable for students within a given timeframe, and assessable by faculty through the use of relevant assessment tools.
     The experience of participating in the AHELO Feasibility Study demonstrated that external learning outcomes assessments can help faculty in reaching substantive and tangible understanding of the competence framework, and in substantiating attainable and assessable learning outcomes from the abstract competences. Such shared understanding is indeed the foundation of competence-based quality assurance.
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Articles
  • Liming HOU
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 63-75
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     The primary goal of this paper is to examine what makes Chinese college students dissatisfied with entrance opportunities for higher education. Based on the author’s survey data, we test two parameters which could be a potential cause of this dissatisfaction: 1) distributive inequality, which emphasizes the individual’s dissatisfaction caused by unequal quota distribution; and 2) relative deprivation, which emphasizes the individual’s dissatisfaction caused by social comparison relative to a reference group. Results show that relative deprivation has a significant effect on individual’s dissatisfaction compared to unequal quota distribution. As a conclusion, college students’ dissatisfaction was caused by the fact that they realized they could not get a fair distribution comparison to their reference groups. Individual subjective valuation gradually becomes an important standard of judging educational inequality, that makes educational inequality more complex to be resolved. Considering the ingrained household registration system and admission policy, we propose that individual’s relative deprivation will probably persist or even worsen during the period of social transition.
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  • Ryoji MATSUOKA
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 77-92
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     Japanese compulsory education had been praised because of its equality around the early 80’s. However, since the third wave-educational reform that began in the 1980s and still persists, it has been pointed out that there are disparities between schools in terms of students’ socioeconomic background and academic performance. Although there have been studies assessing relationships between students’ family background and academic ability between types of schools (e.g., private and public), how the disparities emerge between schools has not been investigated with nationally representative data collected in Japan. This study therefore attempts to empirically provide evidence of disparities between schools in elementary and lower secondary education by analyzing an age cohort at two points of time.
     Using fourth grade data from The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007 and eighth grade data from TIMSS 2011, the study first assesses (1) whether a school-composition of students’ cultural capital (school-CC) shapes teachers’ expectations for student achievement and (2) whether teachers’ expectations relate to their teaching approach, which is measured as the frequency of homework assignments given to their students. After these two relationships are tested at the school level, the study investigates, through a multilevel regression analysis, (3) whether teachers’ expectations and teaching approach are associated with students’ academic performance in mathematics so as to reveal how school-CC-disparities relate to the achievement gap between schools. Findings of this study indicate disparities between schools in terms of school-CC, the degree of teachers’ expectations, the frequency of homework assignments and math-achievement in eighth grade, while some disparities between schools are found at the fourth grade level. The findings also show that teachers’ expectations are associated with eighth grade students’ academic performance; that is, the degree of teachers’ expectations partly explains the achievement gap between schools.
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  • Keiko SHIKITA
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 93-106
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in cross-border marriage in Southeast and East Asia largely as a result of increased population mobility as people move for work, study, lifestyle or even marital reasons. Japan is no exception with a substantial increase in the number of cross-border or ‘international marriages’ taking place since 1990. The pattern of international marriage is highly gendered, with Japanese men very much more likely than Japanese women to marry a foreign spouse. It also reflects post-colonial and on-going power relations in the region, with women from China, the Philippines and Korea, in that order of magnitude, making up the majority of foreign brides marrying Japanese men. These cross-border marriages are leading to an increasing number of mixed heritage families living and ‘doing education’ in Japan.
     Taking a case study approach, this paper explores in depth the educational strategies of three highly educated Chinese women vis-à-vis their children; all married to Japanese men and living in Japan. It seeks to understand the expectations, desires, and lived experiences of these women in the sociocultural domain of childrearing and education. A key conceptual framework is that of agency in the face of sociocultural constraint. Two sets of interrelated questions will be addressed. What do these women hope for their children in terms of formal education and transmission of cultural heritage and how do they set about realizing their aims? In what way does the immediate familial sociocultural environment set limits upon this? By focusing on highly educated Chinese women, a group of women motivated by strong cultural and socioeconomic forces to maximise the possibilities of their children’s education, we are able to see clearly this interaction of agency and constraint.
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  • Atsuko TSUJI
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 107-116
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     In the context of educational practice and research, the individual is often understood in terms of autonomy. From this point of view, we will see our experience as cumulative, as inside of us, and as strengthening us against others. It means that the conception of experience tends to be understood primarily in relation to usefulness. In search of aspects of experience that are different from this kind of understanding, this paper scrutinises Walter Benjamin’s conception of experience, as expressed in his essay on Proust, in order to bring to light the most vivid aspects of experience.
     It begins by explaining the modern situation, in which the individual is confined in itself in terms of the distinction Benjamin draws between modern novels and stories. Next, it reconsiders experience in literature. Benjamin realises that experience as it appears in literature shows us the unknown or the strange—and hence otherness to ourselves. Consideration of Benjamin’s reading of Proust helps us to realise an otherness not within but to ourselves.
     The paper goes on to consider “involuntary memory” in terms of what Benjamin calls our “muscular activity”—that is, our act. It is important to recognise that Benjamin thinks of experience in a “dual style”—that is, in terms of the tension between what is other to ourselves and our own act, as is exemplified in writing. Our writing should be understood in terms of receptiveness to a now-time that constellates the fragments of the irretrievable past.
     In conclusion it is argued that otherness can invade the self and destroy our common sense or ordinary being, in Benjamin’s sense. In the light of this, it becomes possible to see experience not only as a reinforcement of our autonomous selves but as an opening onto the yet unknown, which enables us to touch the depths of our lives beyond usefulness.
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  • Kazuhisa FUJIMOTO
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 117-128
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     From the historical viewpoint, is it possible that curriculum and teacher education could have been integrated at the beginning of the era of curriculum studies? This paper focuses on the development of type study in the 1910s by C. A. McMurry (1857-1929) as a pioneering curriculum theory surveying the scope of teacher education. McMurry was a key thinker of American Herbartianism. Viewed as a sub-concept that explains key concepts of Herbartianism, the type study has not been given much attention. However, paying renewed attention to the type study developed and modified in the 1910s present a curriculum theory embedded within teacher education. In the 1910s McMurry had stubbornly connected the contents of type study with large social enterprises, i.e., projects, which required the organic integration of knowledge in the specific context. The development of concept from type study to project did not imply that of methodology. Even though he used the phrase ‘teaching by projects’, he never used the expression ‘project method’, in spite of admitting that the method was in fashion in the 1920s. It is evident that he was thinking of what is now called pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). If the process of unit development is regarded as reorganization of PCK, it is inevitable to take into consideration the existence and expertise of teachers in the actual context. McMurry’s pursuit of unit development literally demonstrated this as a precursor in the 1910s. There is no doubt that factors such as his positions and the impact of his second visit to Germany contributed significantly to his reasoning, but the nature of type study, i.e., project, consequently led him to the practice. It was only toward the end of the 20th century that a highly professional nature of the teacher’s expertise began to be realized in curriculum study. In light of this, McMurry’s type study, i.e., project, was truly groundbreaking.
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  • Edward VICKERS
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 129-142
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     Drawing on a recent collaborative and interdisciplinary study of East Asian Images of Japan, this article discusses contemporary Chinese portrayals of Japan, their political context, and their significance for Sino-Japanese relations. It questions some widely-held assumptions concerning the extent of ‘thought control’ in an authoritarian state, the nature of popular protest, and the relationship between official propaganda and popular lived experience. While the main focus is on portrayals of Japan in mainland China, for comparative purposes some reference is made to Hong Kong and Taiwan. The latter part of the article also features a brief discussion of images of China in Japan, especially relating to the Second World War. This reflects particularly on the role of museums as vehicles for ‘peace education,’ focusing on two key institutions in Kyushu. China’s ‘bases for patriotic education’ and Japan’s ‘peace museums’ ostensibly embody radically different institutional missions. However, while Japan’s memorials to the war evince greater diversity, in harping on national victimhood and obscuring the reasons for war, key sites of ‘peace education’ arguably deliver a message that is just as nationalistic as that conveyed by their Chinese counterparts. The article concludes by arguing that, notwithstanding its ‘totalitarian’ facade, China’s social and political fragility in fact limits the scope for the authorities there to moderate anti-Japanese public discourse. In democratic Japan, by contrast, a more honest and open engagement with the national past is—or should be—far more achievable. For both moral and political reasons, scholars and educationalists in Japan therefore urgently need to consider their role in improving Sino-Japanese relations, not least through more forceful engagement in public debate over the socialization of the young.
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  • Kaori SUETOMI
    2014 Volume 8 Pages 143-158
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 16, 2015
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS
     The conditions required for a reform of the educational finance system as the foundation of compulsory education are 1) devolution to schools and introduction of national standards in order to deal with “individual equality” while compensating for the insufficiency of “aspectual equality,” and 2) dealing with educational needs not guaranteed within the framework of the public schools. As well, within the context of funding cuts focused on efficiency, the implementation of accountability for schools and educational finance is essential for plentiful compulsory education finance.
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