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How is the “Yononaka-ka” initiative perceived and implemented by students and teachers? A case study of two Japanese schools

Mori, Chiho (2013) How is the “Yononaka-ka” initiative perceived and implemented by students and teachers? A case study of two Japanese schools. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This dissertation explores the nature of the Yononaka-ka initiative, which is practiced by teachers in 250-300 schools in Japan today. The study was undertaken due to a strong research need; there are extremely few, close to zero, previous studies on this subject. It aims to illuminate how it has been implemented and perceived by students and teachers. It also aims to make a small contribution to introducing it into an educational research field and to share new information on the present state of Japanese education. It conducted a case study of two Japanese schools in different cities which practiced Yononaka-ka. The study took a mixed-methods approach to collect a variety of data from questionnaires, interviews, classroom observations and documentary materials. The findings revealed the students’ positive stance toward the Yononaka-ka initiative. Most of them thought that the topics and activities in the lessons were helpful for their learning, and believed they had developed some of the knowledge, skills and values/attitudes which are necessary for their future life. Another student viewpoint of the initiative became evident, which is that they see it as a polar opposite to their ordinary subject lessons, and some regard it as a relief from their exam-based studies. Meanwhile, teachers have recognized the students’ developments of the above skills and attitudes and that their practices prepare their students well for real-life situations by connecting the classrooms with society, although they still face some challenges in implementing the practice at their schools. The study has illuminated the nature of Yononaka-ka as citizenship education and its role in educational change. As this study focuses on the case of Yononaka-ka as practiced by individual teachers, research on the initiative and how it is integrated in a school programme as a whole is necessary to further investigate the nature of Yononaka-ka as citizenship education and its role in educational change.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Keywords: Yononaka-ka, citizenship education, educational change, curriculum
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Depositing User: Mrs Chiho Mori
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2014 14:18
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2014 14:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5949

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