One of the keywords for the trend of presentday social change is the "diversification/pluralization of value." In this essay the author considers what characteristics a "plural-values society" has and what should be the aims of education in that society. The major characteristics of a plural-values society are: 1) Its members are directed to markedly differentiated and diversified values. 2) That society lacks common ideals, values as well as norms with reference to the value-systems of its members. 3) In the midst of rapid internationalization, those who come from different social and cultural backgrounds are required to achieve social unity on the basis of diversity in such a society, i.e. "unity within diversity." In our country an effort should be made to set new aims of education to meet social changes in the future, on the basis of the characteristics mentioned above. The effort should start with the study of the aims of education as stipulated by the present educational laws and regulations. Article 1 of the Fundamental Law of Education prescribes the "perfection of personality" as the ultimate aim of education. But such a stipulation is too abstract and general, and can no longer influence educational practices. It should be replaced by the new aim of a cultivation of the "ability to live a life worthy of a human being." To be sure, the latter is still abstract, although somewhat less so than the original stipulation. We must concretize the "ability to live a life worthy of a human being" and structualize it. This ability includes: 1) knowledge and skills, 2) values, ideals, and beliefs. These are fundamental and essential items to be commonly shared by the Japanese people. The author believes that the first category involves abilities such as physical ability, fundamental thinking ability, as well as the ability to communicate in both native and foreign languages. The second category includes the following attitudes: 1) to respect both one's own life as well as the lives and human rights of others, 2) not simply to establish one's own values, but to understand and respect those of other people. 3) to partake in the construction of a society which is based on the spirit of "coexistence" and "tolerance".
The aim of this paper is to examine, from the following perspectives, the problems with which modern pedagogy, faced with a confused situation, has to grapple as a result of the emergence of a society of pluralized values. The perspectives are: 1) the meaning and substance of pluralized values, 2) the content of educational values, 3) the relationship between educational values and manifestations of pluralized values, and 4) the educational value of learning and the prospects for this. Firstly, in terms of the problem situation of pluralized values, it is inevitable that values will conflict with and stand in isolation from one another. However, this tendency does have the capacity to enlarge the degree of freedom at a time when a choice of individual acts is made and to cope with a constantly changing situation. Consequently, the opportunities for self-realization become greater, but if the continuing dispersal and disorganization of values cannot be controlled, a crisis will be generated in education. Secondly, the manifestations of pluralized values are promoted and justified by our information-oriented society. This kind of society has changed individuals, who should each have their own distinctive way of living, view of the world and sense of values, into units of the general mass public, and exerts a great influence on their character formation. The problem is one of the quality of information and the fact that the acquisition of knowledge of a large number of new facts is not necessarily linked to the formation of value awareness. Thirdly, we have to look in a questioning way at the formation and content of educational values. These are the values which constitute the essence and foundation of education, are integrated into educational practice and can contribute to a deepening and enrichment of the educational function. Having at all times a dual meaning, educational values are hence able, as it were, to orientate and channel educational practice. When we look questioningly at these values in the context of a society of pluralized values, we are faced with the necessity of examining the true relationship between the value of learning and the value of teaching. The requirement then arises to change the meaning of educational values from teaching to learning. In conclusion, the paper tries to clarify the educational value of learning from the point of view of the relationship with the goal of learning. The interpretation adopted is that learning is the mode of conduct that generates in pupils the ability to change themselves through their own initiative. In this situation, it is indispensable to have a norm when making a decision on values.
The contents of this paper are as follows: Intro duction 1. A society of pluralized values and a multicultural society. 2. A multicultural society and the polarization of fairness and plural values. 3. "Perturbations" in the awareness of fairness in the context of educational administration -the example of the USA. 4. The problem of fairness in educational reforms in Britain. 5. Market principles and fairness. 6. Fairness in Hayek and Rawls. The main purpose of this article is to clarify precisely what the problem of fairness in education is. Firstly, an examination is made of the concepts of fairness and of a society of pluralized values. Secondly, consideration is given to the problem of fairness in a multicultural society and to that of setting ranked levels between values. Thirdly, the problem of fairness and educational reforms in some societies with plural values is examined. Additionally, changing the perspective, F. A. Hayek's arguments are adopted with the aim of extracting the points at issue. These points are then compared with analogous points in the theory of J. Rawls. Finally, an attempt is made to get a grasp of the problems concerned with fairness in education. The issues in a society of pluralized values have in substantive terms a close relationship with those in any society with a variety of ethnic groups and religions. Multiculturalism aims to develop some sense of universal values. If we can hypothesize that a society with pluralized values aims to develop the same sense as does multiculturalism, fair treatment for socially disadvantaged groups becomes a requirement from the viewpoint of social justice. This is because most of the reasons for disadvantage have arisen from the rejection of majority values by ethnic or religious minority groups. Some examples from the USA and Britain provide evidence that there has been a shift in the concern for fairness from the interests of those advocating egalitarianism to the interests of the taxpayers. Hayek criticized egalitarians and welfare states because of their lack of awareness of the concept of human dignity. He insisted that the freedom to get chances in life was one of the most important components of human activity. Though many researchers have emphasized the differences between Hayek and Rawls, some have pointed to the similarities between them. Specifically, the principles of justice according to Rawls do not denote equality in the results of distribution but equality of opportunity. The principle of redress imposes a requirement for procedural justice in order that everyone can be enabled to have chances in life. If we take as the starting point the premise that a welfare state should be compatible with a society of pluralized values, the issue of education policy comes to be focused on how to make procedural equality effective and meaningful in terms of achieving equality of opportunity in education as the starting point for the acquisition of chances in life. This principle can be embodied in concrete terms only in a competitive society. If we assume that a shared sense of universal values (on occasion the fundamental idea underlying a society) is to be set by the host competitive society, the meaning of plural values will suffer decisive restrictions.
Through an examination of the controversy on "cultural deprivation" theory in the 1960's in the United States, three models to explain the underachievement of minority children are discriminated in terms of its perception of relation between dominant culture and the minority culture: deficit model, difference model and biculturation model. Arguing that the real issue is the disadvantage the minority groups suffer for their difference, two frameworks of the interpretation of "cultural deprivation" are proposed: "deprivation of the dominant culture" and "deprivation of one's own culture. "Suggesting that these two frameworks can and should be understood as "deprivation by the dominant culture, " the notion of "cultural depriving force" as constituting the dominant culture is presented. Reviews of multicultural education show that its programs can be categorized in several ways. While many programs deal with both aspects of the frameworks of "cultural deprivation, " a few deal with the issue of the dominant culture such as its social organization and racism. Varolization of differences and celebration of diversity, which Roman characterizes as "difference as pluralism" ideology is criticized as lacking the analysis of power inherent in the relations of difference. Iris Young's argument of "politics of difference" is then analyzed for her insight of group oppression in relation to the ideal of identity. Revealing the importance of social group differences in structuring social relations and oppression, she argues for "politics of difference" which explicitly acknowledges and attends to those group differences in order to undermine oppression. Particularly insightful is her analysis that the assimilationist ideal, or the ideal of a universal humanity, perpetuates group oppression by: (1) disadvantaging groups whose culture differ from privileged groups, (2) allowing norms of privileged groups to appear neutral and universal, and (3) producing internalized devaluation by the members of groups that deviate from the standard. This suggests that the dominance of a culture is expressed in the way it assumes the role of universality and normality against the particularity of the dominated. For the field of education, the problem posed here as the dominance as the self-assumptions of universality calls for the critical examination of curriculum construction and the way white teachers and white students perceive themselves in relation to the dominated groups. Systematic criticism of curriculum and its norms, as opposed to the approaches of adding the plurarlity, is called for. Referring to works of Sleeter and Giroux as the one which takes issue of deconstructing whiteness in education, the neccessity to explore the possibility of cultural politics in education is acknowleged.
Malaysia is well known as a typical multiethnic society composed of Bumiputra (Malay and other indigeneous people), Chinese and Indians (Tamil). The Islamization elements in its recent educational reform deserve special attention because Malaysia is said to be moving towards an integrated multiethnic society through the process of Islamization. 'Tauhid', which is at the core of Islam, signifies not only the oneness of God but also the unification of the whole world and living beings. The efforts to seek those universal values which are in accordance with Islam and to internalize them in national education are unique and show some contrast to the strategies adopted in other countries. Focussing on the new Education Act of 1996 and the integrated curricula for primary and secondary schools, the present article analyzes the mode of penetration of Islamic values in national education in Malaysia. The analysis of the stipulations of the Education Act of 1996 with reference to the medium of instruction, moral education and religious instruction gives us some insights concerning the penetration of Islamic values. An Islamic point of view is introduced to non-Muslim students through the Malay language, the major medium of instruction from secondary through higher education. A Malay is defined as a person professing the Islamic religion, speaking habitually the Malay language, and conforming to the Malay customs. The Malay language has imported a lot of Arabic vocabulary. Again, original Malay (-Indian) words have been located in the Malay-Islamic value systems under the Islamization process of Malay society since the 15th century. During the 1980s, moral education for non-Muslim students was introduced. Vernacular languages, which had been taught to non-Muslim students in lieu of the Islamic knowledge for Muslim students, were replaced by moral education. All this means that the subject of Islamic education was released and separated from the ethnic category. The integrated curricula for primary and secondary schools enhance the 16 pure values (virtues). These values are universal in character, but it is worth noting that, of these, two values are written by the Malayanized Arabic words, 'keadilan' (justice) and ‘kesyukuran ’ (thanks), the core of Islamic beliefs. The aim of education is defined as the mixture and amalgamation of modern Western values as well as traditional Malay values under the Islamic unification, which is reflected in the deliberate and subtle mixture of words of Malay, Arabic and English origins. The ultimate target is to make 'Insan', the Islamic human being in Arabic, on the basis of the Western theory of human development. The political leaders of Malaysia believe and envisage that the ethnic and value diversities will be integrated and unified through Islamization and that its education system will be directed toward this ultimate goal.
Children who refuse to attend school is a problem that points to the reality of school and children in contemporary Japan. Since the mid-1970s, schools in Japan changed their function to a place where children are kept under control by means of the evaluation of their personality. The distress as well as anxiety of school-refusing children have been produced by their own excessive adaptation to such schools. However, it is not an easy task for teachers to understand the distress and anxiety of these children. To understand them teachers must be equipped with an ability which is radically different from those abilities generally required of their profession. Through an analysis of the problem of school-refusal, this paper clarifies the point that the changes in the quality of schools as well as their control of pupils have resulted from the "diploma disease", peculiar to Japan, which has become increasingly worse. At the same time, the paper points to several reasons why teachers find it difficult to understand school-refusals. Moreover, through an analysis of various practices in remedial education, the paper indicates a few basic conditions for overcoming such difficulties. The paper intends to show simultaneoulsy that the same conditions point to the way for the revival of schools in Japan.
This paper consider the diversification of values in education from the point of view of gender-equity. 'Gender' is a concept born out of the second-wave feminism that 5tarted in the middle of the 1960s. However, at present it is perceived as a sexual distinction which was formed socially and culturally. Japan is a nation whose gender-bias has been especially strong. In this country, for instance, male working hours have been long, and their time to housework has been short. Many women have been engaged in part-time jobs with long housework hours. Moreover, the average wages for female workers are about 60% of those for male workers. Among the industrialized nations, Japan ranks highest in wage disparities between the sexes. Despite their low wages and unstable forms of employment, however, most women prefer part-time jobs to full-time ones. The preference in turn is interpreted as deriving from the male-female love relationship, typical to Japan, which is based on the 'business-centered society' (the business management style in Japan) as well as from the sexually-divided roles in labor. Again, the education at home and at school reproduces gender-bias. All the above make the following three points especially important for education which aims at gender-eqllity: 1) Teach students about women's rights to work realistically, 2) Teach them to analyze critically the male-female love relationship typical to Japan, and 3) To render parents, teachers and other adults more sensitive to 'gender.' To be sure women's lives are diversified in contemporary society. And yet, the observed diversification stems from a firmly established structure of the sexually-divided roles in labor and, as such, cannot necessarily be referred to as real diversification.
By means of participatory observation and interviews with severely visually handicapped (totally blind) persons, a considerable amount of useful information was acquired in terms of their ability to navigate their way through their environment. For example, by means of an acoustic structured array consisting of radiated and reverberating sounds they can specify the cross-sections or 'places of transition' where an adjoining side-wall is no longer present. Also, blind navigators detect route continuity in the route they are following by means of detailed adjacent haptic array of ground. Their ability to navigate is based on detecting environmental structures as revealed over time along a habitually traveled route. These distinctive types of information specifying particular route properties are variable and ubiquitous, and are embedded in surrounding environment. Blind persons, and of course sighted, are supported by these environmental (ecological) resources in terms of route navigation. However, traditional studies of 'spatial cognition' on the part of the visually handicapped have neglected these rich ambient resources and focused only on 'internal or mental cognitive representation'. One type of optic theory, Cartesian optics, was responsible for establishing such a tradition. Since the Renaissance, Western thinkers have treated seeing as a matter of having images. Descartes used of perspective geometry to question whether optically formed images need even partially resemble their objects. He asserted that resemblance was unimportant and rejected the image theory of vision. For Descartes, it is small nerve 'movements' that cause seeing, not the image at the back of the eye. According to his doctrine, all seeing has to be explained as an interpretation by the 'mind' of subjective effects of these point stimulation. This theory promoted the one question about blind peoples' cognition, namely that concerned with relationship between physical sensory experience and meaningful perceptual experience. How does restricted sensory experience affect blind spatial cognition ? In this context, question about blind cognition appeared very narrow. J.J. Gibson (1904-1979), american psychologist distinguishes light as physical energy, light as a stimulus for vision, and light as information for perception. His 'ecological optics' is concerned with the information for perception that is available in the environment. Illumination as the result of reverberating between surfaces that face one other is a fact of higher order than radiation. In an illuminated environment, one could think of the rays as completely filling the air and think of each point in the air as a point of intersection of rays coming from all directions. Light which is ambient at every point is the result of illumination and has a structure dependent on the surfaces in the environment and can be information for perception. Structured ambient light, ambient optic array guide navigation. For example, a woman with a low level of vision uses this structured light (see Picture 1). Information in term of useful resources for navigation can be found in ambient light, sound and continual haptic adjacent order. With ecological optics as base, the study of cognition in blind persons is able to go beyond the boundaries of Cartesian optics and enable a pluralistic approach to this problem.
The percentage of students of the age group entering higher education is growing rapidly in Japan. The decline of the youth population accelarates its growth. Currently, 46% of those age 18 enter college, predicted to reach 60% in the first decade of the 21st century. Will the famous Japanese "exam hell" continue as higher education opportunities expand? Or, will the hell end? What new problems will arise when more non-elite students enroll in college? Do current educational reform proposals pay attention to these issues in higher education? This paper investigates these questions. Both educational researchers and social critics blame entrance examinations for causing numerous educational problems in Japan such as school bullying and absenteeism. "Exam hell" has long been targeted as a dominant issue in Japanese education. To solve those problems, reformers have attempted to reduce the pressure of competitive entrance exams on students. However, as this paper shows, a considerable number of students have already escaped from severe selection. This paper shows that nearly 40% of incoming students enter college through "recommendation admission" instead of entrance examinations. Many colleges also reduce the number of examination subjects to attract more applicants. As a result of these new admission policies, the pressure of exams on students is being reduced. However, these new admission policies also produce problems in higher education, many of which Japanese colleges have not faced until recently. For example, Japanese colleges have recently launched remedial education. Some colleges have also started ability grouping to teach students with different academic preparation. Whether or not the Japanese society becomes a "multi-valued society, " new problems will appear in college education due to the emergence of "mass higher edcuation" where opportunities rapidly expand. Many reformers still focus on "exam hell." But reality is different. If that is the case, aren't the pressure-reducing-reforms misguided? What "unintended" consequences of reforms will result particularly for those new types of students? After reviewing the comparable American situation in mass higher education, we analyzed high school senior student survey data collected from 13 high schools in Tokyo. The analyses indicate: (1) "easy-going" students are increasing; (2) they have lower academic competence; (3) they have less suitable attitude toward college education. These features of students will cause difficulties for college teachers to teach them. Based on these results, the author argues that the realization of the ideal of "higher education for all" does not solve current "educational" problems, but alternately defers those problems from secondary to higher education which is regarded as the weakest sector in Japanese education.
The change from an industrial society to an information-oriented society produces friction or conflict between the old, school-based culture and the new, information culture as exemplified by the Internet culture. In order to research computer education and Internet education and to clarify the influence on schools of information culture, it is necessary to establish the viewpoint that "school culture is modern" and "information culture is post-modern" and that they conflict with each other. Hence the main focus of this paper is on "computer-mediated communication" culture and communication theories, especially on Habermas's theory of communicative action and Lyotard's critique of Habermas's conception. Computer-mediated communication has post-modern characteristics in that personal identities become less important and more susceptible to the force of drift and to shifting situational pressures. The subject in the Cartesian model is ceaselessly deconstructed in computer-mediated communication. In order to be able to analyze computer-mediated communication, Habermas's theory is adopted. According to him, communicative acts are carried out as a result of consensus, and this consensus arises from the tacit assumption of discourse, specifically from the possibility of discourse, the legitimacy implicit in a norm, the sincerity of an expressed intention, and the truth of a cognitive belief. Charles Ess applies this theory to computer-mediated communication and stresses that the discourse ethic requires the ability to engage in critical discourse, a moral commitment to practice the ability to adopt the perspectives of others, and the pursuit of solidarity with others in the context of the plurality of democratic discourse communities. Lyotard regards Habermas's theory as the expression of a dream project of modernity in terms of a universal language based on the ultimate objective of unforced consensus. He places Habermas's theory on a meta-narrative plane, specifically in the framework of a critique of modernity. Michael Peters argues that differences and dissenting opinions are the principles that lie at the very heart of language and that we should therefore learn to detect such differences and to respect them. He also points out that Habermas's hope for universal freedom in a reconstituted public sphere is based on the communicative practices of a revitalized bourgeois print culture which happened in the past to be largely white, heterosexual and male. On the other hand, Joshua Meyrowitz, utilizing MacLuhan's "Medium Theory", describes the history of education in terms of the history of communication technology. According to him, in terms of postmodern electronic culture, the old structures in schools are outdated and there are moves toward more "open" class-rooms. The trend is away from schools resembling traditional factories toward those resembling the round, assembly areas of villages in the days of oral traditions. In short, the move is away from single-goal teaching toward more cooperative learning. I believe that Meyrowitz's postmodern school model is not a utopia or a dream, but a reflection of the new, meritocratic order that has creative power as its central core. However, postmodern culture such as the Internet culture does contain some risks for the new order. If we introduce the concept of postmodernity into educational research, we need to understand that the idea of education contains not only concepts serving to construct the values of educational goals and systems but also ones serving to deconstruct and negate these values.