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Title:Value change during societal transition: Japanese teachers and the war
Author(s):Fons, Chieko Suzuki
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Coombs, Fred S.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:Japanese teachers taught ultranationalistic ideology in the prewar school system and encouraged students to sacrifice themselves so Japan, a holy nation, would be victorious against the materialistic western nations symbolized by the United States. After the defeat in 1945, however, they had to denounce this ideology and had to teach the new "democratic" values promoted by the American Occupation. The teachers now had to emphasize freedom instead of order, rights instead of obligation, and independence instead of obedience. They were forced to admit, in front of their students, that what they had taught them before with such authority was completely wrong, and that they wholeheartedly welcomed the values of the victors. How did Japanese teachers adapt to such value changes? Did they really change? If they didn't, what actually happened? If they did, how did they change? What kind of inner conflicts, if any, did they experience when they changed values?
This study uses a typology of value transformation. According to how individual Japanese teachers dealt with the two conflicting value systems, they are identified as traditionalists, trend followers, repenters, eclectics, or integrationists. The study presents these five categories as exemplified by teachers whose life stories were collected through face-to-face interviews.
This study found that no one category of the typology characterized the typical response pattern of Japanese teachers. It also found that, unlike the popular notion in the West that Japanese experienced no moral dilemmas in switching values because of the premise that Japanese culture lacks universal morality, many Japanese teachers experienced value conflicts when they changed their values. The author, viewing integrationists as better teachers because they teach students to be reflective, discusses how to encourage teachers to be integrationists.
Though the study focuses on Japanese teachers' experiences which occurred almost half a century ago, its framework and findings can be applied to experiences of other societies that are undergoing dramatic political changes. Since we live in a rapidly changing world where--even without radical political changes--social values are constantly being pushed for change, this study can provide important insights into how people cope with change.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Fons, Chieko Suzuki
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026183
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026183

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