Moral Education in Japan: Values in a global context, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Moral Education in Japan

Values in a global context, 1st Edition

By Marie Højlund Roesgaard


188 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Japan’s Fundamental Law on Education was revised in 2006 and new curriculum guidelines along with new proposals for strengthening the position of moral education reflect the increased political focus, particularly by the two Abe-administrations. Changes include increased emphasis on patriotism, on respect for life and the environment, on individual responsibility, on respecting differences and other countries and on a general strengthening of moral values. This volume describes the history of moral education in Japan, analyses recent changes in curriculum and practices, and takes a closer look at examples of official, semi-official and local discourses on moral education and values. The analysis covers policy statements, teaching material and research, Japanese as well as Western. Using theories of globalization, cosmopolitanism and universal human values it is the intention, by using an Asian example, to illustrate and elaborate upon existing discourses within theories of globalization and cosmopolitanism as well as in education and values and citizenship studies.

Chapters include:

  • Revision of the fundamental law on Education in 2006 and beyond
  • Official and semi-official bids for contents of moral education
  • Moral education in practice
  • Risk, globalization and meaning in Japanese Moral Education

This book will be of interest to scholars specializing in education in Japan, and scholars in the academic field of moral, character and citizenship education.


"(..) this book shares some compelling insights that deserve further empirical investigation and theoretical elaboration."

Katherine TEGTMEYER PAK, St. Olaf College

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Theoretical Framing and Methodological Approach

3. A History of Moral Education in Japan

4. Revision of the Fundamental Law on Education in 2006 and Beyond: New Guidelines and New Policies

5. Official and semi-official bids for contents of moral education

6. Moral education in practice – some cases

7. Risk, Globalization and Meaning in Japanese Moral Education

8. Conclusions: Moral Education as a Gate-Keeper in a globalized world

About the Author

Marie Hoejlund Roesgaard is Associate Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen.

About the Series

Citizenship, Character and Values Education

This series will provide a platform for discussion and debate on the latest issues, challenges and developments in Citizenship, Character and Values Education across the globe. The series will facilitate continued conversation on policy and politics, curriculum and pedagogy, review and reform, and provide a comparative overview of the different conceptions and approaches to Citizenship, Character and Values Education around the world. The volumes in this series will appeal to teacher educators, researchers, teachers, school leaders and policymakers. They will also facilitate decision-making in the practical steps necessary to develop Citizenship, Character and Values Education curricula in different national contexts.

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