Will to Power: Project-Based Learning in Post-WWII Japanese School Curriculum

Kazuyuki Nomura, British Educational Research Association, Jul 14, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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The translation to English in this post is a bit rough, but ther story it tells is interesting. The starting point is a 1998 curriculum reform in Japan (44 years after the end of the war, but who's counting?) which reduces the emphasis on content and "promoted activities focusing on the individual relevance of each child along with alleviating excessive pressure in learning [including] a new subject called Integrated Study (sogoteki na gakushu no jikan) was introduced with great fanfare to promote project-based learning beyond prescribed subject boundaries." The gist of the article is that through two successive reforms (2008 and 2017) central authorities exercised inclreading control over the curriculum. "Integrative Study in the 2017 curriculum guidelines is closely tied up with skills ‘fundamental to all learning’ such as use of language, logical thinking, and IT literacy." 

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