Development Education in Japan: A Comparative Analysis of the Contexts for Its Emergence, and Its Introduction into the Japanese School System

By Yuri Ishii | Go to book overview

9

Conclusion

In the foregoing chapters, the concept of development education, the socioeconomic and political contexts for its genesis, and how it is accepted in Japan's formal education system were investigated. From the investigation, the following became clear: 1) the concept of development education is neither stable nor universal, but varies depending on place, the people who define it, and its purpose; 2) there is no uniform pattern for the emergence of development education that has influenced schools in industrialized countries, but there are socioeconomic and political contexts that make the emergence more likely; 3) in Japan, these factors-of-context did exist, but 4) a very detailed analysis of educational change, and curriculum change at the national level shows how difficult innovation was; nevertheless, 5) at classroom and school levels, a small number of teachers have introduced development education wherever possible within the national curriculum.

The analysis of the definitions of development education in chapter 1 revealed that there was no one established definition. Among industrialized countries, the only consensus is that development education is about raising awareness of problems such as poverty, unemployment, and the poor condition of public health in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Apart from this consensus, definitions vary and they coexist as different types of development education. In this book, development education as something to be taught at schools in industrialized countries in order to raise learners' awareness of the link between their lives and the above problems is taken up.

Education for cooperating in the solution of problems in developing countries sounds hard to disagree with. Indeed, the United Nations adopted this strategy for the Second Development Decade and encouraged all member nations to raise their people's awareness about the problems. However, in practice, discussion of development education was active only among a small number of high

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