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Problems in Teacher Education Reform in Japan : The Anticipated Results of Teacher Education Reform and the Role of the University(<Special Issue>Reforming Teacher Education)


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  • 教師教育改革の課題 : 「実践的指導力」養成の予想される帰結と大学の役割(<特集>教師教育改革)
  • 教師教育改革の課題 : 「実践的指導力」養成の予想される帰結と大学の役割
  • キョウシ キョウイク カイカク ノ カダイ : 「 ジッセンテキ シドウリョク 」 ヨウセイ ノ ヨソウ サレル キケツ ト ダイガク ノ ヤクワリ

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This paper considers the issue of jissenteki-sidouryoku, a term used by the Ministry of Education to mean the abilities needed to solve serious problems with the Japanese school system nowadays. First, I summarize the present situation of teacher training in terms of the fostering of jissenteki-sidouryoku, and second, I outline the anticipated results of this reform. Finally, I indicate how, under this situation, we should conceptualize an image of researchers responsible for training students who hope to be teachers. Although it is not completely clear what the term jissenteki-sidouryoku means in practice, reform of teacher education with this goal in mind is nevertheless proceeding in two directions. (1) The first direction is to help students gain self-discipline and experience in school settings, which means providing them with ample opportunities to function as interns, aides, or student teachers during their education. Achieving this goal will also involve strengthening linkages between universities, educational committees, and schools. (2) In addition, however, new standards or criteria that properly assess students' skills and knowledge in the classroom in terms of jissenteki-sidouryoku are being developed for student teachers, beginning teachers, and so on, by various concerned institutions. However, both these directions of teacher education reform many encounter serious problems. (1) Although students certainly learn many roles from their experiences in different school settings and job roles, such a program only lets them adapt to the current state of school culture. As a result, these activities strengthen the traditional school culture more and more, when the ultimate goal is to change it to reflect a changing society and the changing needs of students. (2) It is unlikely that teaching standards will ever be able to adequately reflect the specific situation of each school, since to apply across institutions, they must first reflect the common conditions among schools. Moreover, often when such standards are implemented, inexperienced teachers will view them not merely as an index of teaching effectiveness but as the purpose of their daily activities, a rule to be adhered to. Thus, effective educational reform focused on fostering jissenteki-sidouryoku for teachers operating in a changing society is not yet available. In the latter part of this paper, I will consider the following two. First, we, as researchers, must bring ourselves to understand what we mean by jissenteki-sidouryoku, and in that sense, we have to clarify teachers' process of professional development. Research findings from adjacent fields, for example cognitive psychology, business administration, and so on, are available for the consideration of this issue. Second, we have to consider the background of the use of the term jissenteki-sidouryoku. Probably, the idea that jissenteki-sidouryoku is a useful key term for the professional development of teachers is misleading. What teachers really need is knowledge about postmodern society and the changing conditions outside of schools. Universities responsible for teacher education should offer courses in theory or knowledge of relations between schools and society.



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