A teacher at a primary school attached to a university and a teacher educator from that university taught a class of fourth graders using the same literary text, “My village is the Most Beautiful in the World.” By comparing the two teachers’ approaches and examining the differences, this paper tries to determine an acceptable range of free interpretation of a literary text and explore the issue of differences between 1) facts and textual interpretation, 2) interpretation of illustration and textual interpretation, and 3) the author’s intention and readers’ interpretations of a text. The study has revealed that the following five interpretations were intertwined in the reading activity in the class: a) the interpretation intended by the author, Yutaka Kobayashi, b) the interpretation which the text itself yielded, c) teachers’ interpretations, d) children’s interpretations and e) the interpretations yielded by our knowledge about the current situation in Afghanistan. In conclusion, the importance of relating the interpretation which the text itself yielded with children’s interpretations is emphasized.
The present paper proposes a new direction for Japanese Language Instruction at the theoretical level. Many of young people nowadays do not expect to be able to learn at school. They chat with a few friends during a break about dramas and movies they saw on TV the day before as well as comics and popular music CDs. Once the class has started, they adapt to the particular atmosphere of the teacher, and after it has finished, they just continue the same kind of chatting which is regularly interrupted by the classes. They are aware of this repetition and also see it as sufficient. In this situation, what would be the direction of Japanese Language Instruction that enables each student to experience their own learning in the artificial environment of a school? The present paper explores the possibility of effective practice from the viewpoint of "expression", and discusses the following issue: how would the direction indicated by this practice be realized in the classroom and how does it connect to the idea of "media literacy"?
This study attempts to identify, through the use of a questionnaire survey and path analysis, factors that lead to teachers using computers in instruction at Japanese elementary schools. A total of 175 teachers from 17 schools responded to the questionnaire. In ordinary schools in Hiroshima Prefecture, 80% of the 65 teachers surveyed get students to use computers at least a few times in a semester or academic year. For Japanese teachers, beliefs about the importance of information technology are the strongest determining factor in the use of computers in instruction, whereas skills do not have a direct effect on their use. Training has a positive effect on both the beliefs and skills of teachers. Helpful peer advisors, a positive school principal, training by observing other schools and training in Education Centers (public institutions mainly for in-service teacher training) are effective in increasing the use of computers in instruction. For teachers with resistant feelings towards computers, helpful peer advisors alone is effective in increasing their use of computers. Many trainers in Education Centers consider their training program to be training for 'leader' teachers and expect the trainees to be leaders or advisors in their schools after completing the course. The results support the effectiveness of the two-step strategy. However, training in Education Centers is not effective for teachers with resistant feelings towards computers. As these teachers are also coming to the training, it is necessary for the Education Centers to develop training programs suitable for them.
For students who will make a living in the information society, it is important not only to develop computer literacy but also to improve attitudes towards the understanding of the way computers and information systems work. In order to achieve this, it is important to evaluate the extent of students' awareness of the curriculum. In this research, lessons were taught about "the structure of a computer" by using a robot. Investigations were carried out into the level of student awareness in lessons, changes in attitude and the acquisition of knowledge. As a result, it was made clear that students' confidence in operating computers and their attitudes towards the class influenced the development of their computer awareness in the study of computer systems.
A scale to measure college students' understanding of living environment studies was created, and factor analysis was carried out with 151 college students prior to their attendance of classes in living environment studies. Analysis of the results demonstrated the following points: (1) "Instructional effects on the learning of living environment studies" was extracted as the primary factor in the way in which students understand living environment studies. This factor comprised 10 sub-items, including: "Usefulness in daily life" and "Connections beyond the classroom." The second factor extracted was "Problems in learning living environment studies", and this factor comprised six sub-items, including: "Difficulty of guidance" and "Difficulty of evaluation." (2) The results of protocol analysis for each subscale within each factor demonstrated that the students constructed knowledge of living environment studies by themselves, based on indirect experience acquired through sources such as the mass media, and that the students tended to assign a meaning to "learning" styles by generalizing personal experience from their time at primary school. Based on these results, the future direction of instructional methods for living environment studies was discussed.
The purpose of this study was to research the views of teacher trainees on observation and experiments in science classes after teaching practice in elementary schools. Analysis of their answers to the questionnaire indicated the following: 1. The main elements of the teacher trainees' views of the aims and roles of observation and experiments were 'experience' and 'interest'. 2. They considered that 'to verify a prediction' is important as one of the aims and roles of observation and experiments, but it was not considered to be the main element. 3. There were few differences in their views of observation and experiments depending on the number of times they had observed science lessons and taken part in reflection meetings, and depending on the frequency with which they had undertaken teaching practice in science classes.
The purpose of this study is to clarify the style of communication applied as the model for children in the Meiji era, by comparing the two national Japanese textbooks. By analyzing them from the viewpoints of "linguistics" and "human relations", we can establish an outline of the style of communication in those days. As regards the "linguistics" viewpoint, three points are shown; more talks and debates appeared in the 1st textbook than the 2nd one. As regards the "human relations", four points become apparent, such as, in the 2nd textbook the style of communication was more strongly based on age and position than in the 1st one.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate trends in research on social studies education through surveying theses published recently by various academic organizations. From the point of view of methodology, we classified the theses into the following five categories: factual research, theoretical research, historical research, foreign research and related research. Each of these areas is looked at in turn.