This piece argues that the aversion of academic researchers to utilizing ‘Japanese-ness' has become a major obstacle, restricting the potential contribution of Japan's educational research community to global debates. It argues that until research on Japan recognizes, embraces, and elaborates Japanese-ness it will lack originality and vitality. As consequence, it will not only continue to be irrelevant globally but also lose ground in the domestic political context. Yet, to argue in favor of Japanese-ness is not to claim something essential about the Japanese nor to understand the Japanese through Western categories, but precisely to perform the double task of rejecting both of these unsatisfying possibilities. Rather than mere recognition of diversity, the appeal is for a greater push to articulate diﬀerence, a move that works against the accelerating move towards spaces of global equivalency that thins Otherness and the (re)inscribing of essential diﬀerences in domestic political discourses that run opposite to openness. The overarching aim of the piece is, however, less a definitive pronouncement on what Japanese-ness is or should be, more a self-consciously provocative attempt to catalyze deeper debate over the future direction of educational research on Japan.
One important task in internationalizing Japanese education is educating Japanese citizens to become “global citizens.” This paper is a philosophical analysis of how Global Education deals with the problem of cultural-moral difference (moral conflict that arises between different cultures). The usual approaches taken in Global Education and Kokusai Rikai Kyôiku are a mix of cultural relativism and moral anti-relativism. Teachers often take one of the following strategies to dismiss cultural-moral diﬀerence: utilitarianism, absolutized human rights, rational justification, or “two-layer” approaches (suggested by Will Kymlicka). But these fail to balance the need for both openness to the other and moral engagement. As an alternative, I discuss Watsuji Tetsurô's search for moral unity in the empty dynamic of individualization and harmonization that is then expressed as culture. This unity is sought through a “hermeneutics of moral action,” which considers how people are emplaced in multiple relational contexts in space and time. I sketch how this can be applied through a class on “Ethics across Cultural Diﬀerence.” This alternative (Buddhist-Confucian) approach thus suggests a second sense of internationalizing Japanese education—using Japanese traditional theories to provide solutions for a global problem.
This paper examines variations and shifts of emphasis in the ‘internationalising education’ discourse and practice, and attempts to identify patterns in these variations. By examining two sectors, compulsory education and universities, it identifies four main strands of discourse: (1) international (understanding) education (kokusai rikai kyôiku) in the form of engagement with other (often Western) countries; (2) domestic internationalisation (uchinaru kokusaika); (3) human rights education (jinken kyôiku) for zainichi Koreans; and (4) global human resources and competitiveness in the global arena. Each of the four strands has been taken up to diﬀering degrees, in varying combinations over time, in discussing internationalisation. The paper shows how each of these strands has made a ‘connection' to one of the other strands, depending on the sector, the level of educational administration and specific local circumstances; and in so doing over time how they have lead to varying discourses and practices. This advances our understanding of the discourse of ‘internationalisation' in education as a historical product that is still a work in progress.
This paper focuses on the rhetoric surrounding “internationalization” in Japanese education. Internationalization is now used both in scholarly circles and in the media. Since discussions of internationalization are accompanied by calls for hiring more foreign faculty in higher education, increasing diversity, etc., one may be led to believe that the internationalization agenda also includes a multicultural one. However, a closer examination of 1) “foreign language activities,” routinely used interchangeably with “English activities” and 2) the rhetoric of so-called “foreigners,” shows that “internationalization” as used in these contexts lacks a multicultural perspective. The paper goes on to show that such views of “internationalization” without a multicultural perspective exclude those very populations which have the most to contribute to the development of a multicultural perspective in the Japanese context.
The aim of this paper is to propose an analytical framework of disciplinary learning outcomes that will facilitate our understanding of the nature of disciplines and their relationships.
Application of the draft analytical framework, Anderson and Krathwohl's “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” to engineering learning outcome reference points revealed the necessity for revision, by replacing the “meta-cognitive knowledge” type with what was labeled in this study as “societal/civic engagement.” This new knowledge type refers to the responsibilities and contributions of engineers to society and to the wider interdisciplinary context of engineering, and reflects the contemporary attention to societal and interdisciplinary contributions of disciplines.
The revised analytical framework of disciplinary learning outcomes captured well the characteristics of engineering, a highly structured discipline with specified sets of knowledge graduates are expected to understand, but also a discipline that has traditionally focused on the application of scientific knowledge to solve problems in the real world. The established engineering competences of “basic and engineering sciences,” “engineering analysis,” “engineering design,” “engineering practice,” and “engineering generic skills” revealed to occupy particular fields on the taxonomy table, illustrating the structure of engineering learning outcomes.
The future direction of this study includes the application of the revised analytical framework to other disciplinary learning outcome reference points. By analyzing and comparing the characteristics of disciplinary learning outcomes based on a common analytical framework, we are able to capture disciplinary structures in a systematic way, and thus develop profiles of disciplines, which will provide the foundation for constructing a theory of disciplinary relationships in contemporary society.
As internationalization has become part of the raison d'être of universities worldwide, English-medium instruction (EMI) has emerged as an irresistible force in the higher education systems of many non-English speaking countries. In a manifestation of its commitment to internationalization, Japan has seen a dramatic increase in the number of EMI programs now in place at universities throughout the country. This paper looks closely at EMI in Japan's system of higher education through an examination of the existing literature and an assessment of government policies and university practices designed to internationalize the system. The diﬀerent rationales motivating the various stakeholders (nation, university, and individual) are identified, and the internal and external factors that have led to the introduction of EMI into Japanese universities are discussed. Insofar as EMI is more than a mere linguistic change, it will have a huge impact both on education and research. This paper then raises significant ideological and practical issues associated with English in education as a tool of “academic imperialism” in the unique Japanese context. It also addresses the diﬀerent practices and adaptations of EMI at Japan's “elite” and “mass” universities. Finally, the double meanings of “internationalization” through EMI programs is conceptualized with using the terms of “internationalization abroad” and “internationalization at home” through examining the framework of nationalistic and cosmopolitan dimensions. For the further study and implications for university practices, the author asserts the importance of developing language education policy not to serve English imperialism but to facilitate focused research by students with a critical perspective.
This paper discusses the meaning of the internationalization of higher education in Japan, based on a review of global trends in this area. Globalization has brought major changes to higher education, and in order to deal with them, the Japanese government has promoted internationalization as an important policy for higher education reform with a series of competitive funding programs. Universities in Japan, too, have made efforts to internationalize themselves. Despite the government's policy initiatives, the internationalization of Japanese higher education has not been understood as a high-priority issue at the institutional level, with many examples of superficial or partial add-ons of the international aspect, and has even been criticized as unable to contribute to transformative change at universities. Internationalization tends to be used as a means to prevail in the domestic competition between universities (inward-facing internationalization) and does not necessarily result in initiatives which lead to the improvement of learning in a globalized environment.
All in all, the government's competitive funding projects for internationalization have indeed intensified domestic competition among universities. However, it is not certain that the funds have increased the international competitiveness and compatibility of Japanese higher education as a whole.
This paper examines the influence of single parenthood on children's academic achievement in Japan. While some studies have examined the academic achievement gap associated with family structure, a limitation of existing research is the focus on differences between the mean levels of academic achievement of children in single-parent and two-parent families. Using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2012, this paper investigates the eﬀects of single parenthood across the entire distribution of children's academic achievement by using quantile regression techniques. The results of quantile regression analyses indicated that the magnitude of the academic achievement gap between children in single-parent and two-parent families was not equal for each quantile of the conditional distribution of children's academic achievement. The negative eﬀect of single motherhood on children's academic achievement was more profound at lower quantiles, whereas the negative eﬀect of single fatherhood was more profound at the median level. Furthermore, the extent to which parents' education levels accounted for the negative effects of single parenthood was not equal for each quantile of the conditional distribution of children's academic achievement. The eﬀects of single parenthood at lower quantiles were not well explained by parents' education levels, and this tendency was especially obvious in the academic achievement of children in single-father families. This result suggests that low academic achievement of children in single-mother families may be caused by the mothers' low education levels and accompanying low income, whereas poor academic achievement of children in single-father families is likely to be mainly due to the absence of mothers rather than the fathers' low education levels. Based on the empirical evidence obtained in this paper, policy implications regarding the significance and limitations of economic support for single-parent families in terms of reducing educational inequality are discussed.
The aim of the present paper is to examine the risks and benefits of employing evidence in school safety education in Japan. In the past, evidence was typically not utilized in school safety (absence of evidence). Even when evidence is utilized, there are cases where measures are promoted based on misinterpreted numerical values (risks of evidence). It is important that evidence be adopted cautiously based on scientific procedures, and that is how substantial safety is attained (benefits of evidence).
This paper considers the functions and eﬀects of “representation” in politics and education. The voting age for public elections in Japan has been lowered from 20 or older to 18 or older, calling for a shift in the curriculum to the basics of political participation and competence. In this paper, while focusing on the political issues concerning the publicness of the curriculum up until now in particular, I will demonstrate experimentally that considering this problem means radically reconsidering the struggles contained in the meaning of participatory politics itself, not only the situation of representative democracy in modern society, and that it clarifies once again the covertly configured educational problems of competency.