THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
Volume 78 , Issue 3
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  • Atsushi ADACHI
    2011 Volume 78 Issue 3 Pages 251-262
    Published: September 30, 2011
    Released: November 28, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The purpose of this study is to clarify how Akai critically adopted the Dalton Laboratory Plan, related to his own religious educational philosophy, as a historical review of the adoption of the Plan in Japan in the 1920's. The adoption of the Dalton Plan has been understood as a reform of educational method, which suggests that new education in the Taisho Period had a close relationship with Taisho democracy. Therefore, Yonekichi Akai, one of the most important proponents of the Plan, has been regarded as a democrat who recommended the Plan in the Japanese educational community of that time. On the other hand, recently, it is being discussed that there is a need to revise the historical perspective which regards new education in the Taisho Period as a democratic educational movement against the power of the nation, thus pointing to the problem of the historical study of education after World War II. In doing so, a contribution can be made toward the relativization of the dichotomous ("nation" versus "democratic education") historical view of the new education in the Taisho Period, if we can revise the history of the adoption of the Dalton Plan using a new perspective. This study investigated following points from this new perspective. First, the author summarized Akai's main points of criticism and understanding of the Dalton Plan. Akai changed his opinion on the Plan and insisted that its aim is socialization in the school, although he initially regarded it as a method of self-study. Akai criticized the concept of "society," which he understood as the basic principle of the Plan, as being too pragmatic, and stated that there were too many indoor activities for pupils in the Plan. Then the author pointed out that such criticism was based on Akai's own religious educational philosophy. Second, the author examined Akai's educational philosophy which he formed before the adoption of the Dalton Plan. Akai thought that true education should inspire pupils from an educator who was in union with God underlying himself. And he insisted that the ideal society which should be constructed needed an education which harmonized freedom and cooperation, based on his historical view point that human kind's history was progressing toward utopia which was rooted in the idea of brotherhood. In addition, he put importance on loving labor and communing with nature as methods of religious education. Third, the author considered how Akai adopted the Dalton Plan, in relation to his own religious educational philosophy. It can be inferred that, for Akai, the Plan met his own religious educational philosophy because it had principles of freedom and co-operation, with a further ideological influence from Emerson. However, after direct interaction with Parkhurst, he changed his opinion and started to criticize the Plan and felt disappointed that she was indifferent toward religion. After that, in Myojo Gakuen which Akai founded himself, he tried to perfect the Plan by educational practice based on his own religious educational philosophy, adopting partially the Plan in the form of pupils' study. From what has been discussed above, the author concluded that Akai critically adopted the Dalton Plan, merging it with his own educational philosophy. And he illustrated a case by which we can relativize the dichotomous historical view point of the new education in the Taisho Period, by reconsidering the history of the adoption of the Dalton Plan in the 1920's in Japan focusing on the relation with the religious spirit of the times.
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