Research Activities
A Nation at Risk, A Nation in Need of Dialogue: Citizenship, Denizenship, and Beyond in Japanese Education
2nd Seminar of Group 3, 2008
■Speaker :David Blake Willis (Professor of Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, Soai University)
■Place :B103-104, Chikou-kan, Seta Campus, Ryukoku University
■Date :14:00-17:00, Thursday, June 5, 2008
■Number :080605
The Japanese society and educational system are being challenged today by a range of issues that herald the advent of a global multicultural society. These issues challenge the traditional Japanese identity as well as the organization and thrust of the curricula of Japanese educational institutions even in those areas not directly affected by Others in their midst. The Government, the Ministry of Education, and the society at large, have, however, viewed 1) culture and identity, 2) education for a global consciousness, and 3) recognition and appreciation of multicultural diversity as issues to be resolved at the local level by local schools and teachers. These key issues for a globalizing world have been seen as unworthy of larger, nation-wide policy deliberation. What is needed now is dialogue in the Paulo Freirean sense of the word of dialogue as praxis, as constitutive of both reflection and action. Praxis can transform the world, as Freire points out. This paper calls for a dialogue in Japan as the encounters between peoples both inside and outside Japan It is thus at the local level where we begin to see the transformation of Japanese education. Those who have been denied their primordial right to speak their word must first reclaim this right and prevent the continuation of this dehumanizing aggression of elite-directed mass education. We begin with a new transcultural, multicultural Japan at the local level in schools and communities.