Educational Progressivism, Cultural Encounters and Reform in Japan: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Educational Progressivism, Cultural Encounters and Reform in Japan

1st Edition

Edited by Yoko Yamasaki, Hiroyuki Kuno


188 pages

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Paperback: 9780367133917
pub: 2018-09-27
Hardback: 9781138955639
pub: 2017-06-02
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pub: 2017-06-26
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Educational Progressivism, Cultural Encounters and Reform in Japan provides a critical analysis of educational initiatives, progressive ideas and developments in curriculum and pedagogy in Japan, from 1900 to the present day. Drawing on evidence of both cultural encounters and internal drivers for progressivism and reform, this book re-evaluates the history of Japanese education to help inform ongoing and future debates about education policy and practice worldwide.

With contributions from Japanese scholars specialising in the history and philosophy of education and curriculum studies, chapters consider key collaborative improvements to teacher education, as well as group learning, ‘life education’, the creative arts and writing, and education for girls and women. The book examines Western influences, including John Dewey, Carleton Washburne and A. S. Neill, as well as Japan’s own progressive exports, such as holistic Zenjin education, Children’s Villages and Lesson Study, highlighting cultural encounters and progressive initiatives at both transnational and national levels. The chapters reflect on historical and political background, motivations, influences and the impact of Japanese progressive education. They also stimulate, through argument and critical discussion, a continuing discourse concerning principles, policy, politics and practices of education in an increasingly globalised society.

A rigorous and critical study of the history of progressive education in Japan, this book will interest an international readership of academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of progressive education, comparative education, social and cultural history, history of education, Japanese studies, curriculum studies, and the history of childhood.


‘This book is the most useful source of information about progressive education in Japan in the 20th Century available in English’ - Robert Aspinall, Professor, Center for Global Education, Doshisha University, Kyoto

Table of Contents

Introduction: Progressivism, New Education, and cultural encounters

Yoko Yamasaki

1. Origins and outline of progressive education in Japan

Yoko Yamasaki

2. Integrated Learning: Takeji Kinoshita and Nara-jo Fusho

Hiroyuki Kuno

3. Heiji Oikawa: Group-based dynamic teaching and curriculum reconstruction

Kie Fujiwara

4. Free drawingand art education: Kanae Yamamoto and Bunka Gakuin

Masayuki Haga

5. Nurturing truly free individuals through self-governing life: Motoko Hani’s Jiyu Gakuen

Naoshi Kira

6. Kuniyoshi Obara’s Zenjin education at Tamagawa Gakuen

Hiroyuki Sakuma

7. ‘Daily life writing’ in school: Creating alternative textbooks and culture

Ayako Kawaji

8. Satoru Umene: Curriculum reform and the world history of education

Akira Nakano and Yoko Yamasaki

9. Hama Omura’s Unit learning practice for Japanese classes

Kanae Nishioka

10. Kinokuni Children’s Village School: Theory and practice from Dewey to Neill and Aitkenhead

Yoko Yamasaki

11. Japanese New Education and continuing cultural encounters

Hiroyuki Kuno

About the Editors

Yoko Yamasaki is Professor of Education at Mukogawa Women’s University in Japan.

Hiroyuki Kuno is Associate Professor of Education at Nagoya University in Japan.

About the Series

Progressive Education

Policy, politics and practice

This series produces authored and edited collections addressing the meaning and expanding understanding of progressive education, past and present. It includes case studies and explorations of schools, individuals, and networks of influence, considering the meaning of progressivism in education from a variety of standpoints. The series focuses upon experience, aspiration, hope and struggle in this consistently contested area of educational ideology, with a purpose to foreground examples of practice, debate and policy in a global context, drawing from the past to inform the future.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Comparative