ERIC Number: EJ765055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Educational Reform in Japan and Its Influence on Teachers' Work
Hooghart, Anne M.
International Journal of Educational Research, v45 n4-5 p290-301 2006
The 2002 restructuring of the national curriculum in all Japanese public elementary and secondary schools includes a reduction and reallocation of instructional hours, and the addition of a new "integrated studies" course, with an emphasis on more individualized, cross-curricular thematic projects. This reform comes at a time when a stagnant economy puts increased pressure on a shrinking youth population and on educators to obtain and preserve job security despite school closures and a weakened teacher's union. Teacher accountability includes contractual, professional, and moral accountability at a variety of interconnected levels. While the curriculum reform rhetoric frames the benefits of the plan primarily in terms of national and community-level outcomes, the strongest teacher accountability mechanisms seem to occur at the prefectural, school, and individual levels. At the national and prefectural levels, employment- and training-related mechanisms operate to ensure compliance with policy. At the community level, collegial, and political ties also impact teacher accountability, but in ways essentially consistent with national and prefectural expectations. At the school and individual levels, teacher obligations to administrators, parents, and students begin to conflict with teacher accountability to those at higher levels, primarily in terms of the traditions and expectations challenged by the reform policy.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Educational Change, Curriculum Development, Public Schools, National Curriculum, Job Security, Accountability, Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Environment, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Teaching (Occupation), Teacher Responsibility, Individualized Instruction, Thematic Approach, Economic Climate, Population Trends
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan