Research for Japanese-Like Competency and Assessment Through Challenges of Eager Schools for Sustainability after the Great Earthquake and Tsunami
10 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 6, 2012
This article will attempt to examine active practices of schools in the Tohoku district, which eager teachers lead to cooperative learning by their own “formative” pedagogies and assessments, and reveal the basic framework of “Japanese competency” related to sustainability after the great earthquake and tsunami. First, we order various competencies which are recently discussed about importance for future in Japan, for example, “zest for living (Jap IKIRU-CHIKARA)," “Basic abilities as members of society (Syakaizin kisoryoku),” “Competencies as a bachelor (Gakushi ryoku),” “Fundamental and generic competencies of career education (Kisoteki hanyouteki nouryoku).” In addition, by quoting knowledge of cognitive science about learning in Japan, the characteristics of Japanese competency including helpfulness, kindness, and cooperation which are seen in this disaster are explained. Secondly, several school practices in the Tohoku district are explained as Japanese teachers’ own pedagogies and assessments based on eager schools and communities. Regarding to each of practice both qualitative and quantitative data are collected by several surveys about schools participating in Associated Schools Project Network, which is a group for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). In Japanese education the word of ‘assessment’ itself isn’t used generally except for special needs education but essence of assessment is exposited in various original methods in classroom and teachers transform the prescriptive syllabus. Active learning by these practices probably sustains people’s amazing efforts against the huge disaster, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Finally, the relationship of competency based on fuzzy and holistic knowledge and assessment is revealed as the basic framework of “Japanese-like competency” related to sustainability. The framework is expected to become the leading concept that Japanese strength cultivated is rediscovered in order to encourage people in disaster areas who must face difficult and unclear situation and build really ‘sustainable’ hometown and community.
Keywords: assessment, competency, Education for Sustainable Development, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami
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