Staff – University of Copenhagen

Moral Education in Japan: Values in a Global Context

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What is a ‘good’ person and how do we educate ‘good’ persons? This question of morality is central to any society and its government and educational system including the Japanese. In many societies it has been customary to teach about morality from a religious standpoint, but not so in Japan, where ‘religion’ is not a subject in schools. So, how do the Japanese go about the business of teaching values and morality? Using the Japanese example, this volume looks at moral education from the basic point of view of universal and common human values, with due attention given to culture-specific traits. It places moral education within the context of globalization and cosmopolitanism and shows, that moral education in Japan is a useful key to understanding how globalization and cosmopolitanism can work within a specific system, in this case Japanese values education.

In recent years various changes in the legal frame work (the Fundamental Law on Education was revised in 2006) and the ministerial guidelines and policies (new curriculum guidelines have been issued after the law change, and new proposals for strengthening the position of moral education come on a regular basis) have reflected the increased political focus on moral education in Japan, particularly by the two Abe-administrations. Changes include for example 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. How are the new requirements and the renewed focus on moral education met in schools and by educators? This volume will describe the history of moral education in Japan, analyse the recent changes of the curriculum, analyse the practices in selected schools via fieldwork and case-studies and take a closer look at examples of official, semi-official and local discourses on moral education and values.
Translated title of the contributionUndervisning i moral i Japan: Værdier i en global kontekst
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGreat Britain
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages188
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-66963-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-61810-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

ID: 167845426