Citizenship Education in Social Studies: How to Create Policy Studies

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Other Title
  • 社会科における主権者教育
  • 社会科における主権者教育 : 政策に関する学習をどう構想するか
  • シャカイカ ニ オケル シュケンシャ キョウイク : セイサク ニ カンスル ガクシュウ オ ドウ コウソウ スル カ
  • ―政策に関する学習をどう構想するか―

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Abstract

<p> The purpose of this study is to clarify theories and methods of policy studies as a way of introducing citizenship education into social studies classes. This study was undertaken for the following reasons. The problem of neutrality in education, which has attracted a lot of attention recently, cannot be solved through a partial discussion on what teachers should pay particular attention to when handling political topics. What is needed is to make political study a routine part of social studies classes. In order to make this possible, it is necessary to clarify the methods by which controversial political problems can be incorporated into teaching materials and classes. This study was implemented by taking the above points into consideration, and was ultimately able to elucidate the following three points.</p><p> First, it was clarified that fostering citizenship, which is a goal of social studies, should be re-interpreted as fostering political literacy when introducing citizenship education into social studies classes, and classes should be planned accordingly. Since the introduction of social studies in Japan in 1947, values based on a critical mindset and a constitutional sensibility have always been important. Based hereon, it becomes possible to understand citizenship as political literacy. Additionally, social studies classes aiming to foster political literacy should focus on “understanding the issues.”</p><p> Second, this study clarified that in order to establish social studies classes that focus on “understanding the issues,” controversial political problems must be incorporated into teaching materials and class design. One method of creating teaching materials is to focus on policies that aim to solve controversial political problems. The educational content of social studies classes was reviewed from a policy perspective. It was found that many policies that could be used as teaching materials had already been incorporated into schools, from elementary schools through high schools. With regard to class design, classes should be designed so as to direct the attention of students to the values that underpin policies and to develop their abilities to solve problems collaboratively.</p><p> Third, this study analyzed one class each from an elementary school, a junior high school, and a high school. It was clarified that policy studies in social studies classes can be sorted into three categories: “policy analysis,” “policy evaluation,” and “policy proposal.” Each can be introduced into any school regardless of its type. However, considering the students' developmental stages and the complexity of the learning process and of the content studied, it is felt that introducing policy analysis in elementary school, policy evaluation in junior high school, and policy proposal in high school would be the most appropriate approach.</p>

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