Full Text
Home > Policy > White Paper, Notice, Announcement > White Paper > Japanese Government Policies in Education, Science, Sports and Culture1999 > Part2 Q15

Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q15: I believe that at the upper secondary school level,it is necessary for each and every student to fully develop his/her own individual capabilities.In the latest revision of the Courses of Study at upper secondary schools,how has the educational content changed?

A:At upper secondary school,we are working to further promote education that responds to student's interests,concerns and career aspirations,and to ensure more widespread flexibility.Specifically,we are working to reduce the number of compulsory subjects while increasing the number of elective subjects,so that all students are able to fully develop their respective capabilities.

Structure of the Curriculum

With the implementation of the new Courses of Study,the upper secondary school curriculum will include the newly-added Periods for Inte-grated Study as well as the subjects,courses and special activities that have been used to date.The composition of subjects will see the ad-dition of Information as a compulsory general education subject,and,in order to foster spe-cialists of the next generation in the information age and aging society,Information and Welfare will be introduced as specialized subjects.Furthermore,the system School Desi ated Subiects and Courses will be introduced where-by schools can independently develop original subjects and courses which are not part of the Courses of Study.

Expanding the Scope of Electives

In order to further promote education in the new Courses of Study that responds to student's in-terests,concerns and career aspirations,efforts are being made to reduce the number of credits in compulsory subjects studied commonly by all students,and allocate more credits to elective courses.

Upper Secondary School General Education Courses

In this way,through the implementation of the new Courses of Study at upper secondary schools,the educational content studied com-monly by all students will be reduced,but in fields where students have the desire to extend their individual capabilities,they will be able to study at a higher level.For example,if a student wants to further his/her study of mathematics or science,he/she will be able to study the same content as before by taking an elective course related to mathe-matics or science in addition to the compulsory subject.In addition,the use of the system of School Designated Subjects and Courses will enable even greater study.

Example Image of the Study of a Science Student in Upper Secondary School GeneralEducation Courses

Development of Distinctive EducationalActivities

Another characteristic of the new Courses of Study is to ensure that each school is able to develop its own distinctive educational activities making use of original ideas and designs.Schools are able to introduce more diversity in their school timetables.Lesson time is no longer limited to50minutes per period.Rather,the designs of each school can allow for more diversity in the structure of lessons,with those involving experiments and practical learning lasting100minutes,and those which need teaching every day lasting25minutes.The cre-ation of the above-mentioned Periods of Inte-grated Study and the introduction of School Designated Subjects and Courses are also among the measures.Extracurricular activities-for example,study at other upper secondary schools,universities or special training colleges,volunteer activities and internships--may now be authenticated as credits earned at upper secondary school.

What are the Courses of Study?

The Courses of Study are prescribed as the standards by which each school organizes its cur-riculum based on laws promulgated by the Minister of Education,Science,Sports and Culture,in order to maintain universality in education throughout the country,and to maintain and im-prove upon levels of education.All schools are obliged to organize and implement their cur-ricula based on the Courses of Study.

Let's Play,Miss

Tsuboi Sakae,author of the novel Nijuyon no Hitomi(The24Eyes)

The author of this novel moved many peoplein her description of the contact between ateacher and her students.

In the town of Uchinomi,Shozu-gun,Kagawa Prefecture,the centennial anniver-sary of Tsuboi's birth was commemorated atthe strong behest of the townspeople,and oneimage was chosen from her work to represent,in statue form,the hopes of the author and allthe townspeople,and to pass these hopes onfor eternity to future generations.

The Nijuyon no Hitomi Statue(Let's Play,Miss)Commemorating the Centennial Anniversary of the Birth of the Author Tsuboi Sakae

Tsuboi Sakae compared Shodoshima Island tothe view of a puppy sideways on.The class-room,which was the model of the novel,islocated at the tip of the puppy's hind leg.From that spot,at a distance of about600m ina public square,there now exists the Nijuyonno Hitomi statue,built at the location for thefilm version of Nijuyon no Hitomi in1987.

(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Back to Top   MEXT HOME