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ERIC Number: EJ1158052
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2146-0353
Primary Geography Education in Japan: Curriculum as Social Studies, Practices and Teachers' Expertise
Shimura, Takashi
Review of International Geographical Education Online, v5 n2 p151-165 Sum 2015
This paper examines the status and relevant challenges in Japan's primary geography education system, from the perspectives of curriculum and levels of teachers' expertise. Japanese elementary schools adopted the subject Social Studies in the National Curriculum Standards. These emphasize geographical content and the curriculum structure utilizing a regional geography approach. This research study assessed the geography content included in Social Studies, as well as the levels of teachers' expertise. The study revealed that: 1) qualitative difference in teaching activities depended on whether or not teachers majored in Social Studies at teacher training college; 2) teachers who did major in Social Studies tended proactively to develop their own customized teaching materials, and focused on emphasizing a wide range of scholastic skill development in their lessons; 3) ensuring that teachers had sufficient time to develop in meaningful educational opportunities for students outside the classroom was a major issue; and 4) additionally, the ability of teachers to develop these customized teaching materials is related to whether or not they majored in Social Studies, especially geographical matters directly. The study reveals a need to establish continued professional development programs (CPDs), enhancement of geographical content in teacher training courses, and geography as compulsory subject in the senior high school curriculum, in order to increase the geographical expertise of primary teachers in Japan.
Review of International Geographical Education Online. Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Meselik Campus, Eskisehir City, 26480, Turkey. Tel: +90-222-239-37-50; Tax: +90-222-229-31-24; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A