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Japanese high-school English teachers' role as citizenship educators: An exploratory study

Hosack, Ian Trevelyan (2018) Japanese high-school English teachers' role as citizenship educators: An exploratory study. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The study discussed in this thesis addressed the question of how Japanese high-school English teachers (JTEs) may play a role in citizenship education. Similar to other countries, Japan faces challenges in preparing young people for citizenship in the context of globalization and increasing cultural diversity. Previous research from several countries has suggested that foreign language teachers (FLTs) can contribute to citizenship education by teaching intercultural communication skills and nurturing positive attitudes towards diversity. It suggests they can employ materials that promote reflection on contemporary issues, and help learners develop skills for dialogue. Notwithstanding the importance of English in Japan’s high schools, there has been little or no research on JTEs’ role in citizenship education, and an opportunity exists to contribute to knowledge in the field. The study discussed in this thesis explored JTEs’ role in citizenship teaching through the perceptions of JTEs who were purposively selected for their interest in this area. A questionnaire survey gathered views of 46 JTEs on citizenship and the possibility of incorporating citizenship education into English classes. Semi-structured interviews with 14 JTEs focused on ways they say they teach for citizenship and issues they say they confront in doing so. The study suggests participants tend towards a cosmopolitan view of citizenship, seeing the need for a strong Japanese identity combined with a sense of global citizenship. They believe JTEs can promote a cosmopolitan outlook by nurturing respect for human rights and cultural diversity and raising global awareness, and tend to emphasize the knowledge and values dimensions of citizenship rather than skills. The study highlights aspects of the local teaching environment that participants perceive as affecting their ability to pursue citizenship-related aims. It suggests JTEs’ role in citizenship education may be constrained by the extent to which schools prioritize entrance exam preparation and associated grammar-translation pedagogies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.752633
Depositing User: Mr Ian Trevelyan Hosack
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2018 07:33
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 13:03
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21018

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