TitleJapanese middle schools' adaptation of the integrated studies
NameHamamoto, Nobuhiko (author), Lugg, Catherine (chair), William, Firestone (internal member), Ryan, Sharon (internal member), Gerald, LeTendre (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionIn 1998, Education Ministry of Japan announced the enactment of the periods of the Integrated Studies (IS) at all public school levels. The IS is defined as interdisciplinary, project-oriented learning activities which aim to promote students’ problem-solving abilities and self-learning skills. In spite of teachers' active involvement in the development of various educational activities for the periods, research indicated that teachers faced various barriers to implementing the IS. Generally, the middle school teachers were unsupportive to the IS due to their lack of resources for the curriculum development. Despite the constraints, how was the IS implemented in the middle schools? What kind of roles did the IS take in the curriculum? How did the teachers view the constraints to their implementation of the IS?
By taking "adaptation" perspective for educational policy implementation (McLaughlin, 1976b), this study examined the realities of the middle schools' implementation of the IS based on a multiple case study of three middle schools in Osaka. This study analyzed the data from my five months of field research in the schools, which included interviews with the teachers, observation of the teachers' implementation of the IS, survey of the teachers as well as collection of school documents.
The research findings are summarized as following. First, the analysis showed the IS periods assured the room for the schools' autonomous development of projects with specific sociocivic themes and increased the opportunities for various new learning styles (e.g., self-inquiry, presentation, and various hands-on activities). However, a large part of the IS periods was utilized for the schools' existing practices like career guidance or school events reflecting the middle schools' needs on sustaining its traditional curriculum. Consequently, the space for new learning styles was dispersed across the three years' curriculum, and tended to decrease in the higher grade.
Finally, the comparison of the three schools sheds light on the difference of the attitudes to the implementation of the IS across the schools. The analysis attributed this difference to some factors including shared pedagogy of the IS, longitudinal experience of collaboration, organizational context like school-size, and the degree of students' behavioral problems.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 221-229)
Noteby Nobuhiko Hamamoto
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.