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ERIC Number: EJ1073293
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1911
Re-Examining Patriotism in Japanese Education: Analysis of Japanese Elementary School Moral Readers
Anzai, Shinobu
Educational Review, v67 n4 p436-458 2015
In 1947 the Fundamental Law of Education (FLE) defined the pacifist principles for post-war Japanese education and was revised in 2006 for the first time in nearly 60 years. The revised FLE stipulates the importance of teaching love for country and region and Japanese culture and traditions with special emphasis on moral education. Today, this moral education is regarded as an essential program for promoting patriotism among children in line with the revised FLE. Critics, however, fear that the revision is a revival of pre-war patriotism and a rightward shift in Japan's education. Their fear resurfaced more recently when Shinzo Abe, who carried out the revision of FLE during his first term as prime minister, was elected to his second term in December 2012. As Abe emphasized the importance of teaching patriotism in schools, the international media came to report that Japan's education was taking a turn to the right under his administration. While critics expressed their concern that Japan's education was becoming too patriotic, there was a lack of empirical inquiry into the issue of whether patriotic education had materialized in the classrooms. This study examined this issue by analyzing the content of moral readers currently used throughout Japan. The findings suggest that, contrary to the critics, the content of these readers does not emphasize patriotism. Instead, the readers seek to promote basic moral values such as faithfulness and friendship and sympathy and kindness. The findings are discussed with reference to social and educational contexts in Japan.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A