THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
Volume 80 , Issue 4
Showing 1-15 articles out of 15 articles from the selected issue
Special Issue: Reforming Teacher Education
  • Toshio FUNAKI
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 402-413
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Kadowaki Atsushi introduced the results of the research done by the team represented by Yufu Sawako, which shows that the attitudes of teachers have been changing greatly in recent years. In short, it shows that a rising number of teachers view the profession of teaching in accordance with "the 2009 Model".
    Some features of this view are as follows:
     (a) Accepting the teaching profession as just a job
     (b) Limiting the range of their work as a teacher
     (c) Following obediently the directions of management
     (d) Making an effort to improve children's academic ability (limiting the teaching profession)
    According to the research, teachers today tend to get increased self-esteem and pleasure from their ensured social and economic status as educational personnel, rather than from being autonomous professionals.
    "The 2009 Model" astonished the author. This problem made the author re-acknowledge the importance of cultivating in students a view of education and the teaching profession throughout the course of teacher training.
    No one can understand the postwar history of Japan's teacher training without referring to the conflict between "the open system" and Yokosuka Kaoru's theory of teacher training.
    The author began to study under Miyoshi Nobuhiro in graduate school in the mid 1980's and has been grappling with the history of Japanese teacher training since then. The author learned a lot from Miyoshi's study on the history of teacher training. For instance, prewar teacher training should not be disregarded, it should instead be studied from an objective scientific point of view. Thanks to Miyoshi's theory, the author could reveal the basic problems both prewar and postwar teacher training have in common.
    The conflict between "the open system" and Yokosuka's theory focused on the appropriateness of the idea of teacher training as "Learn to Teach". This conflict stems from the modern Japanese education system in which university (academism) and normal school (teacher training) was separated. Scholars of the prewar generation commonly denied the idea of "Learn to Teach". Haruyama Sakuki (1875-1935), a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, firmly believed that university graduates must engage in education in order to overcome the weakness of normal school which according to him was broad, but shallow education aimed only at making teachers.
    After the war, University (academism) and normal school (teacher training) was integrated under the principle "Teacher Training in Universities". Nevertheless, in practice, they continued to exist in conflict.
    "Teacher Training in Universities" has two problems in practice. One is the fact that professional subject education in national teacher training universities and faculties is lacking in direction. The other is the unspecialized profession of elementary school teachers.
    At the moment, "Teacher Training in Universities" needs to take account of the real nature of university education in order to overcome "the 2009 Model".
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  • Yasuyuki IWATA
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 414-426
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    During the two shifts in political power between the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on 2009 and 2012, teacher education policy in recent Japan seems to be in confusion. New policies to raise teachers' basic status to Master Degree level has been promoted by DPJ, while LDP has started to consider about new plan of long-term internship at schools for new teachers. This confusion has quite a long historical conflict as its background between 'university' and 'pre-service teacher education' in Japan. In Japan, as well as other East Asian areas with Buddhism and Confucianism, teachers are usually expected to have more humanities knowledge in addition to their professional competencies. However, universities in modern Japan have been established as those like the Western model, while universities in modern China have their origin in 'Shuyuan' where young people make total development: both academic and human. Universities in Japan have inevitable insufficiency from the beginning, to develop prospective teachers of 'East Asian' image. In addition, there are no effective nationwide policies of governmental quality control for pre-service teacher education in Japan. Thus in Japan, universities providing pre-service teacher education programme under the 'Open System' are obliged to make 'selection' for excellent prospective teachers with higher motivation, during their undergraduate course by their own way. In this sense, teaching practices in Japan usually take more important roles than other curriculum contents as a way of the 'selection'. Students teachers in Japan are often directed to have good behaviours when they do their teaching practice at schools including their looks such as their dresses, their hair styles, their accessories and so on. These phenomena are quite unique in Japan among East Asia nations. On the other hand, the 'approval system' by the Ministry of Education in Japan has been remarkably fortified these years against universities providing pre-service teacher education programmes. Recent operations of the 'approval system' seem to be led by an opinion that pre-service teacher education programmes in Japan should be provided in certain organizations specialized for teacher education in each university. However, the 'approval system' has its origin in previous 'permitted schools' system for post-secondary schools and institutes with teacher training courses, so 'external factors' such as facilities, subjects, teaching staffs, and plans for teaching practice usually make up much of the procedure. In this way, strengthened operations of the 'approval system' are fearful of infringing upon universities' independence, which are necessary for prospective teachers with enough competencies. At this point, it is no longer effective that teacher education reform in Japan led by authority and control should be reinforced. The crucial content for pre-service teacher education should receive more attention among future discussions on teacher education reform in Japan. Each educator should provide their own teacher education programme in university with enough academic freedom and independence.
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  • Akio NAGAO
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 427-438
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In the last decade, the Japanese government has submitted a series of education reform plans which have culminated in the 2006 revision of the Fundamental Law of Education. In these reform plans, the most crucial issue is how to improve teacher competence while accommodating rapid social changes. In 2006, the Central Council of Education submitted a report titled "The Way of Improve Teachers' Pre-service Education and the Teachers' Licensing System in the Future." This report suggested three points for improving teaching competence and reforming the teacher education system. The first point is to set up "Practical Exercise for Teaching" in the curriculum of teacher training universities. The second point is to found a teacher's graduate school as a new vocational degree course. The thrid point is to introduce a teaching certificate renewal system. Needless to say, these three suggested points will compel more than a few reforms and changes at teacher training universities. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the political meaning of the report submitted in 2006. Setting up the "Practical Exercise for Teaching" aimed to improve and enrich a serious new situation at teacher training universities. In Japan, not only teacher training universities but also many general universities have courses that lead to licensing teachers according to legally stated criterion. If many general universities succeed in producing sufficiently trained teachers through this "Practical Exercise for Teaching," teacher training universities may lose their exclusive position in the market of teacher education. The founding of a teacher's graduate school according to the 2006 report raises the university from teacher pre-service education to a graduate degree. Generally speaking, this should be appreciated by the teacher training universities. However, examining the details of a teacher's graduate school, we see the curriculum in these schools places extreme emphasis on practical aspects and their teaching methods have a kind of uniformity. The introduction of a teacher certificate renewal system will require all teachers to receive 30 classroom hours of instruction every 10 years. If conducted by teacher training universities, this new system may provide possibilities to enlarge their social function by offering meaningful lessons to the teachers. However, with the new system come other problems, such as arranging schedules and preparing materials. Through this analysis of the 2006 report, it can be noted that teacher training universities suffer from more than not a few disadvantages, including the loss of power to deliberate on and autonomously implement their methods of pre-teacher education. Pursuing and realizing teacher education reforms, teacher training universities possess very essential and significant functions. If the education reform plans by the government increase the disadvantages and reduce the power of teacher training universities, real, authentic teacher education reform will face serious crises. In order to overcome these crises, teacher training universities should re-examine teachers' role and try to re-define professionalism of teachers.
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  • Junji BESSO
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 439-452
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This paper discusses the significance and challenges of implementing teacher education standards for ensuring quality of teachers training programs. In order to clarify significance and challenges, the author analyzed an example of adopting teacher education standards developed by Hyogo University of Teacher Education. Prior to the implementation of such standards, theoretical background of teacher education standards was examined by taking examples from overseas. Next, the author asked domestic college instructors about significance of implementing teacher education standards through the survey method. The participants of this survey pointed out the following statements: 'it can clarify standards for ensuring quality of teacher training programs as a college', 'the college can use it for assuring accountability toward the society', 'college instructors can show their students clear goals of each course', 'college instructors can build consensus of the images of ideal teachers to be trained', and 'the students can set goals and evaluate their own learning based on the standards as a frame of reference'. On the other hand, they suggested that classes unrelated to the standards would become less important, teacher-training programs would emphasize only results and outcomes, and contents of teacher-training programs would become uniform with a loss of 'autonomy of higher education instututions' and 'academic freedom' as their challenges. Based upon theoretical analysis of standards overseas and opinions from domestic college instructors, the author analyzed a result of implementing teacher education standards for a teacher-training program at Hyogo University of Teacher Education. At first, it was found that a major significance would be the clarifying competences to be obtained through the 4-year program, and it made it possible for instructors to share images of ideal teachers that the college should target. Secondly, visualizing the corresponding relationship between the standards and curriculum made it possible to acquire findings connected to the curriculum reform. Thirdly, it was meaningful for students to use e-portfolio, with which the students can reflect upon their learning and activities based on teacher education standards. Challenges are, at first, we need to find out how to let students understand the meanings of contents in teacher education standards. Secondly, we have to let students feel the significance of recording and storing their learning and activities in their e-portfolios. Thirdly, it is our challenge to let those students to understand the importance of recording and storing the information on the worksheets of each year, particularly those who would not record their activities nor participate in the reflection seminars.
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  • Hiroyuki YAMADA
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 453-465
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Distrust and criticisms of teachers, in particular a conviction about "the decline of teachers' ability", have been a precondition when educational policies around teachers and teacher training are established. The word of "the decline of teachers' ability" has been used broadly regardless of a lack of evidence. However, it is very difficult to examine a decline scientifically. This article will discuss the "decline of teachers' ability" using statistical data. The data used in this article are not enough to measure the teachers' ability, but we can estimate the status of teachers' ability using these data. We will examine the statistics about disciplinary action against teachers, teachers with insufficient ability and competition rates of employment exams for teaching. After that, using survey research for teachers, teacher training system and working environments of teachers will be discussed. The results will be as follows. 1) We cannot have the definite evidence to prove the decline of teachers' ability. The rise in the number of disciplinary actions, physical punishment and obscenity incidents by teachers and insufficient abilities of teachers, have been used as evidences for the necessity of educational reforms. However, the number of these incidents is extremely low. We do not have the urgent need to reform educational systems around all teachers and teacher training. 2) In recent years, teachers' ability might deteriorate because teaching as an occupation has become unattractive owing to aggravation of their working circumstances. It will be estimated that the recent educational policies based on marketization have made the working circumstances of teachers worse. 3) Teachers relatively appreciate their training courses in their college days. In particular, practice teaching and monitorial teaching is highly regarded. 4) For the development of teachers, their colleagues especially senior teachers, have great influence. Teachers have circumstance under which they can develop themselves with collegiality. 5) However, recent aggravation of their working places conditions might spoil their collegiality. Educational reforms have not improved teachers' ability, but they might have made teachers' ability worse. Based on these results we will discuss the following: 1) We have to improve working conditions for teachers first. To make teaching an attractive occupation and to recruit teachers with high ability, their working circumstances must be changed. 2) The top-down system of educational administration deprives teachers of their autonomy. As a profession, teachers have to recover their autonomy. 3) To recover teachers' autonomy and to make the teaching profession attractive, we must retrieve trust for teachers. Educational reforms based on distrust for teachers never raise their ability.
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  • Toru MORI
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 466-477
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This paper aims to investigate and indicate contemporary views of the reform of teacher education. Therefore, we reflect on the history of research into educational practice and the reform of teacher education since the 1980s. At the University of Fukui, our colleagues work continuously with our region's schools in order to support and promote child-learning and teacher-growth. The Graduate school of professional development of teachers was established as a primary means to support child-learning and teacher-growth. Three main areas of opinion were canvassed at the faculty meeting, all based on the research of educational practice and the reform of teacher education: (1) The Vision of Teacher Education at Faculties of Education for the Reconstruction of Schools and Teacher Education; (2) The Vision of the Faculty of Education and Regional Studies in the 21st Century: Reflective Institution of Education, Arts & Sciences, and Research for the Collaboration of Communities and Universities; and, (3) Reflective Institutions for Professional Learning Communities: A Design for Teacher Education in the 21st Century. We view the reform of teacher education in Japan and the World as being crucial and thus research it to try to create an ideal vision for the 21st Century. We propose reform based on schools' and learners' needs and advocate the necessary reform of both graduate and undergraduate schools at universities.
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  • Sawako YUFU
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 478-490
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This paper considers the issue of jissenteki-sidouryoku, a term used by the Ministry of Education to mean the abilities needed to solve serious problems with the Japanese school system nowadays. First, I summarize the present situation of teacher training in terms of the fostering of jissenteki-sidouryoku, and second, I outline the anticipated results of this reform. Finally, I indicate how, under this situation, we should conceptualize an image of researchers responsible for training students who hope to be teachers. Although it is not completely clear what the term jissenteki-sidouryoku means in practice, reform of teacher education with this goal in mind is nevertheless proceeding in two directions. (1) The first direction is to help students gain self-discipline and experience in school settings, which means providing them with ample opportunities to function as interns, aides, or student teachers during their education. Achieving this goal will also involve strengthening linkages between universities, educational committees, and schools. (2) In addition, however, new standards or criteria that properly assess students' skills and knowledge in the classroom in terms of jissenteki-sidouryoku are being developed for student teachers, beginning teachers, and so on, by various concerned institutions. However, both these directions of teacher education reform many encounter serious problems. (1) Although students certainly learn many roles from their experiences in different school settings and job roles, such a program only lets them adapt to the current state of school culture. As a result, these activities strengthen the traditional school culture more and more, when the ultimate goal is to change it to reflect a changing society and the changing needs of students. (2) It is unlikely that teaching standards will ever be able to adequately reflect the specific situation of each school, since to apply across institutions, they must first reflect the common conditions among schools. Moreover, often when such standards are implemented, inexperienced teachers will view them not merely as an index of teaching effectiveness but as the purpose of their daily activities, a rule to be adhered to. Thus, effective educational reform focused on fostering jissenteki-sidouryoku for teachers operating in a changing society is not yet available. In the latter part of this paper, I will consider the following two. First, we, as researchers, must bring ourselves to understand what we mean by jissenteki-sidouryoku, and in that sense, we have to clarify teachers' process of professional development. Research findings from adjacent fields, for example cognitive psychology, business administration, and so on, are available for the consideration of this issue. Second, we have to consider the background of the use of the term jissenteki-sidouryoku. Probably, the idea that jissenteki-sidouryoku is a useful key term for the professional development of teachers is misleading. What teachers really need is knowledge about postmodern society and the changing conditions outside of schools. Universities responsible for teacher education should offer courses in theory or knowledge of relations between schools and society.
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Paper
  • Zibo LIN
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 491-502
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The purpose of this paper is to clarify the characteristic of moral education during Mori Arinori's tenure as Minister of Education, especially its structural differences from the Imperial Rescript on Education, by examining the contents of the Ministry of Education ethics textbook entitled "Rinrisho". Although previous research has pointed out the possibility of multiple ideas of modern education in Mori's Educational Legislation, how the ideas concretely emerged in terms of moral education has not yet been properly examined. This paper will fill this void by considering Mori's expectations of moral education through an analysis of "Rinrisho", a textbook that was created for the newly established subject of "rinri" (ethics). As an important project by the Ministry of Education, the compilation of "Rinrisho" was carried out at the initiative of Mori and involved quite a few eminent scholars. But what was its aim? Current scholarship of "Rinrisho", which mostly focused on its description of social relationships, and as such, has regarded either the lack of emphasis on the sovereign-subject relationship ("Kun-shin no jo"), or the value placed on emotion in social relationships as the essential message of this work. This paper, however, offers a different conclusion by examining the distinction made between "rinri" (ethics) and "dotoku" (morality) in the explanatory notes from the final edition of "Rinrisho". "Dotoku" referred to both earlier "shushin" (morals) education in secondary schools by the mid 1880's, and the "gimu" (duty) education offered by a textbook chosen by Mori entitled "Fushi Dotokugaku" (A Japanese translation of "Sittenlehre für konfessionslose Schulen"). "Rinri", however, in response to the criticism of "Rinrisho" s pilot edition by scholars like Fukuzawa Yukichi, was contrasted with this "dotoku" as a more fundamental and theoretical conception of morality. Moreover, even though "Rinrisho" appears to prioritize emotion ("jo") in the various social relationships such as one's parents, country, and sovereign, in fact, this emotion was considered as subject to the control of the intellect ("shiso"). The logical structure of "Rinrisho" therefore was premised on the ability of individuals to act on their own ethical discretion, a stance that differs radically from that of the Imperial Rescript on Education that had placed ultimate ethical discretion with the Emperor.
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  • Shimpei SATO
    Type: Article
    2013 Volume 80 Issue 4 Pages 503-514
    Published: December 30, 2013
    Released: April 04, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Japanese Education Law Studies have been seeing a special type of legality as important. It is the legality which is derived from modern educational theory, and then the difference between Education Law and education itself become unimportant. Education Law Studies described themselves as if they embody the educational ideal. But such kind of situation concealed a critical difference which lies between law and education: the difference of time structures. In the case of the expulsion in Kobe technical college, this difference became a serious problem. The student who had been expelled and was plaintiff, won the case, and punishment of expulsion was canceled by court. He became a student of Kobe technical college again. But he took 5 years to win the case. Facing the fact that his learning process had been interrupted for such a long time, can we say that Justice was brought to him? Most of all jurists and lawyer did not point this problem out. Why did they not do that? If they cannot make an issue of this problem because the idea of legality of the Education Law restricts their way of thought, not jurists but only educators might be able to problematize it. N. Luhmann pointed out the difference of time structure between each Social System. Each system works with its own perspective of time, and they also have their own past and future. In Law system, it cannot work when it thinks about the future too much. Possibility in the future, it may be the ambiguity, could threaten legal practice at the present. It is Risk. To function, legal practice exclude this risk effectively. But J. Derrida explained the relationship between legal practice and future differently. Legal practice, if it wishes to approach special needs for justice, has to break down the previous limitations of legality. It is a decision for the future. Then legal decision will become contaminated by future's risk, but Derrida said this is required for searching for justice. And this phenomenon means that approaching something out of law, which may be de facto in fact. In this context, idea of legality without future's risk must be changed. Not legality, but suspension is important. Suspension also has another meaning in administrative law. When court process for cancelling punishment takes a long time, the plaintiff needs to require suspension of the punishment's effect, because his or her prejudice will become much greater during the trial process. In educational cases, the prejudice of student who was punished will become greater too. To remedy time profit in education, legal practice excluding future's risk and idea of legality, are useless. Suspensible but risky decision is needed. In previous studies about education and law, such kind of thought was not the principle. We must recognize that to remedy something educational special profit, separating education from law itself, is a risky action, but it is the start in approaching education with justice.
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