We analyzed the reports presented at the “Education about Pollution” section meetings of the Japan Teachers’ Union national conference on educational research from 1971 to 1989. The reports were analyzed from the following three standpoints:
1. How has the proportion of reports about each pollution problem changed relative to the reports as a whole ？
We assessed the changes in teachers’ interests about particular pollution problems by clarifying the changes in the proportions of relevant reports among total reports.
This revealed the following points:
・The percentage of reports about air pollution was reduced. On the other hand, the percentage of reports about nuclear power generation increased and came out on top in 1989.
・With regard to water pollution, the percentage of reports about sewage contamination had increased.
2. Who are the agents cooperating with teachers about Education on Pollution? These can be classified into nine categories: local resident groups, researchers, labor unions, parties, doctors, agricultural workers, forestry and fishery workers, parents, lawyers, and patients suffering from pollution-related diseases.
Some teachers took advantage of their organizational power and occupation characteristics to proceed with pollution research with the help of researchers. We think that these types of research are good examples of civic sciences.
Some teachers and parents took joint political action to protect the health of children and the school environment from pollution.
3. How have teachers dealt with the problems of nuclear power generation at their union conferences on educational research activities ?
The teachers pointed out almost all problems related to nuclear power generation reported in the media after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Their argument about nuclear power generation covered a wide range of issues, including discrimination and social equality. It is suggested that we use the problems of nuclear power generation as a “window to social issues” in social science education.