In environmental education in Japanese primary schools, the nurturing of problem awareness, research skills and sensibility are said to be important. The purpose of this research was to explore the possibility of nurturing sensibility, the basis of the first two items, through the use of metaphor. Metaphor is not only a rhetorical device, but it is also a fundamental principle of language and thinking in contemporary humans. In particular, since ancient times, the personification where we superimpose humans with animals and plants and vice versa has brought about humble intelligence accompanied with empathy and bioethics into human society. These ideas of personification are important to establish a harmonious life with the natural world. This very way of thinking along with the function of personification are considered to be the sensibility required in today’s environmental learning. Therefore, this research focuses on a lesson on bringing out the personification ability of children by having them repeat the activities in which they imbue their own bodies with things in the nature, and then discusses the method and its effect, showing the method’s potential in environmental education.
The 2008 Junior High School Course of Study explores the inclusion of education for sustainable development (ESD) to build a sustainable society, with environmental issues being one of the themes in ESD. This study aims to discuss the content of a clothing learning unit of a junior high school home economics class in the 2008 Course of Study from the perspective of ESD, and attempts to create a new structure. Based on this, we restructured the unit on laundry, developed a lesson plan, and put it into practice. This study introduced the three viewpoints--limited nature, circulation of water resources and protection of the aquatic environment--to conventional instruction on laundry practice, to help the students grasp the concept of environmental sustainability the teaching objectives were to get students to think about and take ESD into account in their own laundering practices. After the class, in comparison with a class implemented under the 1998 Course of Study, the students are expected (1) to have acquired the knowledge of sustainability (environmental conservation) and (2) to show their understanding of the acquired knowledge through their selections of laundry detergents. In the future, I will develop the necessary content and improved lesson plans in order to get students to systematically explore a sustainable lifestyle with regard to clothing.
The “Morality and Society” unit within elementary school social studies classes, is an important part of the Quality Education Reform in China. The purpose of this paper is to compare and analyze the characteristics on the unit lesson reform in the three national social studies textbooks and teacher guidebooks in China. The following lists the findings of this study. 1) The purpose of establishing “Morality and Society” as a new subject in the elementary school social studies curriculum appears to be to train students to recognize their position in society. 2) There are three types of textbooks: a) morality oriented type, b) social recognition oriented type and c) the blended type of morality and social recognition. 3) An important common characteristic of three teacher guidebooks is the idea of developing citizenship through social problem-solving learning.
This study reports on lessons for first year junior high school students, focusing on relationships between adolescents and their parents, and the effectiveness of teaching materials aimed at helping them develop and increase self-esteem. Since the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has included the unit “Relationship between Self-development and Family and Home Life” in A) Family, Home and Child Development as a new teaching content in the Course of Study, the first purpose of our study is to review the contents related to parent-child relationships in three ministry approved textbooks. The second purpose is an analysis of the effectiveness of materials developed to help students think about their family relationships. Our review found that none of the three textbooks include enough about assertive communication skills to help students to learn to express their own opinions. However, the materials were effective to a certain degree in helping students understand the roles of their parents when compared with those who did not use the materials. We concluded that for better education there is a need to develop educational materials in accordance with their development levels that will help students learn about family relationships, form selfesteem, and develop assertive communication skills.
Within the framework of Brown and Levinson’s (1978, 1987) politeness theory, this study examined how the learning of Japanese can influence the perception of politeness factors in a request refusal situation of native speakers of Russian. We focused particularly on the degree of difficulty as well as the degree of consideration a speaker gives towards the hearer’s face in the refusal situation. According to Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory, the weightiness of a face threatening act (Wx) is calculated as Wx = D (S, H) + P (S, H) + Rx, where D is the social distance between interlocutors, P is the power relations between interlocutors, Rx is the cultural and situational context, S is a speaker, and H is a hearer. In this study we assumed Rx from two perspectives: the intrinsic content of the situation (Ri) and differences in language/ linguaculture (Rl). We used a regression tree analysis to reveal the hierarchical relations of these four factors (D, P, Ri, and Rl) when predicting the difficulty to refuse a request and the level of consideration one gives towards their hearer’s face. The following factors were observed in our study: the influence of L2 (Japanese) onto L1 (Russian), the maintenance of Russian national identity, and the accommodation to the target language culture.
To review the results of post-lesson conferences and utilize them in the education practice, it is necessary to first understand accurately what was discussed in the relevant post-lesson conference. This study therefore tried to analyze in particular how the teacher performance was evaluated during post-lesson conferences, with the case of the Period for Integrated Studies in an elementary school. The relatedness evaluation qualitative analysis used for the analysis which is a qualitative data analysis method combined with a quantitative analysis technique. The result revealed five points of teacher performance evaluation in the discussions at the post-lesson conferences. This study indicated that there is a certain degree of validity in using the method to analyze the post-lesson conference discourse. This study demonstrates a method of understanding accurately what was discussed in the individual post-lesson conference.
In this research, we focused on how the aims of each class stated in the formative assessment influenced learners. In our analysis of the students and teachers’ responses on the self-evaluation sheets and in postlesson interviews, we looked at whether the inclusion of evaluation standard words, numerical words, keywords for learning and words which shows subjects of each activity, made clear the goals of the classes made it possible for teachers and learners to share the aims of the classes together. The analyses of teachers’ class language were carried out to see if aims of each class included words of evaluation standards, and whether teachers’ formative assessment feedback could affect learners’ understanding aims of classes.
This paper is to consider the significations of Japanese schooling and subject curriculum in future. In a couple of decades Japanese schools have introduced a sort of “the Time of Integrated Learning” that is a cross-curriculum for thinking and solving ability or competence in real life, in addition to present subjects. This trend has questioned the significations of every subject teaching because of its specializations and individualities lacking of the relevance or relations to complex real life. Before considering this trend of curriculum development, we must think that most people have doubted the effectiveness of Japanese schooling. At this moment they cannot find any good relationship between public schooling and their own education in family and community. However, the goal of all educations must be “the independence” from their parents as well as the drawing their abilities. The original part of any school curriculum must be “subjects” where academic knowledge is able to be taught systematically. We cannot have any other place to have such an opportunity to get academic and theoretical knowledge in school subject lessons. I think we have to keep this curriculum for academic knowledge, even if we need more competence for our real complicate lives. However, the school subjects are to be reformed or innovated to meet current needs of the IT society in Japan. We, therefore, reconsider the theory of subject curriculum through L. Shulman’s the concept of “pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)”, which emphasizes the academic disciplinary content connected with pedagogical knowledge (PK). It might be a kind of “Teaching Material Theory” (Kyouzai-ron) that is necessary only in teaching academic knowledge with teaching methods. After introducing “Integrated Learning” we need to reorganize the content of present subjects because of various purposes of schooling or schooling in IT society. We must raise critical and integrated thinking ability or competence, though it has some defects. We have to design the whole curriculum including reorganized subject curriculum for a next decade.
This paper is an abstract of a keynote speech on JCRDA symposium in 2015. The core issue of it is focused on the concept of PCK, pedagogical content knowledge, which was presented by Lee Shulman in 1986. The PCK has been a central arena of curriculum studies of each subject area, research on teaching and learning science for the past 30 years. This paper takes it into consideration. In order to rethink significance, possibilities and criticism of theoretical and even practical functions of PCK in terms of further research on PCK.
Learning science is an interdisciplinary approach to learning and education, and it encompasses a wide variety of disciplines such as cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, neuroscience, pedagogy, sociology, anthropology, and educational technology. Thus, the goal of learning science is an understanding of cognitive and social processes that yield the most effective type of learning and to use this knowledge in redesigning classroom and other learning environments so that people may learn more deeply and effectively. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to offer an overview of recent development of learning science and to examine the implications of learning science for educational reform in Japan.
This paper proposes the view that subject-based education is facing a crisis, and aims to present recommendations to help overcome the conditions that are causing it. In order to do so, it is necessary to first maintain a structural outline for educational practice and methodology. The existence of subject-based education is being threatened by other spheres of school education. The independent nature of subject-based learning is being undermined, as is its meaning and purpose. The justification for subject-based education can be restored with the provision of a structural outline to determine specific aims, as well as a methodology to investigate the educational logic behind the outline. Thus, subjectbased education can be freed from reliance on pedagogy, psychology, and specialized sciences, enabling the restoration of its autonomy and educational significance. The field of subject-based education studies can academically ensure this. In order for subject-based education to overcome this crisis, liberation from the confines of pedagogy, psychology, and other related specialized science fields is necessary. This is where an educational structural outline becomes vital, and, along with a unique research methodology that investigates this outline, subjectbased education can regain its foothold. A structural outline would present the very condition by which subject-based education studies can become independent in the realms of both education and research.
The purpose of this paper is to approach to the problem of what the goals of mathematics teaching is referring to the philosophy of the German Project mathe 2000 which was established in 1987 aimed to research and develop mathematics teaching from kindergartens to school teacher education as a whole. The fruitful results for mathematics teaching were highly accepted by schools teachers and really penetrated into school mathematics teaching practices in Germany and near countries. The philosophy of “Mathematics as a Science of Patterns” and “Mathematics Education as a Design Science” in the project was consistently adopted. Mathematics teaching and learning based on the philosophy is full of suggestions for Japanese school educators, because children learning activities for promoting mathematics activities and mastering basic skills suggested in the project are really significant for the current requests to school education in all levels.