The purpose of this research is to analyze structural analysis from the viewpoint of the relation and utilization of the texts and materials of social studies textbooks in elementary school, to elucidate their compositions and problems, to shed light on the method of design and development of social studies digital textbooks relying on those findings, and to demonstrate model cases. Findings of the structural analysis reveal that elementary school social studies textbooks consist of three types of constituent units such as explanatory type, consideration type, etc. in relationships between the material and the text, and that the constituent units are divided into seven structures. Based on this classification and problem, we incorporated the research results of design theory of multimedia teaching materials, elaborated theory to describe the social studies digital textbooks by combining structural units with the characteristics of the electronic media and their structure, and specifically described development cases. The findings of this research establish a method of analyzing social studies textbooks, show a textbook design theory to digitize from paper media based on the analysis, and demonstrate development examples.
In this study, the Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (CASE) curriculum is examined in relation to constructivist science lesson design. The CASE curriculum was developed in the UK for cultivating logical thinking skills in the science context. It is based on five basic theories: concrete preparation, cognitive conflict, metacognition, social construction, and bridging. We reviewed the literature on the curriculum and lesson design and examined how these are realized. Analyses of the basic theories and teachers’ guides have revealed five key dimensions of the critical constructivist learning environment ―personal relevance, uncertainty of science, critical voice, shared control, and student negotiation― in CASE lessons. Therefore, CASE not only includes elements of a constructivist lesson design but also embodies teaching learning strategies that encourage the development of high school students’ competencies and skills in science classes. Thus, as a proven example of a curriculum for cultivating competencies and skills, CASE is significant for twenty-first century skills.
This study aims to change the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of an experienced elementary school teacher from the perspective of autonomous learning using a reflection matrix (Yasumori, 2018). The participant in this study was an elementary school math teacher with a novice teacher. The research methods were as follows. The teacher was interviewed while watching a video recording of her teaching arithmetic. Then she analyzed herself using a reflection matrix. Subsequently, she was interviewed again, while watching a second video recording of her teaching arithmetic. Following that, she analyzed herself a second time using another reflection matrix. Results revealed the following: (1) by using reflection matrices, a novice teacher recognized the learners’ personalities and was conscious of their autonomous learning in the second recording and (2) when half a year passed and the grade of her classroom changed, the teacher’s PCK regarding the learners’ personalities and autonomous learning was not maintained.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the changes in singing lessons at Volksschule by the Kretzschmar Reform. Textbooks seem to divide practice materials for “singing technique,” “comprehension of musical grammar,” and “singing songs” into two song collections. However, in analyzing textbooks from the viewpoint of the objective of teaching “reading and singing musical scores,” the three areas of learning content of “singing technique,” “comprehension of musical grammar,” and “singing songs” were connected. This means that students were expected to read and sing the scores of songs themselves using their singing skills and comprehensions of musical grammar that were cultivated using the practice materials. For this reason, the practice materials were not simply drills, and the song collections as teaching materials were not meant to be used for rote memorization. The changes in singing classes in the Volksschule that occurred through the Kretzschmar Reform in practice seem to have changed the form of the lessons from “listening and singing” to “reading musical scores and singing.”
The MEXT reformed course of study describes objectives and subject contents from the viewpoint of three competencies, and seeks to promote lesson improvement from the viewpoint of“ proactive, interactive, and deep learning” and“ curriculum management” involving subjects and schools. The new Course of Study shows a framework for cultivating a competence for children living in the future based on current Japanese students’ status, academic development of competence and learning theories, and international currents. This framework has an important point for teachers to learn across subjects and kinds of schools.
The new Course of Study aims at nurturing “creators of future society”. “Competency”, “viewpoints and ways of thinking” and “active learning” must be utilized to achieve the end. Moreover, “competency” etc. function not only among subjects but also as a common concept for collaboration among different school levels on a subject. For example, social studies develop new axes such as the framework of contents, social viewpoints and ways of social thinking and skills to investigate social events, so it establishes consistency between elementary, middle and high school levels more than was the case before. In addition, as these points of view work effectively, “selection/judgment” type classes have been newly established in social studies. In order to realize the new Course of Study, consistency between elementary, middle and high school levels is a pillar. On the other hand, an emphasis on subject characteristics may increase closed discussion in a subject. Now, what is needed is a framework for cross-linking subjects such as “Citizenship Education”. It is also necessary to establish a new subject for the development of Curriculum Research and Development.
In the new Course of Study guidelines, teachers focus on children’s subjective, interactive and overall learning experience. In elementary school “foreign language” and “foreign language activity”, it is important for children themselves to utilize knowledge and skills using English. In order to not only learn to produce what children memorized, but also to build their confidence and encourage them to learn as an individual, the elementary school teachers guide them through the learning process. It is important to improve English classes and implement them in an effective, competent and dynamic way.
The teacher training Core Curriculum defines the standard qualities and competencies that future teachers need to acquire in teacher training programs across all the colleges/universities in Japan. It is of significance that colleges, Boards of Education, and the Ministry of Education share the tasks they face and then ensure the systematicity of pre-service training, recruitment, and in-service training. Teachers have practical missions from the first day of their work at school and therefore, they are expected to acquire practical teaching abilities through the teacher training curriculum. Furthermore, they need to have a full understanding about their schools and circumstances surrounding children. Also they need opportunities to learn about them in the teacher training curriculum. Boards of Education are encouraged to collaborate further with colleges according to teacher development guidelines.
The National Institute for Educational Policy Research, Japan, conducted a study of teacher quality and competency and the achievement goals in the pre-service stage, as part of its project research 2013-2014 on the improvement of teacher training. This report reviews the characteristic features and findings of the research. Regarding teacher quality and competency, it proposes a framework consisting of five factors: quality and competency, knowledge and understanding about the teaching profession, knowledge and understating about subjects, practical abilities, and research abilities. Regarding achievement goals in the teacher training stage, achievement goals were posited in elementary school teacher training and secondary school teacher training in mathematics and physical education. The proposed achievement goals should be regarded as samples and await further empirical examination based on practice and further discussion.
With recent changes in society, demands on schools and teachers have become more and more diverse and complex. As a result, schools have been undertaking to do what home and the local community should bear. A lot of teachers seem to have hard time following this social change and the new demand of our society. It is of vital importance that we review the current state of teacher training to develop teachers with practical teaching abilities and professional competence for the sake of educating the children of the future. What we need is not to carry out educational reform based on a short-sighted view that teacher quality has been declined. Instead, we need to work together with the educational community as a whole by sharing the problems we face. Otherwise, there is no future in education. Under these circumstances, the present report discusses the ideal state of teacher training based on the assumption that boards of education should take an initiative role in connecting the whole of society.