Seminar Series

Book Talk Series  “Enacting Moral Education in Japan: Between State Policy and School Practice”

Date
Thursday, 1 February 2024 | 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Sam BAMKIN Assistant Professor of Center for Global Education, The University of Tokyo
  • Roger GOODMAN The Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and the Warden of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford
Moderator
  • Sawako SHIRAHASE Director of TCJS
Event Description

Moral education is one of the most controversial areas of Japanese education, and recently underwent a period of reform as part of a suite of nation-building policies. However, research on moral education is largely based on policy studies. It regularly overlooks the agency and political awareness of teachers and school administrators, who combine scepticism, indifference and appreciation toward aspects of moral education, experienced as everyday practice. Whilst the analysis of policy debates, curriculum and textbooks represents a mature body of research, even baseline studies of moral education in the classroom or the teacher’s room are scarce.
Based on extensive data collection at multiple levels of the education system, this book looks beyond written policy to explore how teachers and school administrators make sense of moral education reform, and how they translate it into practice. It aims to better understand (1) what changes were made to moral education practice locally during its reform, and how this compares to the ‘intentions’ of national policy; (2) how teachers mediated the implementation of national policies; (3) the changing roles of the Ministry of Education, boards of education, and other actors in policy enactment; and (4) the theoretical implications understanding moral education, the Japanese education system, and policy enactment.
The book presents a new perspective on the complexity of education policymaking in the space between policy and practice.

Enacting Moral Education in Japan: Between State Policy and School Practice, by Sam Bamkin, Routledge, December 2023.

About the Speaker

Sam Bamkin is Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo. He studied the reform of moral education between 2018 and 2023. Recently, he has begun studying policies on the digitisation of compulsory education in Japan, and global studies on education policymaking processes.

Roger Goodman is the Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and the Warden of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. His main research interests are Japanese education and social policy. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Tokyo College, the University of Tokyo where is undertaking a new research project on the Japanese health system.