Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
Volume 85 , Issue 4
Showing 1-16 articles out of 16 articles from the selected issue
Special Issue: How did We Face Discrimination, Exclusion and Poverty in Educational Research?
  • 2018 Volume 85 Issue 4 Pages 419
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2019
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  • Koukichi SHIMIZU
    2018 Volume 85 Issue 4 Pages 420-432
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2019

     The aim of this paper is to re-examine the history of ‘Dowa education’ (Dowa kyoiku), which has been developed mainly in western Japan over the past fifty years or more, and to consider its real values in order to improve the present situation of the contemporary Japanese society, sometimes called a ‘parentocracy’. The buraku liberation movement behind Dowa education has been combatting the persistent discrimination against Buraku people in Japan, and achieving a lot for their younger generation.

     Dowa education has been refined theoretically under the name of ‘liberation education’ (kaiho kyoiku) in the 1970s and 80s. In this paper, the author intends to extract four essential ingredients of liberation education, which can be seen as anti-theses to ordinary school culture in modern society. These are 1) cross-curricular study of human rights (especially on buraku issues), 2) the method of building unity in student groups, 3) the concept of gakuryoku (scholastic ability) for liberation, and 4) the idea of linking education to the social movements of the greater society.

     From the 1990s onwards, a new word, human rights education, has often been used for Dowa education, after the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education launched a new era for school education. The spirit of Dowa education, the discrimination against buraku people and the constant struggle to surpass it, has given way to the new concept of human rights education, taking actions to respect people as irreplaceable individuals.

     Thus Dowa education, which has been renewed constantly with the world’s trends, can be called a very important educational movement in the era of parentocracy.

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  • Ryuhei KAWAI
    2018 Volume 85 Issue 4 Pages 433-445
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2019

     The purpose of this paper is to examine the meaning of school as a ‘place’ to access education and life for children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities, by considering the process of establishing school education for these children in the period during which the compulsory system of special schools for children with disabilities was created, in 1979.

     Children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities had been considered “uneducable” until then. Establishing special education for them required life-sustaining and health maintenance. It was necessary to create educational objectives and contents and recreate schools as institutions supporting their special educational needs, through connecting medical and welfare practices as well as life and child-rearing in the home. I considered this subject through a case study of a facility for children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities and a special school for pupils with physical handicaps in the period during which the compulsory system of schools for children with disabilities was created.

     Special schools for children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities were established as a ‘place’ for various needs for human life. As for education and pedagogy for children with disabilities postwar, the educational function of special schools was expanded by reconstructing the needs for human life with pedagogy, so as to create a school system including children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities without exception. From the viewpoint of inclusive education, the theoretical and practical issues of special pedagogy for children with disabilities include combining special educational needs with embedded educational needs for a place.

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  • Eisuke HISAI
    2018 Volume 85 Issue 4 Pages 446-457
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2019

     The aim of this article is to reveal the relationship between adult education activities intended to address the problems of “poverty” and the “institutional framework of post-war adult education” in Japan.

     It was immediately after World War II that the roles of municipalities for adult education were prescribed clearly and systematically. In this period the establishment of kominkans was positively promoted, mainly in rural areas. This policy aimed at promoting innovations to overcome irrational styles of living and undemocratic customs in rural areas by means of adult education activities for rural residents themselves, supported by kominkans. In addition, these activities were based on the cooperativity among the people of village communities. However, the adult education staffs in urban municipalities took this “institutional framework of post-war adult education” as suitable only for rural areas. They understood this framework centering on kominkans as designed for rural areas.

     In the 1960s and thereafter, people involved with adult education discussed in earnest the unsuitability of this institutional framework for municipal adult education in urban areas. The urban municipalities in this period positively stated in their administrative plans the difficulties of promoting adult education within this framework.

     At the same time, many proposals for the drastic innovation of kominkans in urban areas were also offered. The philosophies of these proposals varied, but they shared the idea that a “new type of cooperativity” in urban communities independent from traditional social bonds should be generated by the learning activities of local residents at kominkans. The philosophies of urban adult education in the high-growth period, which intended to generate new types of cooperativity, were based on the given institutional framework, the exact opposite of that of adult education in rural areas immediately after World War II, based on the given traditional cooperativity in village communities. These new proposals, however, tended to overlook the problems of “poverty” in urban areas.

     In the 1980s, adult education scholars began to pay attention to the “forgotten people” who were ignored in the philosophies of urban adult education or of kominkans as proposed in the 1960s and 70s. From the 2000s on, they also began to discuss the possibility of adult education activities confronting “social exclusion.”

     However, the institutional framework of post-war adult education, which still has a latent influence on activities municipal adult education activities, does not necessarily enhance the feasibility of adult education activities confronting “marginal poverty” and “demoting poverty” in contemporary society. This framework, which includes the idea of “cooperativity in communities” as a fundamental element, was created based on the “integrated poverty” of village communities immediately after World War II, not on the “marginal poverty” or “demoting poverty” in the contemporary society.

     Today we must examine the influence of this institutional framework on the actual activities of adult education, and deliberate upon the realistic role of municipal adult education with regard to the problems of “marginal poverty” and “demoting poverty.”

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  • Akira IWASHITA
    2018 Volume 85 Issue 4 Pages 458-470
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2019

     Civil society and voluntarism are sometimes regarded by neoliberal pedagogy as alternatives to state public education system, which are suitable for the post-welfare state era. However, civil society and voluntary associations in history not only promoted minority inclusion but also excluded minority and discriminated groups through its democracy. The aim of this study is to explore the process of ‘democratic exclusion’ in popular education in early nineteenth century Britain, comparing the English case and the Irish case. The English case suggests that voluntary associations themselves could bring about and justify exclusion by their subscriber democracy. The Irish case shows that arrangement of the relations between state and civil society could not only include minorities in civil society, but exclude them from state politics. These findings suggest that reevaluation of civil society by neoliberal pedagogy is seriously defective with regard the historical perspective.

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  • Manami YAMAGUCHI
    2018 Volume 85 Issue 4 Pages 471-482
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2019

     The aim of this paper is to outline teachers' perceptions of the roles and expectations which schools and families play in education, by investigating cases where it is difficult to gain cooperation from the family.

     Cooperation between schools and families is clearly required both legally and practically. Previous research has focused on the promotion of cooperation between schools and families. However, the content of the cooperation itself has rarely been questioned. It is important to consider that such cooperation exposes socioeconomic gaps among families. Nevertheless, teachers in Japan tend to make the gap invisible and formalize outward cooperation between schools and families. Although most families in Japan used to obey the requirements of schools, this has changed.

     The relationship or cooperation between schools and families is connected to the problems of power and inequality. Therefore, measures are necessary in order to ensure that children from socio-economically difficult backgrounds are not disadvantaged. It is the school districts with many families who suffer socioeconomical difficulties that face problems of cooperation with the family.

     Therefore, this article investigates the case of such schools, and through school documents and interviews with teachers, clarifies what is perceived concerning the scope of the schools and families involved. Specifically, this research explores what kind of perspective the teachers have and how they respond to the families who cannot fully adhere to the roles the school seeks.

     As a result, the following has been discovered.

     1. Although schools indicate the elements of cooperation required for families, there is a gap between documents and teachers' practice.

     2. Schools are making efforts to compensate for some of the roles which some families cannot always fulfill. These elements are more directly linked to the guarantee of academic achievement. At the same time, teachers worry that for the school to undertake a more dominant role may deprive students of the ability to study alone in the long run.

     3. When teachers themselves reluctantly take on the role of the family in a school, they impose restrictions on their actions so as not to over-assist or overwork. On the other hand, they believe that it is their job to create an environment for children to learn at school.

     In conclusion, it was discovered that teachers vary the role played by the families facing socioeconomic difficulties and the role that teachers themselves play depending on the school's situation. Teachers negotiate family-school relationships from the viewpoint of promoting students' academic achievement. However, no questions were raised as to the roles actually required for families, and there was no suggestion to change the ideology that families should cooperate with schools. This demonstrates that the ideology has been widely accepted. Critical examination from the political and structural aspects is needed for the relationship between families and schools in areas with different social conditions.

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Research Note
  • Kenji MAEHARA
    2018 Volume 85 Issue 4 Pages 483-492
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2019

     The purpose of this paper is to analyze the significance of in-service teacher training reforms since 2012 in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is said that the two motifs of this reform are the “regionalization” and “academicization” of in-service teacher training. In-service teacher training is no longer organized by the educational administration, but supplied by competence centers for teachers, located at eight universities and some adult educational facilities in Lower Saxony.

     The centers may organize programs of in-service teacher training in their allocated areas on their own recognizance. Through this reform, the possibility of providing in-service teacher training courses better suited to the needs of local schools has been expanded. On the other hand, “academicization,” expected to make good use of the fruits of university research for teacher training, has not made much progress. According to a report from the Board of Accounting Audit of Lower Saxony, the training participation rate has improved as a whole after the reforms. Although the participation rate and composition of in-service teacher training programs vary greatly from center to center, these reforms have been rated sufficiently successful in a legislative document presented by the Ministry of Education of the state of Lower Saxony.

     The author visited 6 centers in total and conducted interviews, which made clear that: 1) There are considerable differences among centers with reference to the center director's experience and the organizational position of the center in each university. In some centers the director was previously affiliated with the state's school administration, while in others an experienced professor of educational science serves as director. In others again, the director holds a Ph. D but has no teaching experience. This difference seems to influence the contents of the programs offered by the various centers. 2) Adult educational institutions seem to have superior planning ability for in-service training programs. These two elements seem to be the concrete reasons for major differences of performance among centers.

     This paper discusses these reforms in Lower Saxony on the theoretical model of in-service teacher training, which consists of two axes: the license upgrade or renewal system through in-service training, and the main suppliers of in-service teacher training. In the USA and Australia, for instance, teachers can/must upgrade their licenses by taking in-service training courses at universities. In Japan and Germany, there is no license upgrade system and in-service training is mainly supplied by school administration. The reforms of Lower Saxony can be evaluated as a project which aims at activation of in-service training without the introduction of systematic incentives, as with the license upgrade system, but by means of decentralization and collaboration with adult education facilities.

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Series Part 13: Current Issues of Education Research
Book Review
Book Review