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The Growing Influence of Political Leadership on Teacher Education: Radical Policy Reforms in the Absence of Opposition Forces

  • Sawako YufuEmail author
  • Ryoji Matsuoka
Chapter
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 46)

Abstract

This chapter discusses the increased influence of political leadership over education policies during the past decades in Japan by providing a detailed assessment of recent teacher education reforms from periods not covered in previous studies. For this purpose, it will first describe how education policy-making has changed over the past few decades (including critical changes such as power shifting after reorganizations of government ministries), then provide a brief history of teacher education reforms in Japan, and finally scrutinize the contents of the recent reform proposed by the Central Council on Education Report 184. In addition, the chapter will explain stronger national control over teacher education and standardization of teacher education at universities across the country, with examples of the devaluation of academic knowledge in teacher education. Then, it will describe the absence of opposition to the radical policy changes by describing detailed conditions that seemingly inhibit universities and teachers’ unions from becoming influential over the direction of the reforms. The chapter will conclude with discussions on how and why the reforms will be less likely to achieve the professionalization of teachers, which is the goal of reform efforts in other societies.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Waseda UniversityTokyoJapan

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