The Elementary School attached to Akashi Women's Normal School had accepted the concept of 'unit' before World War II while it used to be presumed that it was brought to Japan after the War. I attempt to examine the developmental process of Heiji Oikawa's theory of life unit in terms of the information on the Western new education movement. Heiji Oikawa was the leader of initiating authentic curriculum study and introducing the concept of 'unit' in Japan. Prior to 1920, Oikawa was interested in curriculum development on the basis of experiential unit of the project method, in particular, the curriculum development of the experimental school of Teachers College at Columbia University. Oikawa formed his idea on the basis of the model of the 'unit of work,' which was practiced at Lincoln School since he had participated in a summer program of Teachers College at Columbia University in 1925. The 'unit of work' was an experiential unit of the child-centered curriculum on the basis of concentrating the activities into the 'center of interest' by Ovide Decroly. In addition, Oikawa found that genetic psychology affected the Western new education movement through the advice of Adolphe Ferriere and Decroly. Decroly practiced his theory of life education which genetically grasped children and he influenced Oikawa's concept of 'life.' After returning home, Oikawa began to initiate the curriculum reform on the basis of 'life unit' around 1930 and stated, "Life unit means the total activity necessary for meeting children's interests in the center of various children's activities." In this paper, I characterized the traits of Oikawa's life unit theory as follows: 1) Oikawa's life unit theory stems from the unit of work at Lincoln school. Therefore, it is pointed out that his theory has the same origin as the work unit program which was assimilated in the Virginia Plan and prevailed in many Japanese schools just after World War II. 2) Oikawa studied genetic psychology and understood the theory of 'life and growth of the individual biological unity.' That contributed to Oikawa's acknowledgement of the diversity of the meaning of 'life' and the development of the concept of life. 3) Oikawa's life unit theory has the principle of organizing the life activities on the basis of the theory of 'the center of interest' in terms of Frederick G. Bonser's four pillars of life activities. 4) The life unit curriculum idealistically consists of the practice of project method. It is obvious that Oikawa developed the life unit theory by 1934 because he designed the principles of organizing the scope and sequence of life activities, at the same time he contributed to initiating the practical system for classroom instruction.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify recent legislative reforms of labor laws in American public education through the analysis on the amendment of the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act (PERA). In 1947, the Michigan Legislature passed the Hutchinson Act which was the first statute covering labor relations of public employees within the state, including public school teachers. Although the Hutchinson Act allowed public employees for the first time to "meet and confer" with their employers, the act did not impose the duty to bargain in good faith on public employers. More importantly, the act enjoined public employees from joining into strikes by enumerating the penalties; employees who entered into strikes were considered to be terminated their employment. While the Hutchinson Act had a great impact on public labor relations in Michigan, its major function was to prohibit strikes by public employees, not to give them the right to bargain collectively with their employers. "Teacher Militancy" in the mid-1960s changed the public employment relations even in Michigan. Aggressive lobbying efforts by teacher unions resulted in the passage of the PERA in 1965. Although the PERA did not legalize strikes by public employees either, it eliminated the penalties for them. Also the act legally recognized the public employees' rights to organize labor unions, to engage in lawful concerted actions, and to bargain collectively with their employers on the issues of "wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment." The newly enacted PERA served as a focal point for teacher unions to take part in policy-making for public education. Under the new statute, teacher unions soon became the predominant labor organizations in Michigan, utilizing labor tools such as strikes and intense collective bargaining. The enactment of PA112 of 1994, however, drastically undermined the teacher unions and their predominant power over public education. The new law penalized teacher unions $5,000 a day for each day they were on strikes and fined individual school employees the equivalent of their daily salary. In addition, only for public school employees, the act limited the scope of bargaining in nine areas and left those issues at the sole authority of school boards to decide. The rationale for the limits, according to the Michigan Legislature, was to avoid strikes by public school employees. The Michigan Supreme Court endorsed the rationale and concluded that "it is reasonable for the Legislature to assume that this limitation on collective bargaining will reduce the number of public school employee strikes." It is obvious that the new act discriminated against public school teachers from other public employees, and that the classification was justified under the rationale that teacher unions are more like a "labor union." From these analyses, it is found that the problem was caused by the industrial labor framework under which teacher unions became "labor unions," not "professional organizations." Other than the labor practices translated from the industrial sector, particular legislative frameworks for teachers are needed to convert teacher unions into professional organizations that would take responsibility for both teachers' rights and public education.
The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct "Self-realization" theory of Erich Fromm (1900-1980) and to show the pedagogical potentiality through focusing on the dynamism of his methodized dichotomy. Erich Fromm used dichotomies repeatedly to analyze the composition of society and person. In fact, there were several instances such as "the nonproductive orientation" or "the productive orientation", "necrophilia" or "biophilia", and "to have" or "to be". These ideas are usually thought to be simple dualism. In other words, these ideas are seen to have a naive character that one side of a problem is to be praised and the other side of the problem is to be criticized. So, many studies have pointed out critically that these ideas of Fromm tend to fall into excessive simplification and that he is a naive moralist. In pedagogy, the dichotomies of Fromm are always taken statically in the same way. Because those studies, most of which are developed as "Self-realization" theory, often set up a utopian goal unquestioningly, they have been unable to escape from the above-mentioned criticisms. However, can we find the depth which is beyond simple dualism in Fromm's way of presenting the dichotomy? We should not overlook the fact that Fromm has continued to criticize human reason as one of the members of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, and he did take it into account that persons and societies are full of contradictions. When we see Fromm says that one side of man is good and the other is bad, is it rather natural that we should assume some overlap behind his simple dualism? Assuming that his dichotomy has organic relation within, our understanding about his "self-realization" theory will be reformed to be more sound. On that concern, we take one of Fromm's dualistic ideas, "to have" and "to be," and attempt to analyze the inner relation. For, this dualistic idea is thought to be the most representative and abstract one of Fromm's dualistic ideas. Actually, there are many examples to support this hypothesis on the ideas, "to have" and "to be". For example, his descriptions about "knowledge" seem to have some room to interpret his dualistic ideas and have organic relation with each other. Fromm refers to the possibility of the "productive" knowledge (="being knowledge") without overlooking the importance of the "non-productive" knowledge (="having knowledge"). He thinks the latter knowledge can be changed to the former knowledge. Then, how does "the mode of having" develop to be "the mode of being"? Now, his posthumous manuscripts teach us that Fromm took up such a dichotomy under the overwhelming influence from "alienation" theory of early Marx: Fromm identified the form of "to have" with the structure of private possession which Marx investigated. Throughout our examination to check the crossing between two forms with the process of "Aufhebung" of private property on their texts, Fromm's "self-realization" theory is redefined as the theory of the unique character-building driven by the unity with other people, which can critically reinforce pedagogical thoughts of decentralization at the conceptual level.