Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
Volume 84 , Issue 2
Showing 1-17 articles out of 17 articles from the selected issue
Special Issue: Sovereignty Education and Neutrality in Education
  • 2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 129
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: October 12, 2019
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  • Mitsugu Kubota
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 130-142
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     Why does citizenship education cause so much confusion in the classroom? What do we need to do in order to conduct citizenship education without the confusion? This research clarifies this point.

     A citizen is a person who has sovereign rights as defined by the Constitution of Japan, which adopts the principle of popular sovereignty. The principle of popular sovereignty is necessary to ensure the existence of a nation that guarantees human rights. The current state of education, however, is alienated from the Japanese Constitution, which is closely linked to citizenship education. That is because the “Amended” Basic Education Law is in violation of the Constitution with regard to the infringement of human rights. In addition, although the Japanese Constitution first came into being in reaction to Japan's war of aggression, the people do not have a shared awareness of the facts of that aggressive action, which was the very point of departure of the Constitution. That is because of the historical revisionist standpoint of the government. In addition, the current political situation has also moved away from a Constitutional basis. Citizenship education, therefore, arouses confusion in the schools and the history of citizenship education is forgotten.

     Citizenship education has been a topic of discussion since the late 1950s. Regarding educational content, Nagai Kenichi raised the issue of the rights of citizenship education calling for guarantees of pacifism and democracy. In response, there was also criticism that the government should not be allowed to interfere in the content of education, rather deciding thereupon through the route of cultural autonomy. In addition to this, educational debate on the issue of “fostering citizenship” was already evident during the latter half of the 1950s in the discussions of the Education Research Conferences of the Japan Teachers’ Union and the Institute for National Education, further enhanced by private education research institutions. As in the case of the classroom practices of Yasui Toshio since the end of the 1970s, there were also signs of further intensification as human education in the citizenship education debate, including teaching methods as well. During the 1990s, however, facing the age of educational crises and reforms, the foundation of the cultural autonomy route began to fall apart.

     “Strengths required as a citizen” are cited as one of the “qualifications and capabilities required in order to respond to the various current issues” presented in a report of the Central Council for Education. Efforts by the government to strengthen citizenship education are a characteristic of neo-liberalism. The question remains of what will become of those who do not fit within the image of “citizen” stipulated by the government.

     But there are also signs of recovery of the cultural autonomy route now. The issue is how to construct a space for more direct discussion among the actors involved on the ground in education, for the sake of citizenship education.

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  • Katsuko Sato
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 143-154
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     After World War Two, civic and political education was encouraged in order to reinforce the new spirit of the Constitution connected with the establishment of kominkan (Public Citizens' Halls). In 1947, the Fundamental Law of Education regulated public adult and community education for the first time. Article 7 thereof regulated the establishment by the State and local governments of public institutions such as libraries, museums and kominkan. The Law of Adult and Community Education, promulgated in 1949, emphasized the role of political education in educating the people as active actors in our democratic society.

     From the 1960s to the 70s, the philosophy of the right to learning of the people was more clearly claimed by popular movements. People had to confront difficult problems in regional community development, in particular serious issues of environmental pollution. To resolve these problems, they needed high-level scientific knowledge. In these processes of social and political learning, the philosophy of the right to learning was developed. The Fourth International Conference of Adult Education of UNESCO in 1985, adopted the Declaration of the Right to Learning as an essential right of human beings.

     However, in the 2000s, especially through the revision of the Fundamental Law of Education, cases of control of freedom of learning or expression in public institutions of adult and community education have increased. This paper discusses the meaning of neutrality of these institutions through the examination of a charge brought by a member of a haiku club in Saitama City. The haiku in question described a women's demonstration in support of Article 9 of the Constitution. In this case, the director of the kominkan refused to print the haiku in the kominkan's newsletter, based on the principle of kominkan neutrality. The issue under examination is the freedom of learning and expression of citizens in learning groups and the right to learning in public institutions of adult and community education.

     Now, in the global society, understanding of different opinions and cultures is more important. Freedom of learning and freedom of expression should be guaranteed in public adult and community education. To realize the right to learning is more significant, and this is itself an issue in citizens' political learning today.

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  • Kiyoshi Karaki
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 155-167
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     The purpose of this study is to clarify theories and methods of policy studies as a way of introducing citizenship education into social studies classes. This study was undertaken for the following reasons. The problem of neutrality in education, which has attracted a lot of attention recently, cannot be solved through a partial discussion on what teachers should pay particular attention to when handling political topics. What is needed is to make political study a routine part of social studies classes. In order to make this possible, it is necessary to clarify the methods by which controversial political problems can be incorporated into teaching materials and classes. This study was implemented by taking the above points into consideration, and was ultimately able to elucidate the following three points.

     First, it was clarified that fostering citizenship, which is a goal of social studies, should be re-interpreted as fostering political literacy when introducing citizenship education into social studies classes, and classes should be planned accordingly. Since the introduction of social studies in Japan in 1947, values based on a critical mindset and a constitutional sensibility have always been important. Based hereon, it becomes possible to understand citizenship as political literacy. Additionally, social studies classes aiming to foster political literacy should focus on “understanding the issues.”

     Second, this study clarified that in order to establish social studies classes that focus on “understanding the issues,” controversial political problems must be incorporated into teaching materials and class design. One method of creating teaching materials is to focus on policies that aim to solve controversial political problems. The educational content of social studies classes was reviewed from a policy perspective. It was found that many policies that could be used as teaching materials had already been incorporated into schools, from elementary schools through high schools. With regard to class design, classes should be designed so as to direct the attention of students to the values that underpin policies and to develop their abilities to solve problems collaboratively.

     Third, this study analyzed one class each from an elementary school, a junior high school, and a high school. It was clarified that policy studies in social studies classes can be sorted into three categories: “policy analysis,” “policy evaluation,” and “policy proposal.” Each can be introduced into any school regardless of its type. However, considering the students' developmental stages and the complexity of the learning process and of the content studied, it is felt that introducing policy analysis in elementary school, policy evaluation in junior high school, and policy proposal in high school would be the most appropriate approach.

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  • Haruhiko Tanaka
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 168-179
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     The voting age in Japan was lowered to 18 from 20 after the House of Councillors election held in July 2016. Debates regarding the age of majority will take place in the National Diet of Japan in 2017. By the 2020s, every Japanese 18-year-old will have the rights and duties of an adult. The age of majority is one of the important issues in matters relating to education, because education is the social function of bringing up children to adulthood. However, research on the definition and age of adulthood is scarce.

     This paper first clarifies the concept of adulthood from the points of view of psychology, pedagogy, and folkloristics. A 15-year-old was widely recognized as an adult in medieval Japan. During the Meiji period, the conscription age was set at 20. In 1896, civil law defined the age of majority as 20 years. The Labour Standards Law and Child Welfare Law, enacted after the Second World War, defined the age of adulthood as 18. As of now, there are two different standards as to the age of adulthood: 18 years and 20 years of age.

     Further, there are two difficulties when we attempt to define the age of adulthood. First, the period of transition from childhood to adulthood has become prolonged. Girls and boys become physically mature in their early teens. However, in modern Japan social recognition of adulthood occurs in the late 20s or even the early 30s. Second, because of the phenomenon of the ‘moratorium’, it is almost impossible to define “reaching adulthood” from the points of view of psychology and pedagogy.

     Next, I investigate the cases of Britain and Japan with regard to the lowering of the age of majority. In Europe and U.S.A., this debate commenced in the late 1960s, when young people protested various political issues in their countries. By the early 1970s, Western societies had accepted 18 as the age of adulthood. Japan started the debate around the year 2000, when 90% of countries had accepted 18 as the age of adulthood.

     Thirdly, I propose a curriculum for citizenship education in view of the lowering of the voting age. Citizenship education in Japan has been offered mainly as part of the subject of social studies. Citizenship education so far has focused on knowledge of democracy, failing to provide skills or form attitudes. Citizenship education in the new era should promote the participation of students through participatory learning. The ESD (Education for Sustainable Development)- Development Education Curriculum (2010) and ‘Citizenship Education Handbook’ (2016) are examples of participatory citizenship education. Two cases in citizenship education in the field of youthwork will be introduced: the Mini-Munich in Germany and the YMCA Global Citizenship Program in Japan.

     Finally, I discuss the effects of the lowering of the age of majority on secondary education. Since 20 has been considered the age of adulthood, high schools are currently not prepared for teaching the curriculum of citizenship education; the oldest high school students are 18. Therefore, not only reorganizing the curriculum of high schools, but changing attitudes on the part of teachers will be required.

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  • Masako Ema Watanabe
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 180-191
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     Using France as an example, this paper proposes a model for the cultivation of political literacy. In this paper, “political literacy” is defined as encompassing “political knowledge” as well as the values, based upon which individuals make judgments that lead to actual political action. In France, a dialectical method that includes writing and discussion is used as a means of reaching consensus. Students first define the terms under discussion (such as “racism”) based on numerous examples from history, then compare differing viewpoints, and address and resolve their contradictions. French students are consciously educated to master this style of reasoning in various subjects from elementary school through the end of secondary education. While it appears to be simply “a style” of reasoning, this style socializes students to think, represent, overcome contradictions, and ultimately act upon correcting political errors according to the logic of this style.

     Drawing from the author's research of French schools, this paper elucidates the process by which students acquire political literacy. History education provides the grounds for argument, while citizenship education provides the concepts required for the above-described “style of reasoning.” Together with the emotions cultivated in French-language and literature education, these are then integrated to form the political literacy acquisition process.

     In conclusion, the way in which the French model addresses the following three issues in political education is presented: (1) How can students' political initiative be cultivated while maintaining a value-neutral education? (2) How can students be prepared for actual political action? (3) Is it possible to provide a uniform political education for students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds?

     In both the structure of French-style essays (dissertation) as well as French-style discussions, one finds an emphasis on a similar set of procedures. By using these agreed-upon procedures, it becomes possible to engage in dialogue and for consensus to be reached between people who have diverse cultural backgrounds, values, and aims. At the same time, the basic style of reasoning also serves as an important means by which individuals can think freely in a multi-dimensional fashion.

     Cultivating a student's political initiative while maintaining political neutrality is seen as difficult because there are many cases in which the former goal conflicts with the latter means of teaching. However, the French method of respecting the means while not paying attention to the goals of individuals skillfully avoids the difficulty surrounding this goal/means conflict in political education. In France, the aim of discussions is not to persuade or defeat one's opponent, but to create a common culture (culture commune) for each individual discussion via the process of defining the words in question.

     In Japan, an American style of reasoning, such as American-style essays and debates, has been used as a model for political education. By presenting the French model in comparison to that of the US, it becomes possible to relativize the latter and show the validity of the alternative model. This would certainly provide an opportunity to build our own style of reasoning as the means of reaching consensus, as well as expressing thoughts in both political education and the actual field of politics.

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  • Kazufumi Akiyoshi
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 192-204
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     This paper traces the historical circumstances of the concept of Taido (attitude) in the prewar period (Meiji, Taisho, and Showa), by extracting and analyzing the discourses dealing with the words and concepts of Taido from the educational discourses in Japan. In particular, it considers the social roles played by discourses of Gakushu Taido (learning attitude) from the Taisho period on.

     In recent years, attention to Taido has become a trend in education, beginning when Taido was established as one of three elements of educational achievement. Behind this, there is an understanding that it is necessary to incorporate Taido into the educational achievement of the student. This can be called the Theory of Effective Attitude Cultivation (defined in this paper), involving logic-based discourse to support and encourage Taido development.

     The challenge of this paper is to answer the following questions by considering the historical circumstances and social meaning: firstly, how the concept of Taido in Japanese education has become a recognition framework of mind and through what process, and secondly how the Theory of Effective Attitude Cultivation was established and disseminated, by focusing on Taido discourses of the prewar period.

     Analysis results indicate that the word Taido goes back to the Meiji period and has undergone a gradual transformation to an intangible concept, internalized in turn as body, body & mind, mind & body, and mind, and that in wartime the discourse of ‘Taido = mind’ was confirmed. As well, the Theory of Effective Attitude Cultivation originated in the 1910s, was theorized as Taido with the aim of ‘autonomy’ in the 1920s and 1930s, and was firmly established and promulgated in the 1930s. However, in the kokumin gakko (national elementary schools) post-1941, it was reconstructed as Taido converted into 'unification' for nurturing ‘Imperial Citizens’.

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Research Note
  • Hiroki Koba
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 205-214
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     The purpose of this paper is to reevaluate Margaret H'Doubler's work by examining the curriculum (course of study) of the dance major that she designed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although some previous research has clarified H'Doubler's theory of dance education, there is little research that examines how the course of study of the dance major reflected her theory. This paper first describes Margaret H'Doubler's method of dance education. Rather than providing one-sided instruction from teacher to student, H'Doubler gave her students some verbal hints and let them explore their bodies and movements in their own ways. In addition, H'Doubler explored the relationship between physical motion and emotion, and thought that dancers' movements reflected their imaginative or creative power. She was concerned with teaching her students dance “as an experience that contributes to a philosophy and scheme of living.” Not only scientific knowledge such as anatomy, physiology, and biology, but also humanistic knowledge was important for studying dance, she thought.

     The paper next examines the course of study that she designed when she established the first dance major in the world in 1926. Looking through the course of study, we can find that it was composed of versatile subjects and quite well-rounded: English, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, history, philosophy, psychology, art history, music, and so on. Compared to the general physical education major at that time, the course of study of the dance major had fewer science-related subjects and more in the humanities. This reflected H'Doubler's theory and approach to dance education. Because H'Doubler thought that dance was more than physical motion, she required her students to take humanistic subjects as well as scientific ones.

     Until her retirement in 1954, H'Doubler taught hundreds of students and cultivated a number of dance educators. Her course of study was the first one in the world in the field of dance or dance education, and she was compelled to address the question of what dance as a discipline should be like. H'Doubler, in that sense, succeeded in developing the course of study of dance without impairing its interdisciplinary nature, and in contributing to forming dance as a amalgam of science and humanity. Future research is needed on the differences of courses of study of later dance programs in other universities from that of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and on the changes in the course of study that H'Doubler developed after her retirement.

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  • Kohei Toyonaga, Kosuke Sudo
    2017 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 215-227
    Published: June 30, 2017
    Released: April 27, 2018

     The purpose of this paper can be summarized in two points. First, this paper attempts to point out the present conditions and problems of previous research on the effects of English education in elementary schools. Second, it analyzes the effects of English education in elementary schools on junior high school students’ English academic achievement, friendly feelings toward foreign countries and consciousness of global human resources, based on large-volume survey data.

     From 2002 on, governmental policy changes in Japan enabled elementary schools to conduct English education to enhance pupils’ understanding of foreign countries and their cultures. In 2011, English education in elementary schools became compulsory in the fifth and sixth grade curricula. Also, the starting grade is to be scheduled earlier according to the Ministry of Education, making English education compulsory from the third grade. However, many educational researchers have been criticizing Japanese educational policy because there is no evidence on whether early English education is beneficial or not.

     Reviewing previous research, we found three main problems therein. First, they did not use large samples for data analysis or control for confounding factors, the most important part of causal inference. Second, they tended to analyze the effect on skills such as listening, speaking, reading, or writing, so the effects on friendly feelings toward foreign countries or consciousness of global human resources were not fully considered. Third, they overlooked the effect of the starting grades In this context, educational research on English education does not present persuasive evidence for current educational policy.

     In this paper, we attempt to analyze research data with large samples, controlling for confounding factors. The data used in this paper were collected from 33 junior high schools (2967 students) in 2009, based on random sampling methods.

     The results of this paper clarify three points: 1) English education in elementary schools affected junior high school students’ English academic achievement only when it was taught from the first or second grades; 2) when controlling for confounding factors, the starting grade has no significant effect on friendly feelings toward foreign countries; 3) it likewise makes no difference in consciousness of global human resources. Therefore, the effects of English education in elementary schools, as shown in previous research, are biased with confounding factors such as cram schools or social status. We concluded that English education researchers must analyze the effect of English education in elementary schools carefully in order to present persuasive evidence for Japanese educational policy.

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Book Review