How the Japanese Teacher Preparation Programs for Secondary Teachers Have Been Shaped Since the Meiji Period

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Former Associate Professor of Nihon University, Japan, and University Brunei Darussalam, Brunei

10.22034/ijce.2020.103667

Abstract

Japan took the initiatives to build the modern school system in 1872. The process of the building is characterized as the words like rapid, sometimes bold, and often tumbling in the economy, internal and external political conflicts and ideological conflicts.  It is not difficult to realize how various values and beliefs have been intervening in the process, but not easy to lucidly observe them.  The purpose of this study is to rediscover the cultural values and beliefs affecting the directions of teacher preparation programs for secondary school teachers in Japan.  This study is a qualitative study, mainly analyzing the historical studies done by other researchers. It examined the development of teacher preparation programs from the late 19th century to the present day.   Two different aspects were adapted for analysis: The concept of ‘program’ developed by Ueyama (2009), and the historical functions of university defined as organization, institution and community (Gamage & Ueyama, 2012).  This study discussed in the four areas of development of the teacher preparation programs: national policy, preparation at the university level, the program structure and content, and quality teacher.  It concluded what values were underlined and by what and how they were influenced in the process of shaping the teacher preparation for secondary school teachers.

Highlights

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Keywords


Article Title [فارسی]

چگونگی شکل گیری برنامه های آماده سازی معلمان دوره متوسطه ژاپن از دوره میجی تا عصر حاضر

Author [فارسی]

  • تاکی یوکی اویاما
دانشیار دانشگاه نیهون ژاپن
Abstract [فارسی]

ابتکار عمل ژاپن برای ساخت  یک نظام تحصیلی مدرن  از سال 1872 شکل گرفت. از این روند اغلب با واژه هایی همچون سریع ، گاه جسورانه و غالباً درگیر مسائل اقتصادی ، چالش های سیاسی داخلی و خارجی و تعارضات ایدئولوژیک یاد می شود. درک اینکه چگونه ارزش ها و باورهای گوناگونی در روند ساخت  یک نظام تحصیلی مدرن  مداخله داشته اند دشوار نیست ، اما مشاهده دقیق آن ها هم کار آسانی نمی باشد. هدف مطالعه حاضر ، کشف ارزشهای فرهنگی و باورهای مؤثر در برنامه های آماده سازی معلمان دوره متوسطه ژاپن است. مقاله حاصل پژوهشی کیفی ازطریق تحلیل و بررسی تاریخی یافته های مطالعات پیشین برای تدوین برنامه های آماده سازی معلمان از اواخر قرن نوزدهم تا امروز می باشد. از دو سازوکارمفهومی مختلف برای تحلیل داده ها استفاده شده است: اول ، مفهوم "برنامه")  یایاما، 2009) و دوم ، کارکردهای تاریخی دانشگاه به عنوان جامعه ، سازمان و نهاد (گیمینگ و یایاما ، 2012 ) .  این مطالعه در چهار بخش توسعه برنامه های آماده سازی معلمان را مورد بحث و بررسی قرار می دهد: سیاست ملی ، تدارک در سطح دانشگاه ، ساختار و محتوی برنامه و معلم با کیفیت. نتیجه گیری مقاله مبین این است که چه ارزش هایی مورد تأکید قرار گرفته، و چه چیزی و چگونه در روند شکل گیری آماده سازی معلمان دوره متوسطه اثرگذاشته اند.

Keywords [فارسی]

  • تحلیل تاریخی
  • دوره میجی
  • معلمان متوسطه
  • ژاپن

Introduction

One hundred forty eight years ago, Japanese society started erecting a new educational system for transforming it into modern society.  A rapid expansion of compulsory education was urgent to teach the modern subjects to the general public.  Secondary education was also highly demanded to produce both normal school teachers training primary school teachers and teachers for secondary schools later becoming a backbone of the higher education.  Since then, continuous and tireless efforts have been observed in the building process.  Some seemed successful as being seen in the context of the time, but for others, there might be needed alternatives.  How can we learn how to take a better choice on what basis?  Though we may not be able to find such a way, it is quite certain that there is something or somethings worth digging that help us take the directions of future teacher preparation programs. 

                One avenue to respond to this question is to search for thoughts and beliefs behind decisions.  The purpose of this study, therefor, is to rediscover the cultural values and beliefs affecting the directions of teacher preparation programs and institutions for secondary school teachers developed in Japan.  The author focused on preparation for the secondary school teachers because of his familiarity in large part with the practice area.  It dealt with the period from the late 19th century to the present.  Two different aspects were adapted for analysis: The concept of ‘program’ developed by Ueyama (2009); and the historical functions of university defined as organization, institution and community (Gamage & Ueyama, 2012).  This study discussed in the four areas of development of the teacher preparation programs: 1) national policy, 2) preparation at the university level, 3) the program structure and content and 4) quality teacher.  This study is a qualitative study attempting to crystalize the key values and beliefs shaping up the Japanese secondary school teacher preparation.

 

Analytical Aspects

1)     External forces strongly affecting teacher preparation programs

             The government and national politicians understood the importance of teacher preparation.   The university community in Japan had a hard time to accept teacher preparation programs and colleges of education as part of their community members in the early stage of the development which would become observable years later.  It is because the mission of teacher preparation programs was believed not to match with the university mission.  On the other hand, the government saw it essential that teacher preparation programs reinforce the national security, economy and national growth.  They believed that such reinforcement can be executed only with education back-up.  Therefore, the national government, politicians, and their intentions of the national security directly and indirectly influenced them via the national policy and the teachers’ institutions including universities. 

2)     The nature of university

Teacher preparation programs and colleges of education are part of the universities. Teacher preparation programs are affected by the nature of university which is considered organization, institution or community. “These three views could be seen as abstract, but they underlie the contemporary controversial issues relating to universities” (Gamage & Ueyama, 2012, p. 18).  First, universities as organizations imply that they exist to achieve concrete ends, which are capable of rational analysis.  Secondly, they as institutions embody values and a behavior to examine how their internal processes contribute to the maintenance of their values.  Thirdly, they as communities are primarily concerned with their effects on the development of groups and individuals.  The nature of university shapes the values and ways of thinking the groups and individuals in the teacher preparation programs have.

The behavior of teacher preparation programs is considered reflected by the three natures of university.  A teacher preparation program may strongly advocate the academic excellence the university intended to attain as a mission.  It may develop a role of assessing the values the university wanted to sustain.  It may also claim itself as a contributor to the university community so that professors and students were able to grow.  In addition, the three natures of university do not separately exist.  Thus, the teacher preparation programs at the universities or colleges of education are placed in rather complicated conditions, not easy to clarify their own missions to produce quality secondary school teachers.

3)     Eight dimensions sustaining the function of teacher preparation programs

Teacher preparation programs are functioned as being influenced by the factors such as national politics, economy, values and beliefs implanted in the culture and social norms. Ueyama (2009) described how a program management is affected by these factors and how the eight dimensions of the program actually respond to them, using the example of a language education program for English as a foreign language.  These dimensions are 1) program effectiveness, 2) internal politics, 3) policy including rule settings,4) characteristics of students, 5) curriculum, 6) quality of teachers, 7) relationship among staffs, and 8) resources and facilities.  The results of the program function are understood as the responses through the eight dimensions to the factors.

The eight dimensions of the program were adapted for scrutinizing the function of teacher preparation programs.  Teacher education has a much closer relationship with national interests, effects on economic growth and cultural impact on the existing society than the English language training.  These elements indirectly and even directly affect curriculum contents and program management.  In this study, each notion of curriculum and program developed by Ueyama (2009) were treated separately in the process of analysis.  Curriculum is a group of courses each of which consists of a series of lessons in sequence conducted by a step-by-step approach, in a particular academic subject, including the course assessment and evaluation functions.  On the other hand, program is a collective mechanism created as a result that the curriculum organically functions to achieve a particular purpose with the attendant goals. This type of a framework will be able to trace the development of teacher preparation programs and colleges of education and their advancement.

 

Overall Picture of Educational System

Tracing the development of compulsory education in the chronological context gives us a clearer picture of the conditions of secondary education and higher institutions (see Appendix 2).  The period of 1872 to 1907 is characterized as the adaptation stage of a secondary school system to the compulsory system.

Japanese modern public-school system, responding to the contemporary world conditions, began in 1872 with enactment of “Education System.”  As indicated in Chart 1, the compulsory education system took 28 years to achieve, which had been supposed to filling four years of compulsory education.  For the next twenty-eight years, the number of enrollments was tumbled, but gradually increased from, for instance, six months a year to a full academic year of attendance.  Normal schools were quickly built for the first five years and produced primary teachers urgently needed. 

The School Education Act of 1886 regulated the roles of high normal schools and normal schools. It proclaimed that normal schools produce primary school teachers while high normal schools produce secondary school teachers and school principals at the primary level.  It is plausible to say that the expansion of the secondary school system began to expand at the time.

In the period between 1900 and 1907, the compulsory education system finally captured a full-enrollment.  The twenty-eight years of the effort required a number of primary teachers and a sufficient number of lead teachers leading them.  Tokyo high normal school and other high normal schools continued to train lead teachers who often served as principals of normal schools.  The compulsory education system finally fulfilled the promise of a four-year compulsory education made in 1872.

The School Law of 1907 extended the length of compulsory education two more years to be six years in total.  Because of the two-year extension of compulsory education, secondary educational institutions became demanded to expand.  These schools were normal schools, middle schools, vocational schools, and high female schools.  The next forty years became a blossom resulting from the early effort.  For instance, in 1918, normal school students were 25,285, middle school students were 158,974 and high female school students were 118,942.  In 1928, normal school students were 48,930, middle school students were 343,709, and high female school students were 359,269.  Their enrollments of normal schools and middle school students become more than double.  For high female schools, it became three times as large as that of 1918.

This expansion allowed young adults to have access to high-secondary institutions such as high schools, technical schools, female high normal schools and high normal schools.  In 1918, the number of high schools was 8, but in 1928, the number moved up to 31.  Technical and industrial schools increased from 94 to 153 for the ten years (Funaki, 1998, p. 168).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chart 1: Development of compulsory education in the one hundred forty-eight years of history

 

                          (The vertical line indicates years of compulsory education)

10

 

 

 

09

 

 

 

 

                               49 years

08

                        Ideal years set          

 

 

 

          Effort line

in 1872

07

06

                         |

                         |

      40 years        |

                              |

                              |

                              |

                              |

05

04

 

 


28 years

 

 

7

Y

s

03

02

01

                                                                                                                                                     

  1872    1875          1886    1900      1907    1929       1943     1947     1949                                                               2019

                           One Hundred Forty Seven Years of Compulsory Education

  • Created by T. Ueyama, based on the data provided by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports,

         Science and Technology (MECSST, 2019b), Japan.

[Education System Law in 1872:  The course for secondary school teachers was added in 1875: The normal school law of 1886:  Tokyo and Hiroshima Liberal Arts Universities started their lectures in 1929: The Fundamental Law of Education: The new teachers’ Certification Law was enacted in 1949.]

 

National School Order of 1941 extended the number of years for compulsory education from six to eight years.  Responding to the Order in 1943, high normal schools and normal schools became high-secondary institutions (professional school level), the same level as high schools and advanced technical schools whose graduates had had access to universities.  The implementation of the compulsory years, however, was interrupted because of the loss of the Pacific War in 1945.

The development of the Japanese system of educational institutions continued to move forward to mass-education.  Two years later, 1947, the Fundamental Law of Education prescribed 9 years of compulsory education, and this practice has been carried for forty-nine years since then.  The Japanese secondary schools and higher educational institutions were consolidated into a much simpler system compared with the previous system prior to 1947.  The nine years of compulsory education and secondary school level of education have been solidly established, which have led 70 % of high school graduates towards the admission of higher institutions in 2018 (MECSST, 2019b).

Who Secondary School Teachers Were?

 

                Since the early Meiji period (1872), secondary school teachers had been educated through various types of higher institutions and means. Before the enactment of Law for Certification of Educational Personnel in 1949, secondary school teachers had been licensed with different means such as graduating educational institutions, universities, and other higher institutions and passing the exam for the teaching license.  The licensure of secondary school teachers were under the control of the national government.  On the contrary, after the 1949 law, secondary school teachers were (and have been) produced through national universities of education, colleges of education, teacher preparation programs attached to other colleges and universities both of which are national, public or private institutions.  Under the law, secondary school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher preparation program to be certified by the prefectural boards of education.  In 1954, the national government began to require the teacher preparation programs to be governmentally approved as a proper program.  It can be said that secondary school teachers had/ have had varieties of the backgrounds, not producing from a few particular institutions, and for the one hundred forty-eight years, the national government has been a major player to sustain the quality of teachers.

The Characteristics of Secondary School Teachers before the End of the War (1945)

1)     Teacher Training Institutions and Programs

The first secondary school teacher preparation program opened as a part of Tokyo normal school in 1875.  There was an urgent need to supply secondary school teachers.  Tokyo normal school which had established in 1872 began to produce teachers who would be able to lead teachers running local normal schools.  By 1908, three more normal schools became high normal schools, and two female high normal schools were also established.  The normal school law of 1886 had proclaimed the roles of high normal schools, female high normal schools and normal schools.  Normal schools were to undertake preparation for primary school teachers while high normal schools were to be responsible for secondary school teacher preparation.  In addition, for further training, temporary training schools for teachers (TTST), and for vocational teachers, training institutes for technical school teachers (TITST) were open.  By 1912, two high normal departments, each of which was attached to Nihon University (1901) and to Waseda University (1903) joined the high normal school system. The number of educational institutions was not so large as the necessary number that was able to supply the proper number of secondary school teachers.

2)     Universities and Other Higher Institutions

                In 1877, Tokyo Imperial University was established. Three years later, Kyoto Imperial University was opened.  Thirty-four years later, in 1911, Tohoku and Kyushu Imperial Universities were added to the higher education system.  By 1903, forty-five of technical professional schools existed.  Out of 45, twenty-seven were private institutions.  Including the four imperial universities, the number of higher institutions became forty-nine in total.

3)     Routes to Enter the Teaching Profession

At that time, there existed three ways to be certified as secondary school teachers.  First, those who graduated from high normal schools and female high normal schools could become secondary school teachers.  Those who completed the programs at temporary training schools for teachers and training institutes for vocational school teachers were also certified by the government.  Second, another way to become secondary school teachers was to graduate from universities and other higher institutions such as technical professional schools and high schools.  Third, the other route was to pass the qualifying examination to be certified, run by the national government.  Supply of secondary school teachers would never have been filled without the three ways of recruitment.

4)     Characteristics of Secondary School Teachers

 

The following Tables 1-3 indicate the characteristics of teachers who were working at three types of secondary schools: normal schools, middle schools and high female schools in 1904 and 1912.  Each of six categories in the tables indicates a particular characteristic allowing them to enter the teaching profession.  Table 4 summarizes their characteristics found in the Chart of 1912 across the three types of secondary schools. 

The national government was inclined to recruit a specific type of a secondary school teacher despite their background differences. According to Table 4, thirty three percent of secondary school

 

Table 1: Qualification of teachers in normal schools

years

Licensed teachers

Teachers not licensed

 

 

No need to take the exam.

The exam. Not required

The exam. required

Graduates from high normal schools and female high normal schools

Graduated from TTST & TITST

University graduates

others

 

1904

34.15 %

2.72 %

1.18 %

12.68 %

28.53 %

20.74%

100 %

1912

49.53 %

4.08 %

1.73 %

12.17 %

22.42 %

10.03 %

100 %

*TTST --- Temporary training schools for teachers.  * TITST --- Training institutes for technical school teachers  

  (Funaki, 1998, p. 126)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Qualification of teachers in middle Schools

Years

Licensed teachers

Teachers not licensed

 

 

 

No need to take the exam

Exam. Not required

The exam. required

Graduates from high normal schools and female high normal schools

Graduated from TTST & TITST

University graduates

Others

 

1904

8.03 %

1.81 %

7.52 %

13.18 %

30.39 %

39.07%

100 %

1912

13.67 %

3.42 %

9.17 %

21.70 %

29.33 %

22.74 %

100 %

 *TTST --- Temporary training schools for teachers.  * TISTT --- Training Institutes for technical schools teachers                      

  (Funaki, 1998, p. 126)

 

 

             Table 3: Qualification of teachers in high female schools

Years

Licensed teachers

Teachers not licensed

 

 

 

No need to take the exam

Exam. Not required

The exam. required

Graduates from high normal schools and female high normal schools

Graduated from TTST & TITST

University graduates

Others

 

1904

26.56 %

0.14 %

0.55 %

7.84 %

20.39 %

44.52%

100 %

1912

23.85 %

1.30 %

1.67 %

12.28 %

27.87 %

33.03 %

100 %

*TTST --- Temporary training schools for teachers.  * TITST --- Training Institutes for technical schools teachers                       

  (Funaki, 1998, p. 127)

 

Table 4: Ratio of backgrounds of secondary school teachers: Middle schools, normal schools,

high normal schools and female high normal schools in 1912

Possibility to learn Education

How they became secondary school teachers

Percentage

Studied education-related subjects

Graduates from high normal schools and female high normal schools, TTST and TITST

      33

Not required to learn Education

Graduates from universities, other institutions

      20

Not required to learn Education

The exam was required.

 

      27

No qualification

Teachers not licensed

      20

                                                                                                                                                                        100 %

teachers actually graduated with the background knowledge of teaching and education.  Forty seven percent of the teachers might not have had the adequate knowledge of education and teaching before becoming teachers.  Instead, they had the appropriate knowledge of the academic subjects they could teach, examined by the national exam.  Twenty percent of them were not licensed.  These numbers suggested that sixty seven percent of teachers in normal schools, middle schools, high female schools did not have the adequate knowledge and skills of teaching prior to joining teaching force.  This implies that the government tended to perceive the quality of teachers into the academically specialized knowledge rather than teaching skills and knowledge. 

Quality versus quantity in the transition period

            In the early stage of the new education and school law of 1949, the Japanese educational system faced an extremely difficult condition.  Before the war, the Japanese school system was working on raising the quality of the school system, echoing the expansion of students’ population and their educational needs.  The large number of secondary school teachers was recruited from higher institutions and high normal schools. 

After the war, their academic quality was questioned.  In 1950 as Table 5 indicates as an example, only thirty four percent of middle school teachers were the graduates from four-year colleges and universities, high professional schools and high normal schools.  Sixty six percent of middle school teachers were graduates from normal schools, middle schools and others.  Many of the 66 % were transferred from primary schools.  It could be said that their academic knowledge were lower than those who taught at secondary schools in the pre-war.

However, it can be seen differently.  Those from normal schools, occupying almost 50%, had the knowledge of education and teaching, which did not take place in 1912.  In this context, the quality of academically specialized knowledge might decline, but the level of education and teaching skills might be improved in middle schools. Their educational and teaching knowledge might contribute to enhancing the level of teaching skills at middle schools.

 

         Table 5: Survey Result based on the Types of School Teachers Graduated from in 1950

 

Middle School

Elementary School

 Types of School

Numbers

Percentage

Numbers

Percentage

University / Four-year College

      8,294

        6.20

         716

       0.27

High Professional School

    31,486

      23.60

      5,815

       2.17

High Normal School

      5,499

        4.12

      4,690

       1.76

Normal School

    64,240

      48.13

  119,460

     44.75

Middle School

    20,457

     15.33

  124,356

     46.57

Others

      3,507

        2.62

    11,901

       4.46

Total

  133,483

    100.00 %

  266,941

   100.00 %

              (Adapted from T. Yamada, 1993, p. 320)

 

 

All Secondary School Teachers Licensed with University Degrees (after 1945)

                In the aftermath of the Pacific war, teacher preparation programs were quickly recovered and expanded in regular universities and colleges.  Law for Certification of Educational Personnel of 1949 was enacted. It proclaimed that anyone can be a teacher, but those wanting to be a teacher must have a college degree and complete a teacher preparation course or program attached to the universities and colleges. In 1954, the national government began to require the preparation courses and programs to be approved by them.  Table 6 presents the case of 2004 regarding the number of applicants and selectees.  Applicants for middle school teachers from the teacher preparation programs attached to the regular national, public and private universities/ colleges are 4 times as large as those from universities of education and colleges of education.   Applicants for high school teachers who completed the teacher preparation programs at the regular national, public and private universities/ colleges are 8 times as large as those from universities of education and colleges of education.  The number of selectees in comparing (1) with (2) told us that the teacher preparation programs and courses attached to regular universities and colleges impacted on secondary education more than the counterparts.

 

Table 6: The number of applicants and number of the accepted for public school teachers:

Comparison between universities of education & colleges of education and regular universities

Year 2004

 

Universities of education & colleges of education    (1)

Regular universities

                            (2)                                                                                        

(2)/ (1)

times

The number of applicants

Middle schools

             9,094

       36,779

4.0

High schools

             3,851

       31,608

8.0

The selectees

Middle schools

            1,496

         2,530

1.7

High schools

              386

         1,932

5.0

      [MECSST: The number of applicants and number of the accepted for public school teachers

        categorized by their academic backgrounds. Retrieved in October 4, 2019d]

 

Impact of the Regular Universities and Colleges on Teacher Preparation Programs

The conditions of applicants and selectees between the two categories: (1) and (2) are still the same.  In 2019, the number of the universities, graduate schools, junior colleges, university major courses and junior colleges’ major courses are 606, 413, 228, 19, and 17 respectively, and in total 1,283 institutions and programs are exiting (MECSST, 2019a).  They have been approved by the national government to offer teacher preparation curriculum.  They have been running seven thousand and twenty seven preparation programs for middle school teachers. For high school teachers, ten thousand six hundred seventy-four programs have been under operation.  The majority of middle and high school teachers have been trained by teacher preparation programs attached to the regular universities or colleges.  Considering the fact that only 151 teacher preparation programs existed in 1958 outside of the universities of education and colleges of education, the immense number of teacher preparation programs attached to regular universities and colleges has been impacting on the entire system of teacher preparation.

 

 

Reluctance of Universities to Add a Teacher Training Program to Their Organization

The 1872 education system law proclaimed that preparation for secondary school teachers would be carried on by a university.  This idea created a prolonged debate, and the debate has still continued.  Under the normal school law of 1886, Tokyo Imperial University founded in 1877 undertook secondary school teacher preparation.  The university established a department of education under the special agreement with the national government.  However, this agreement discontinued in 1890 (Funaki, 1998, p. 47). Later, the four imperial universities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Tohoku and Kyushu were involved in the teacher preparation, but their contribution to the teacher preparation was kept minimum (Nishiyama, 1992, p. 197).  At that time, research in teaching was not recognized as part of research area by the university community.  Teaching was a type of training (how to) but not a research subject area university was supposed to deal with. The university community believed that a good teacher is nurtured through teaching experience, thus not needed to be trained at the university level.  Rather, they believed, a person wanting to be a secondary school teacher needs to be intellectual with a good background of a specialized academic knowledge and the attendant ability.

Although the university community was reluctant to accept teaching as a research area, professors at the high normal schools were independently cultivating and advancing research capabilities in the teaching area.  In 1922, the national government approved that research courses of both Tokyo high normal school and Hiroshima high normal school, separating from the high normal schools, became liberal arts universities emphasizing teacher training and research.   Seven years later they started their lectures.  Both liberal arts universities had a perceived strong backbone of academic subjects as they claimed.  However, they began to be criticized that they were getting a less focus on teacher training.  They were noticeably seen just as a regular university like Tokyo Imperial University.  Soon abolition of both institutions became a subject of heated debates.  The function of both liberal arts universities became criticized to be focusing too much on the academic-subject areas, but not much on teacher preparation. 

After 1943, the high normal school and normal schools in the school system were dramatically transformed.  Prior to 1943, high normal schools (male and female), normal schools and vocational schools were at the secondary education level.  The 1943 Normal School Act shifted their status to the professional school status that allowed their graduates to have access to universities.  In 1949, two hundred seventy seven national higher institutions were consolidated and amalgamated into 70 national higher institutions.  The total of higher institutions in Japan then was 180.  Out of the number, public higher institutions run by cities or prefectures were 18, and private higher institutions were 92.    The seventy national higher institutions included high normal schools and normal schools (Yamada, 1993, p. 311).  This big jump of the high normal and normal schools to the professional school status caused the internal conflicts in the higher education system because they were seen immature as a higher institution.

One of the internal conflicts can be observed in the approval process of university professorship when the national higher institutions were consolidated into the seventy new national higher institutions. Prior to the consolidation, those wanting to become professors and assistant professors for the consolidated universities were required to join the review process for qualification.  Their qualification was approved by the University Establishment Committee (UEC).  To assess their qualification, UEC employed the standards developed by the Association of University Standards (AUS).  The members of AUS consisted of the representatives of the universities and higher institutions under the old system.  The backgrounds of those coming from the former educational institutions were unfavorably evaluated based on the university’s point of view.

The review results of those who used to teach in normal schools disappointed the university community.  The teachers taught at the former normal schools in the twenty six prefectures applied for the review process for professorship were 433 in number.  Out of the number, one hundred ninety three applicants were evaluated as proper.  The number was only 45% out of the total number applied.  The percentage of the number accepted as assistant-professorship along with professorship by the University Establishment Committee was 33% (Terasaki, 1974, p. 267).  It is said that the quality of the overall nominees was considered not strong enough to be university professor.

It is quite possible to perceive that the quality of professors at all the newly established liberal arts colleges (later, universities of education) was determined by the values having been developed by the university community over years.   The values contained the ideas that regular academic subjects are more valuable than the subjects in education and teaching; universities should focus on academic achievement and advancement of research.  Therefore, they were reluctant to accept the academic and teaching standards the professors were working with in the teacher preparation programs as a part of university.

 

Professionalism vs. Academic Supremacy

1)      Values setting a legitimacy over the number of credit hours for educational subjects

Over years of the development of teacher preparation tells us that the education-related subjects should be treated in balance between the regular courses and education-related subjects.  As indicated in Table 7, Tokyo high normal school spent 20 hours per week for teaching pedagogy which was 22 % out of the total of 90 hours in 1886.  The 1894 figure informs us that pedagogy occupied 18 % in the literature course while 7 % in the science course.  In 1915, the percentage went back to 22 % in the study field of literature.  Considering one-year difference between a 3-year program in the preceding years and a 4-year program of 1915, the number of hours for teaching related courses may be said to have increased.   However, it could be safe to say that yearly-based curriculum operation just had made an effort to sustain the level of learning educational subjects.

After the war, the balance was determined by the number of credit hours.  Looking at the 1988 condition of credit hours for high school teacher reparation shown in Table 8, nineteen credit hours of the educational subjects were additionally required beyond 124 credit hours necessary for the graduation with a bachelor’s degree.  Two-credit hours were for a fifteen-week course (a 90-minute class per week) in semester.  Nineteen credit hours, therefore, were equivalent to 9 to 10 courses.  In 1998, the nineteen credit hours moved up to 23.  In addition, sixteen credit hours were under discretion.  This meant that students could take either educational subjects or specialized subjects. In fact, the specialized subjects were part of the regular academic courses in the college at a university.  Which subject should be taken depends on individual students’ interest?  This part of the 1998 law has been effective since then, and it was said to give students flexibility according to the official report.  However, their interest was rather to accumulate credit hours of the subject-related courses towards a four-year degree.  As a consequence, emphasizing the educational subjects tended to be minimized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 7: The subjects and number of hours taught in Tokyo high normal school

The number of teaching hours for a particular subject per week

 

 

1886

1894

1915

 

3-year courses

3-year courses

4-year courses

 

Literature

Sciences

Literature

Sciences

Literature

Sciences

Pedagogy &

Ethics

20

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

Pedagogy

 

 

10

10

16

10

Ethics

 

 

9

3.5

 

 

Moral training

 

 

 

 

13

6

Other subjects

70

70

85.5

66

43

61

Total

90

90

104.5

79.5

72

77

% against T

22 %

22 %

8 %

17 %

22 %

13 %

          Adapted from " Historical study on the debate over secondary school teacher preparation in 

          modern Japan" by Funaki (1998, pp. 61, 73, & 135)

 

The overall picture presented here based on the two charts (Table 7 and 8) indicates that both educational programs under the old system and the new system implemented by the 1949 law were treated within a certain frame.  In the period: 1886-1915, Tokyo normal school intended to develop a strong academic program, and wanted to be an academic institution instead of a training and education institution.  Competition with Tokyo Imperial University must have stimulated Tokyo high normal school to set a frame that allowed them to perceive themselves as an academic institution.  It can be conjectured that they self-regulated their institutional goal to develop themselves as the community of academia.  The 1988 and 1998 regulations for university credit hours tell us a similar story.  The credit hours of teacher preparation programs can be seen as an additional or a supplemental part of the university operation.  We can see some controversies in the debates between the Japanese Educational Reform Committee (JERC) and Civil Information and Educational Section (CIE) under the occupation: 1945-1952 after WWII.  The controversies occurred over the emphasis on education-related subjects occurred because of the two different beliefs.  The Japanese Educational Reform Committee (JERC) had a strong belief in absolute necessity of learning academic subjects in the specialized fields.  The majority of the

Table 8: Credit hours in the categories required for the teaching certificates

for secondary teachers

Level

Years

Certifica-

tion

Categories

General education

Specialized subject

Specialized

        or educational subjects

Educational

subjects

Ed.

total

 

 Middle School

1949

1st Class

Kou

 

   36**

30

 

20

50

Otsu

18

 

20

38

1954

1st Class

Kou

 

      36

40

 

14

54

Otsu

32

 

14

46

1988

1st Class

 

 

      36

40

 

19

59

1998

1st Class

      36

20

8

31

59

High School

1949

1st Class

Kou

 

36

62

 

14

76

Otsu

52

 

14

66

2nd Class *

 

Kou

 

36

30

 

20

50

Otsu

18

 

20

38

1954

1st Class

Kou

 

      36

62

 

14

76

Otsu

52

 

14

66

2nd Class

 

Kou

 

      36

40

 

14

54

Otsu

32

 

14

46

1988

1st Class

 

 

40

 

19

59

1998

1st Class

 

 

20

16

23

59

*High school 2nd class is the same as Middle School 1st Class)    From Yamada, 1993, p.355

                        ** 36 credit hours in general education required for university graduation

                           (Yamada, 1993, p. 355 and Koga, T., 2016, p.35)

 

JERC members insisted that anyone who has the knowledge of academic subjects offered at a university is able to teach.  The committee emphasized education of specialized academic subjects in teacher preparation while minimizing education-related subjects including teaching practice.  On the other hand, opposing the committee’s belief, CIE demanded that departments of teacher education establish a system of professional teaching career, and therefore, education-related subjects be the core of teacher preparation programs.  After the long and serious debates with the contradicted views, both could not but reach a compromise made with the number of credit hours.

That was the credit hours of education-related subjects were 20 while that of specialized subjects were 30.  The thirty credit hours were part of the regular courses of specialized subjects at university.   Considering the balance between the two subjects’ areas, the education-related subjects in the teacher preparation programs earned a minimum support from the Educational Reform Committee although there were a few members agreeing to the CIE’s viewpoint (Yamada, 1993, pp.313-4).  The treatment of credit hours of both education-related subjects and specialized-academic subjects was the product of compromise resulted in by the two contradicted views: teaching professionalism and academic supremacy.

2)      A limited capacity of teaching practice

Teaching practice for secondary school teachers before the new certification law of 1949 was not much paid attention because of the means of recruitment. As seen in Table 4, sixty seven percent of teachers in normal schools, middle schools, high female schools were recruited from higher institutions.  They had a university degree, or passed the national exam, but were not required to take any education related subjects.  Twenty percent of teachers taught without teaching license.  Only thirty three percent of them were mainly recruited from high normal schools, female high normal schools or educational institutions such as TTIST and TITST. They had opportunities to practice teaching at schools.  However, the majority recruits was not required even taking education related subjects.  It is plausible to say that teaching practice was limited to the educational institutions such as high normal schools, female high normal schools and the others.

After the 1949 certification law, a two-week teaching practice became a minimum standard for secondary school teachers: junior high (middle) and high school teachers.  The 1949 certification law required a two-week teaching practice to all the college and university students who wanted to be secondary school teachers at the first time in the history. The two weeks was supposedly a minimum requirement, but it became common practice done by the regular universities or colleges which had neither a college of education nor a department of education in their organizations. They ran a teacher preparation program with the minimum requirement for the next 49 years.

In 1998, the length of the teaching practice was extended by law. Teacher preparation programs for junior high school teachers were required to set for a four-week teaching practice or three-week span, guaranteeing 120 hours (Ueyama & Nagatsuka, 2005, p. 218).  Two-week practice (60 hours) for high school teachers remained as it was.  The requirement of four-week practice at a school site for junior high school teachers was the critical turning point of teacher preparation.  However, the length of teaching practice for high school teachers remained the same.

 The length did not go further beyond four weeks the later years because of a disadvantage seen on the other academic programs.  While those who enrolled teacher preparation programs attached to regular universities and colleges participated in teaching practice, they could not attend regular classes at their universities and colleges during the four-week practice.  It was because they needed to be away from their universities and colleges.  Many of the teacher preparation programs at the universities and colleges sent their students to their alma maters, some of which were located far from their teacher preparation programs (Ueyama & Nagatsuka, 2005, p. 220).  That meant complete absence from their regular academic classes they have registered. The universities and colleges were very concerned with the four weeks during which they entirely missed their classes.  It seems that the regular national, public and private universities or colleges believed that their teacher preparation programs be under their control and need to follow the main curriculum structure and management of the university’s organization.

 

Quality Teacher

 

What the quality of teachers are composed of is not clearly seen in the complex environment surrounding the activities of teachers, especially what connected to the cultural values. Ueyama and Nagatsuka (2005) divided into three categories the ability, skills, knowledge, dispositions and personality researchers have found, which are imperative for teachers to have.  The first is the culturally transmitted quality.  The second is the quality required by social changes.  The third is the quality necessary to develop and improve school function.  The second and third categories highlighted the notion of the contemporary teaching professional (p. 212).  The culturally transmitted quality was regarded as the most critical in the depth of teachers’ ability including personality and personal values which allow them to perceive the world where they are.

Overviewing the 148 years of the secondary school teacher preparation, we can observe the three cultural qualities by which secondary school teachers could be respected.  The first one is the quality of teacher respected by the people, which is seen in virtue, or includes moral goodness of character and behavior. The second one is the quality of teacher respected by the people, which is the capable teaching skills and knowledge including the one built through teaching experience as the result of his or her actions responding to such virtue.  The third one was the quality of teacher respected by the people as the work of ‘a valuable worker’ engaging in teaching and education. The three types of teacher quality have been interwoven with one another and creating the image of teacher’s quality in the cultural context.

 

Quality in Virtue Transmitted to the Modern School System

In the early period of Meiji, political conflicts over the content of education and moral of teachers became fierce. There exited three major political factions. The first faction was the faction advocating acceptance of the western knowledge, sciences and culture.  Another was the political group advocating the Japanese tradition, beliefs and philosophy.  The other was groups of people supporting the freedom and people’s right movement.  The first two political factions had difficulty in reaching an agreement over this issue.  The first two factions, which were influencing the national government, had even fear of the involvement of the movement in this issue.  They needed to find a solution that satisfied the people taking part in the movement. 

The first two political factions discovered the best means to avoid the attack from the movement.  Many primary teachers, ruined descendants of samurai and intellectuals in the local communities participated in the movement.  They grew up with Confucian philosophy and beliefs, especially the samurai class.  Both factions agreed to accept the values stemming from Confucian philosophy and beliefs to hold their education and school system (Terasaki, 1974, p. 46-48).  These values were 1) submissiveness and conscience; 2) trust and affection; and 3) dignity and respect.  The three sets of values became the moral foundation of Japanese education, prevailing into the Japanese society over the time.

                The image of the quality teacher in virtue seemed transmitted through the early groups of recruited teachers for primary schools.  Under the educational system law of 1872, normal programs established in the regional areas began to provide with teacher training supervised by the lead teachers sent from Tokyo normal school.   Because of lack of teaching staff, the local offices called for individuals possible to teach.  They were Buddhist priests, Shinto priests, local intellectuals, merchants, former samurais, medicine doctors, village headmen and others (Yamada, 1993, p.1) Prior to the establishment of the modern school systems, Buddhist priests and Shinto’s priests, for instance, had been conducting small classes at their temples, and others had been running terakoyas, small private schools where usually a teacher was teaching children 3Rs.  Some of them had been carrying on their family traditions as that of educators for a long period of time (Yamada, 1993).   Their devotion to education for local people and their teaching ability were recognized, and they were also said to ask only a nominal fee for their services (Niibori & others, 1987, pp. 56-8).   Therefore, they were granted respect and reputation by their communities.  In turn, they accepted the duty and responsibility for educating and teaching their people in the communities.  The peoples in their communities saw them as the individuals to be respected, and the image of quality in virtue was created. 

 

Confusion of the Teaching Quality in Normal Schools

From the late 19th century to the 1930s, Japan entered the international conflicts and needed to respond to the political situations for the national security and growth.  As mentioned early in this paper, expansion of the educational system was seen as one of the critical measures for the purposes.  Normal schools were a good spot to analyze how the culturally-transmitted values were treated in the process of teacher preparation. 

There are the three views discovered by the researchers on the conditions of teacher preparation in normal schools.  The first view presented that normal schools turned to be a place of quasi-military training, and students had little freedom and less teacher preparation.  The military drill became a strong influence in the early time of the modern Japanese school system under the normal school law of 1886.  Arinori Mori, the first minister of education accepted the idea of conducting military drill in normal schools. It was reported, however, that he didn’t think the military drill would be the main part of education, and only wanted to please the military authorities (Terasaki, 1974, p. 114).  Eventually, students in normal schools were deemed to become submissive to the emperor and authorities.  The second view shows that the school environment helped student support the willingness of their learning.   In their daily life at the schools, they were not always studying and trained for teacher preparation.  Many of them were free to study some other subjects and topics they wished to learn.  It was also reported that they were not always studying the subjects for teacher preparation (Yamada, 1993, p.340).  The first two views might have been affecting their learning motivation to become a quality teacher in virtue.

In the comparative context between the first two views, as indicated in Table 9, it can be understood that students were living in the influence of the three distinctive cultural values.  Many students in normal schools were reported to have had been pursuing their academic interests.  Besides, a mental exercise consistently offered by military drills confused them.  Military drills and the attendant mental exercise required submissiveness to the authorities and loyal to the emperor.  Furthermore, they tried to follow the image of quality teacher created in the community-based educational practice prior to the Meji.  However, they were too young to become such quality teacher, required years of experience developing the behavior, mentality and values as respected by the communities.  Eventually, they had to develop a double standard on both submissiveness and loyalty to the authorities and a pretentious behavior just as they had the teaching ability the quality teacher has.  Their personal and dispositional foundations necessary to develop the teaching ability and skills for transmitting the cultural values declined in their confusion.

 

 

Table 9:  The assumption of the effects of the eventual intervention over the cultural values

 

 

Meji

Restoration

1868

See  Appendix 1

 

 

 

Quality in virtue

 

 

Teaching ability to realize the quality in virtue

 

 

Teaching as profession as responding to social changes

 

 

The status of teachers in the society as worker

Strong

Strong

Negative Effect

Militarists’ Influence

Strong

Strong

Weak

Negative Effect

Weak

Socialists’ & Communists’ influence

Strong

Strong

Strong Again

Strong Again

 

 

In 1943, the statement referring to the Confucian values mentioned in the 1872 law was removed from the 1943 normal school law.  Instead, the law included that “following the way of the emperor’s nation, teachers at the national-common schools must achieve the best with training” (Terasaki, 1974, p. 230).   The urgency on the national security required the Japanese people to be more cohesive, and teachers including secondary school teachers were also demanded the cohesiveness more than the quality in virtue. Niibori stated that the aim of teaching was shifted from for students to for the nation (Niibori, 1987, pp. 56-8).

Teachers as Valuable Work Force

The socialists’ movement brought up the other profile of quality teacher in the aftermath of the pacific war.  The movement confined the quality teacher to a valuable worker who can contribute to the advancement of a society that only the working class with the working masses can achieve.  According to Niibori (1987), the Japan Teachers’ Union declared “teacher is worker” in their code of ethics in 1951. The excerpt of the eighth code stated that teachers are workers and a school is a workplace. Because they understand that work is the foundation of everything in a society, teachers are proud of being workers.  They respect a fundamental human right not only by words but also by their actions.  In a new human society, the natural resources, technologies and sciences are used for happiness of all the people.  The new society can be only achieved by the working masses for which the working class is a core. They are aware of their positions as workers, live for the ideal of advancement of human history and see all the stagnancy and counteractions as enemies (pp. 56-8).

The unionizing view on quality teacher offered a rather mixed message. The Teachers’ Union recognized that the work of teachers is invaluable for our society so that their work has to be recognized just worthy of other professional occupations.  However, they denied the previous educational policies implemented during the pre- and mid- war period because they saw them as the products their enemy created that they should attach.   The values implanted in the previous policies they should further also attach involved the cultural values which had been built in the prolonged period of time.  The Confucian values let the people believe that teachers’ work was a valuable contribution to the communities.  The people in the communities granted teachers a great respect because they voluntarily taught them.  The teachers’ union, however, attacked even such values.  That caused confusions in the teachers’ communities.

The consequence of both demand of the cohesive nation in the period of 1886 to 1945 and the denial of the preceding values by the unionizing actions during the 1950-60s actually became the cause that weaken the fundamental values of Japanese moral foundation such as 1) submissiveness and conscience; 2) trust and affection; and 3) dignity and respect.   Therefore, the quality teacher in virtue has not been understood lucidly enough to rebuild in the present day.  This has made it difficult to discuss about ethical issues of teachers and the curriculum content of moral education in teacher preparation programs for primary and middle school teachers.

 

Conclusion

This study aimed at rediscovering some cultural values and beliefs affecting the directions of teacher preparation programs and institutions for secondary school teachers developed in Japan for the last one hundred forty-eight years.  The following six points are drawn from this study. 

  1. The fundamental values of quality teacher were created during the Edo period. The values for quality teacher were 1) submissiveness and conscience; 2) trust and affection; and 3) dignity and respect.
  2. The secondary school teachers had a variety of backgrounds.  Normal schools and high normal schools in the early stage of building the Japanese school system were a good incubator to nurture the values.  However, all of the secondary school teachers did not necessarily graduate from high normal schools.  In the early 20th century, only thirty percent of the secondary school teachers graduated from the educational institutions such as high normal school.  The fifty percent was graduates from other higher institutions or certified teachers by the examinations conducted by the national government.  The last 20 % of teachers was not certified. It is conjectured that the degree of the values spreading into the school systems depends upon their perceptions of secondary school teachers over the values. 
  3. The influence of the political values and beliefs over the fundamental values interrupted students’ mental readiness and their proper behavior of quality teacher in virtue.  Especially, it is observed in the period of 1930-40s that the national security and economic growth were threatened.  It is further observed in the period of 1950s and 60s that the teachers’ union brought the socialist’s ideology of ‘worker’ into the teachers’ communities.  Their influences weakened the fundamental values and beliefs of teachers, which were supposed to pass on by the teacher’s devotion and pride, and the image earned by the communities.
  4. Since their establishment, the university community believed that the teacher preparation institutions never fit the mission of university. They viewed that universities offer students the liberal arts and specialized academic subjects and educate them to become intellectuals who could search for truth or have the strength of research capability.  On the contrary, they believed that teacher preparation institutions such as high normal schools are a school that train students to be school teachers, but not educating them the intellectuals. It was very difficult for them to accept the mission of teacher preparation programs as part of their mission.
  5. The national government had begun to carry on a long-term plan for having the university level of teacher preparation since the enactment of Education System Law in 1872.  Fifty-seven years later, in 1929, two liberal arts universities started their lectures for training secondary school teachers and building research capability in the field of education.  Their belief further expanded after the war under the 1949 certification law.
  6. The unfavorable view on the teacher preparation institutions existed even after the war.  Universities and colleges to which secondary teacher preparation programs and colleges of education were attached still had difficulty in accepting the mission of teacher preparation.  They treated the teacher preparation programs as secondary as being not regular courses and had no intention to extend the length of teaching practice.  As far as the frame of the secondary teacher preparation programs was confined within the overarching university curriculum, the preparation programs could not pursue their mission as needed by adding new professional knowledge and skills to deal with the current issues and anticipated problems.

 

Further Consideration

The core values and beliefs culturally nurtured in a long period of time are strongly connected to the communities.  This type of cultural values and beliefs and the attendant teaching strategies were developed by teachers’ devotion, pride and love to their students.   For rediscovering the values and beliefs and the teaching strategies, it will be worth finding a way to regenerate such values and teaching ability through our teacher education policies.  I have proposed a cyclical process of the policy making.  Appendix 1 indicates how we could perceive the process and the location of each entity such as the communities, religions, school organizations, government organizations and so forth. The cyclical process regenerates the emerging values and beliefs commonly accepted by the peoples.

 

Further Questions

                This study has inspired me to inquire further on this topic, particularly the following questions.

(1) It seems that the previous studies treated the fundamental values and beliefs as Confucian values. However, because of the cultural difference between China and Japan, the fundamental values and beliefs in Japan may not be similar to those of the counterpart. I believe that any fundamental values and beliefs are tightly connected to the specific historical and cultural context.  Thus, it will be critical to portray the extent to which both are closer in what context or there exists any other value considered fundamental.

(2) I used the term, ‘frame” in my paper to explain the confinement voluntarily created by the university community just as it eliminating an unfit value.    The complexity in the frame needs to be scrutinized to find possibility of advancement of secondary school teacher preparation.Such a finding process may lead us to an alternative view allowing us to going beyond the frame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1

Perpetuity of Renewal Process of Teacher Education Policies

Vision of Our Future Society

Policy –

Making

Renewal Process

Policy Implementation

Values & Beliefs

Governments 

National, Regional, Local

 

Students, Teachers, Parents, School administrators

Educational

Organizations

Other

Organizations

    Religions

Communities

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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