The purpose of this paper is to propose a lesson design in the civics field of junior high school social studies that will help students develop an awareness of sovereignty and the ability to participate in society through the cultivation of their political education. As effective learning methods, we focused on making a campaign pledge and mock voting, and developed a class.
High school students who will have the right to vote while still in school and junior high school students who do not yet have the right to vote naturally differ in their awareness of sovereignty, and it is necessary to create a style of sovereignty education that is appropriate to the developmental stage of junior high school students. We believe that rather than educational learning that focuses on voting behavior with the aim of increasing voter turnout, learning that raises students' awareness of their role as shapers of society is more effective.
In promoting sovereignty education, it is important to ensure political neutrality. In particular, it is necessary to create an environment in which each student can freely express his or her own political views without being restricted in the relationship between the teacher and the students, who have a great deal of influence. For this purpose, it is necessary to cultivate the ability to fairly criticize real politics and to accumulate learning to find a point of agreement and make decisions in collaboration with peers who have different ideas.
Based on this idea, we designed a class in which students form imaginary political parties, make promises of government, and have opportunities to vote for each other. The students first read each other's campaign pledges and compared them with each other to see what each party was focusing on. Next, the students formed their own political parties, each of which chose its own leader and name, and formulated a major policy on where to focus their efforts to solve the country's five issues. Each political party allocated its budget to each of the five issues based on its major policy, and presented its proposed budget in a pie chart. Based on the proposed budgets, each party made a campaign pledge for each issue, which was summarized on a single slide. Then, all the students voted for the political party they wanted to support through Google Forms. The students also voted on the five promises, and the promise that received the most votes in each category was also selected at the same time. Students were also asked to submit their reasons for their choices.
By leaving it to the students' discretion, it was evident that they were thinking about what was necessary for the creation of a new country and trying to solve problems in a creative manner. When we analyzed the students' reasons for their votes, we found that many of their statements were based on, quoted from, or referred to real political events. We feel that the experience of gaining new insights and proposing new ideas through dialogue with others, rather than sticking to their own ideas, led to the students' willingness to participate in politics and influence public affairs.
Health education, one of the duties of school nurse teachers, has not been clearly defined in terms of its content and opportunities for implementation in educational activities. We decided to deepen our thoughts on how school nurse-teachers should handle health education in today's society, where there are many health issues, by exploring the words of researchers and the environment surrounding health education.
After consulting books by researchers, journals for school nurse teachers, and materials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, I came to the conclusion that in order to implement health education in a rich and meaningful way, it is important to focus on the contents and situations, examine them, and manage them according to the health issues to be addressed. Based on this, I reviewed the author's practice and proposed that, for health issues that are particularly important for children and should be addressed carefully, a unit plan should be created that cuts across the school year, and the form of health education should be designed to connect and approach the health issues in question. The proposal was to create a unit plan that cuts across the school year and design how to connect and approach these health issues.
These suggestions made us realize that school nurse teachers need to have a high level of sensitivity to grasp health issues and the ability to find and arrange situations in which health education can be practiced.
The purpose of this paper is to report on the process of considering uniforms at Ochanomizu University Junior High School and the process that led to the introduction of a choice system, as reported by the author, who served as the head of the Student Guidance and Health and Safety Department, which was the central body of the study, in the 2022 and 2023 school years, and also as the advisor to the Student Council Executive Committee in the same period.
Although there are many precedents of other schools that have introduced genderless uniforms, it is not an easy task for our school. The uniform for girls in our school is of the sailor type, and most of the schools that introduced slacks were of the blazer type, or switched to the blazer type when slacks were introduced. There were not many examples of uniforms combining a sailor upper garment with slacks in Japan, and it was also expected that there would be a considerable range in the acceptance of this style by different people. Furthermore, there are circumstances at our school that make it difficult to consider the option of abolishing the sailor uniform and switching to blazers for both boys and girls. It has been a dress code since the school's founding that girls' uniforms must include a belt, and a switch to blazers would mean abandoning this tradition, and it was imagined that this would lead to a situation in which students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni would become involved in a contentious debate.
There were various opinions within the Student Guidance and Health and Safety Department, and it was difficult to realize the plan as soon as possible. Despite the anticipated difficulties, we kept coming back to the point that the students who would actually be wearing the uniform should be the ones to think about it. This paper describes the progress toward the realization of the project, focusing on the movements of teachers, staff, and students.