(4)Reforms in Teaching Methods

In the May, 1941 instructions, the National Schools were directed to emphasize training for the Imperial Subjects in their everyday instruction. The training's goal was to develop the entire being of the child so he would direct his total effort to the realization of the aims of the Imperial Way. Japan entered World War 2 on December 8, 1941, only months after the National School program began and a great effort was launched to realize these aims.

The special characteristics of the teaching methods emphasized in the National Schools were as follows: 1) Education in the purely intellectual sense was rejected and instruction was conceived as a unity of teaching and training. In other words the whole man became the object of education. The Imperial Subject was to be given a program of instruction that would unify his character. 2) Considerable importance was attached to ceremonies and other school events as one means to bringing about this unity. 3) Education was to be carried out in close cooperation of school with the home and society.

Group training was a pedagogical slogan of the National Schools while "freedom" and "individualism" were considered inimical to the Imperial Way and suppressed. The daily assemblies provided a good illustration of the National Schools' teaching method. Each morning the entire school assembled to bow in the direction of the Imperial Palace and do calisthenics together. In the assemblies they were lectured on the importance and the need to persevere until ultimate victory was achieved.

Many schools turned their gymnasiums into martial arts' halls, and set up small Shinto altars in each classroom. In addition the Imperial Rescript to Young Students were issued on May 22, 1939, and pictures of war gods and heroes were hung in the classroom, and regulations were posted indicating the manner in which these should be worshiped. Some educators questioned the value of these methods, but government control of education insured their wide adoption. However, a small number of schools did manage to maintain the tradition of progressive teaching methods, and in the postwar period, these institutions were to play a leading role in promoting the "new education."


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

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

-- 登録:平成21年以前 --