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Changing the Classroom?

Changing the Classroom?

Autonomy and Expression in Japanese Language and Literature

(p.122) Chapter Five Changing the Classroom?
Schooling Selves
Peter Cave
University of Chicago Press

This chapter looks at how educational reform affected junior high school teaching, focusing on the subject of language arts, or Japanese language and literature (kokugo). Despite the reformist attempt to promote individuality and autonomy, texts in student textbooks continued to focus more on relationships with others than proactive agency. Though there was a significant expansion in the number of hours and textbook pages devoted to student expression (speaking and writing units) between 1996 and 2007, teachers often skipped these units in practice. Even teachers who sought to promote more student-centered, autonomous learning found this hard, and many were more comfortable developing students’ basic skills and understanding.

Keywords:   educational reform, Japanese, kokugo, language arts, individuality, autonomy

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