Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
Volume 81 , Issue 2
Showing 1-18 articles out of 18 articles from the selected issue
Special Issue: Globalization and the Contents of Education
  • Norio IKENO
    2014 Volume 81 Issue 2 Pages 138-149
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 18, 2015
     In this paper, citizenship education in contemporary global society will be considered as a form of education for membership. From this perspective, I shall emphasize that what is newly required of citizenship education is not becoming a citizen or developing citizens, as has been the aim until now, but rather forming people who can create a public sphere.
     In recent years, some children have not been engaged in this common sphere. These children stay in their own sphere, and do not try to move into the common sphere. For example, they gather only within their own ethnic group or cultural group. Or perhaps they spend the whole day shut away in their own room. They make no attempt to enter into the community or society and to share the common sphere with others. They reject socialization, live in their own private sphere, and distance themselves from the community, society and nation.
     On the other hand, there are other people who would like to be part of their community and society, but who cannot manage to enter society. They are excluded from community and society, and so create their own groups. In such groups, morals and ethics are intended only for the purposes of the group, not for all people. Similarly, regulations and rules are just for their own group, and not for all people. In this situation, academic knowledge, understanding and skills are used only for the benefit of specific interests, so these groups do not function effectively for the benefit of all.
     In the past, inclusion in or exclusion from society was an external decision, not an internal matter for constituent members of society, especially children, who had no right to make a personal choice. Decisions about inclusion and exclusion thus took a negative form for children.
     In this context, some nations and societies reconstructed the relationship of inclusion and exclusion and, like England, introduced citizenship education into school education in an effort to implement education for direct membership. The aim of this education was not to make students accept the nation state and society, but to create a public sphere in the classroom, transforming the classroom sphere into a common sphere where the principles of democratic rule could be experienced and accepted.
     In the present situation, socialization is metamorphosing into private individual issue, which can be explained as the expansion of “privatization.” Consequently, it is possible to interpret the expansion of privatization in society as a movement to construct new relationships in society from the private domain. However, many views do not concur with this interpretation, seeing the increase of the private sphere as an escape to a shelter outside society. When people distance themselves from society, they threaten the existence of that society. People are required to relate to organizations that represent society and the nation. This is where education is needed to develop people as members of society, the nation and the organization. It may be citizenship education which is able to fulfil the role of this new type of education for membership. Education for membership carried out through modern public education and school education is not sufficient, and new initiatives are required. New citizenship education can be conceived as a form of education for membership that is different from traditional forms.
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    2014 Volume 81 Issue 2 Pages 150-163
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 18, 2015
     The purpose of this paper is to “tame” the literacy advocated by OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) by exploring what characteristics it has and how it has made an impact on the educational policies of participating countries. I. Hacking (1990) used the phrase “taming of chance” to express the increase in controllability of people and society through collecting and analyzing statistically relevant data at the time of the formation of the nation states of western Europe in the 19th century. Similarly, PISA has devised indicators for the capacities to be developed across cultures and countries, collected and analyzed relevant data, promoted the comparison and policy borrowing between countries, and constructed a global standard of education in the globalized world at the turn of this century. We can call it the “taming of educational diversity.”
     The “taming of PISA literacy” in this paper refers to disclosing what PISA literacy really is and making its impact controllable. This has been done by examining the methods of assessing student capacities at global and national levels and placing PISA literacy in the framework of different concepts of literacy constructed since the 1950s.
     PISA has developed basic indicators, contextual indicators, and trend indicators as part of the OECD’s INES (Indicators of Education Systems). Generally, educational indicators tend to be normative. PISA’s indicators have become even more so because its detailed data analysis based on trend indicators makes it possible to compare not only student performances at a point in time but also the extent of their improvement. PISA thus functions as a tool for the promotion of education reform as well as the international benchmark of education. PISA actually assisted in constructing an evidence-based improvement cycle in Japanese education reform. What underpins PISA’s influence is the logic of magnet economies, which advocates that a highly skilled national workforce is a critical factor for attracting foreign investment and promoting economic growth. As shown by the increase in countries participating in PISA, this logic is spreading throughout the world from the developed countries, further reinforced with the recent logic of ‘race against the machine.’
     The characteristics of PISA literacy are made clear by comparing the different concepts of literacy constructed since 1950s: functional, cultural, and critical literacies. PISA literacy is similar to functional literacy, which developed an orientation toward work by stressing its contribution to economic growth in the human resource development policies of the 1960s. In addition, PISA literacy lacks the background content knowledge of each particular culture in contrast to cultural literacy as well as the perspective of the politics of meaning-making in contrast to critical literacy. Therefore PISA literacy is characterized by a functional literacy hypothesized as globally applicable, which is deficient in content knowledge and awareness of politics.
     What is required of us is our own literacy for reading the inner meaning of PISA literacy and its impact. Such understanding would enable us to tame PISA literacy.
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    2014 Volume 81 Issue 2 Pages 164-175
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 18, 2015
     The aim of this paper is to analyze the policies discussed since 2000 regarding “Global Human Resource Development” among actors (mass media (newspapers), industry, government (the Ministries of Economy, Trade and Industry [METI] and of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [MEXT]), and universities), to examine what stances this discussion takes on “Localism,” and to consider the effect of this discussion on higher education.
     Materials for analysis are newspaper articles, research reports or proposals from industry or the Ministries, business plans of universities regarding “Global Human Resource Development,” and statements regarding organizational reform of universities.
     As the result of the analysis, five findings have been clarified. 1. Japanese industries need a new type of employee to develop overseas branches. They call this new type of employee “Global Human Resources” and have worked toward their cultivation since 2000. 2. It is not easy for companies to develop so-called “Global Human Resources” in their in-service training. They require the collaboration of the Ministries (METI and MEXT in order to develop these types of people, with universities targeted as sites for the actual development. The conditions to meet these requirements are thought to include study-abroad programs and higher levels of practical English (ie TOEFL or TOEIC) in university education. 3. The MEXT is assigned to play the role of supporting universities by distributing a competitive budget to promote study abroad and increase English ability (this is called the “Global Human Resource Development Enterprise”). 4. Prestigious universities try to organize educational programs for the purpose of study abroad and practical English in compliance with the MEXT to acquire the budget. 5. On the other hand, small universities which are not affected by the government competitive budget try to follow this movement. They reform their faculties or departments to meet “Global Human Resource Development.”
     The issue of “Global Human Resource Development” for economic globalization was originally a corporate in-house concern. This local issue has become a national issue in terms of collaboration between industries and the Ministries. Now “Global Human Resource Development Enterprise” is becoming an all Japan issue. The focus on university students' study abroad and increased English test scores as a solution remains based on the same notion of catch-up to developed societies as in the past. It is also a local discussion.
     Globalization brings new issues which cannot be solved by a single country and call for collaboration among countries: ie environmental problems, resources and energy issues, and international conflicts. It is key for universities to develop students who can take on these global issues. Japanese universities should deeply consider this point.
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  • Masako Ema WATANABE
    2014 Volume 81 Issue 2 Pages 176-186
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 18, 2015
     The number of schools that have been authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) has seen a remarkable increase globally since 2000. The program now includes public schools, since the educational philosophy and content of the IB corresponds exactly to the 21st century skills that are recommended by the OECD. This paper uses the example of the IB and its “international standard curriculum,” now also being adopted in some Japanese schools, to define the essence of ideal educational content in the globalized world and its current impact on socialization and public education. In addition, four patterns of adoption of the IB are defined through examples from around the world, and the characteristics of the Japanese case are extracted.
     The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is characterized by the following three core elements. “Theory of knowledge (TOK)” teaches students to reflect on the actuality and nature of knowledge by learning about different ways of acquiring knowledge and also the essence of different academic disciplines. “Extended essay” is quite similar to an undergraduate thesis. “Creativity, action, service (CAS)” aims to develop creative, physical and social skills. These elements have an influence not only on one’s academic studies but also on reconstructing the textbook knowledge through a focus on “research and writing.” Socialization through this kind of knowledge prompts students to think of themselves as a cosmopolitan elite. At the same time, the academic knowledge provided by the IBDP differentiates and separates IB students from other students in the local community who are studying the national curriculum in the same school.
     Four patterns of factors which have promoted the adoption of the IB can be observed. (1) In Britain, the IB program has been encouraged by educational reform, especially the reform of upper secondary education, and the programs are used as part of a response to globalization; (2) In the US and Canada, the IB program has been accepted as a special program under the school choice system; (3) China has introduced the IB program in order to increase their international competitiveness; and (4) Mongolia has partly adopted an international program to catch up with the effects of globalization in their modernized schools. One aspect of the ongoing review of current educational practice in Japan is the re-evaluation of existing educational practice, extra-curricular activities in particular, in the light of the IB’s core elements. The IB curriculum is being introduced through cooperation between schools and local communities.
     Overall, as a model for interdisciplinary education, experiential learning, and an inquiry-based curriculum, the IB has a considerable influence on curricula and educational policy around the world. At the same time, the IB is creating new cultural capital through particular kinds of knowledge content and socialization. Modern education in some parts of the world is shifting the focus from “access and equality” to “relevance and polarization,” and the IB is playing a major role in this transition. The current Japanese approach to the IB may run counter to such a trend.
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  • Takahiro KONDO
    2014 Volume 81 Issue 2 Pages 187-199
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 18, 2015
     As so-called globalization chips away at nation states, history education, which has taken shape and developed hand in hand with them, is pressed to make a choice as to whether it should transform itself proactively in response to this trend or take a stand against it by hanging on to conventional national history education. Such awareness is not found exclusively in Japan but can indeed be regarded as common to today’s world. This paper intends to validate the relevance of this awareness with a focus on history education in Germany and, in conjunction, examine the implications of this awareness for history education in Japan.
     One of the disciplines that could presumably offer material for history education that is suitable to today’s world is global history. This approach, one that reflects an endeavor to portray, as an alternative to national history, how the global world has formed, was introduced into the 1996 National Standards for world history education in the U.S. and has gained a certain level of widespread recognition in school education there as well. In Germany, by contrast, the courses of study of its respective states continue recount views centered around the conventional German and European history. This likely reflects the circumstances at German schools that, unlike their U.S. counterparts, do not separate national history and world history.
     A more in-depth look leads to the revelation of different aspects, however. Analysis of the treatment of various immigrants (a leading issue for research in global history) in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia used the example of the 1948 and subsequent courses of study for use in Hauptschule history classes in that state, bringing to light that while the courses of study up until the 1950s made references to the Germanic Migrations in the 4th to 5th centuries and the migrations from the areas along the Rhine River to Eastern Europe in the 12th to 14th centuries, as well as the German immigrants who settled in America in the 17th to 20th centuries, from 1989 onward these events were no longer mentioned and, from 1974 on, their places were taken by an account of the Muslim immigrants who migrated to Germany in the postwar period.
     Thus, history education in Germany has tried to adapt to the changing world by introducing elements of global history in part while maintaining the framework of national history. History education is charged with the task of fostering the “capacity for democracy” in citizens, and it is therefore not acceptable to make a haphazard transition in its focus of discussion from nation states to global markets.
     The implications of this point become much clearer when it is approached in the context of history education in Japan. While world history teachings at high school in Japan has actively taken in global history, the curriculum of other domains of history, most notably Japanese history, is shying away from changing the existing state of affairs, a chasm that is making it difficult to foster a capacity for democracy that is commensurate with the new world environment. The example of Germany appeals for the need to give thought to a realistic approach in history education, taking the perspective that globalization and nation states have evolved in close interconnection in the context of modern history, rather than viewing them in a confrontational light.
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  • Kanako SUEOKA
    2014 Volume 81 Issue 2 Pages 200-213
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 18, 2015
     The aim of this article is to explore how school practices can contribute to developing the language proficiency of low SES children in order to combat lifelong poverty and prevent the reproduction of poverty generation after generation. As the future Japanese schools are expected to become more diverse with children from multifaceted socio-cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, the author has focused on Dutch urban primary schools to delve into the implementation of school practice in the context of high concentrations of children with non-Western immigrant backgrounds in order to draw out the suggestive implications.
     The author has focused on the above-mentioned Dutch case mainly due to the following three factors. First, because of its geographical and social environment, the Netherlands is considered a country where employment policy and educational policy are strongly associated, a key aspect in the worldwide industrial transformation today. Second, the Netherlands is historically well known as a country of ‘tolerance’ and ‘pillarization,’ receiving many immigrants and refugees especially since World War II; however, it appears to have shifted its immigration policy through strengthened regulations. The Civic Integration Act enacted in 2007 now obliges people to have a certain level of Dutch proficiency as citizens for the sake of social integration. To that end, it is worth studying cases under this policy at deprived primary schools with high concentrations of non-Western children. Due to combined factors such as dynamic demographic trends in the past 30 years and a unique education system, urban primary schools have been segregated to the extent that quite a number of schools have a high concentration of non-Western children. Therefore, this provides a good opportunity to study cases focusing on the practices implemented for low SES children. Third, the Dutch school effectiveness as a whole can be nevertheless deemed high to some extent, viewed from a number of prior studies regardless of this large influx of non-Western children since the 1980s.
     This study uses ethnographic methodology. Participant observation and interviews with management teams and classroom teachers were conducted at two different primary schools (one in The Hague and the other in Rotterdam), where 84% and 94% of the pupils respectively have non-Western backgrounds.
     The main outcomes of this study comprise two aspects. The first is that it is necessary not only to secure enough staff and to collaborate as a team, but also to have good leadership and an organized system for effectively utilizing ICT technology as a school organization overall. This would compensate for the shortage of teachers and prove essential for meeting individual educational needs. The second is that the whole school organization should be aware of the socio-cultural and socio-economic backgrounds of all children, with a sociological perspective on a globalized and knowledge-based society where language proficiency is one of the keys to avoiding, or failing to avoid, lifelong poverty. This would enhance daily educational practices in order to meet the individual needs of every child through a collaborative school organization.
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  • Hiroyuki ISHIKAWA
    2014 Volume 81 Issue 2 Pages 214-226
    Published: 2014
    Released: June 18, 2015
     This article examines education reforms, mainly in the national curriculum, carried out in response to the advance of globalization since the mid-1990s in the Republic of Korea. In an effort to meet the increasing demands of globalization, the Korean government initiated the implementation of a string of economic, social, cultural, and educational reforms that were implemented throughout the decade of the 1990s. In 1995 Korea joined the WTO, incorporating its economy in the global economic system. On May 31 of the same year, the Korean Presidential Commission on Education Reform released the “5/31 Education Reform Plan”, in which it recommended several important education reforms to promote national progress through the development of Korea’s human resources in the age of globalization. This neoliberal report which outlined plans to encourage diversity, autonomy, competition, and evaluation, has had considerable impact on innovations in the national curriculum since the late 1990s. The Asian financial crisis of 1997 further emphasized the need for educational reforms to help the nation and its people survive the increasingly knowledge-based society of 21st-century.
     In 1997 English education was formally instituted at the primary school level, and the 7th national curriculum was revised in accordance with the policies specified in the 5/31 education reform plan. Additional revisions were implemented in 2007 and 2009. Relevant features of the national curriculum include the emphasis on English education that develops communicative competency, greater diversification in the levels of educational content, expanded options to provide education more suitable for the ability and aptitude of each individual learner, and the incorporation of experience-oriented approaches that aim to improve students’ abilities in the areas of thinking, problem solving, and creativity, considered essential elements for competitiveness in a contemporary society. In addition, the curriculum pursues efficiency in learning and seeks to enable students to achieve better results in less time and at a lower cost. An important indicator for measuring efficiency in learning in Korea is the multilateral comparative findings based on results of the PISA.
     Korea’s educational reforms and national curriculum innovations have several points in common with those carried out in Japan. Both countries have introduced neoliberal educational reforms in response to the advance of globalization. Korea’s approach, however, differs in that it has responded to international developments in education more quickly and has implemented bolder reforms. Also, compared to Japan, Korea has clearer objectives and guidelines regarding innovation in educational content and tends to emphasize global standards as its main benchmarks when developing and implementing educational innovations. Lastly, the innovations in the national curriculum set the development of Korea’s human resources for economic development as a fundamental goal. These differences between Korea and Japan have been attributed to each countries’ awareness of (and a sense of crisis regarding) globalization, which in turn arose from differences in their political systems, economic structures, and the roles in the global economic system.
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Book Review