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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

FAMES Room 10 (the old Common Room)
Zoom [Registration link below]
Event date: 
Monday, 14 November, 2022 - 17:00


Understanding School Education Reforms in Contemporary Japan

Since the late 1980s, the broad trajectory of reforms to school education in Japan has promoted students’ agency and ability to think. However, these reforms have come in negotiation with other visions that stress more traditional elements of education, such as high academic attainment and strong moral education. Furthermore, reforms enacted at the policy level have often been substantially transformed at the level of school practice. This talk will delineate and explicate major reforms during the 21st century, and try to gauge their significance for education and for Japanese society more broadly. Particular attention will be paid to the National Academic Attainment Survey enacted since 2007, the change in status of moral education from curricular domain to curricular subject, and the 2017 curriculum revision under the banner of shutai-teki/taiwa-teki de fukai manabi (agentive and dialogic deep learning).

Peter Cave spent three years as a teacher on the JET Programme, 1987-1990. His research has focused on school education in modern and contemporary Japan, using perspectives drawn from social anthropology, history, and comparative education. He is the author of two books, Primary School in Japan (Routledge, 2007) and Schooling Selves (Chicago, 2016).