1st Edition

Educational Progressivism, Cultural Encounters and Reform in Japan

Edited By Yoko Yamasaki, Hiroyuki Kuno Copyright 2017
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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 drawing and 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


    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.

    ‘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