London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Differences between citizenship awareness in Japan and the UK: how students argue on controversial issues

Author(s) Tanaka, N.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2014  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Innovative Practice and Research Trends in Identity, Citizenship and Education  
Age group -  
The purpose of this research is to clarify differences between the citizenship awareness of children in Japan and the UK. Citizenship educational materials are designed according to national curriculum frameworks. However, the teachers who are responsible for teaching citizenship materials are influenced by local cultural perspectives and citizenship consciousness. Citizenship education is not universal. Each country has its own educational practices. I try to show differences regarding the nature of citizenship in Junior High School students in Japan and the UK. The methodology used involved two steps. The first step involved using cultural psychology theory to analyse the nature of citizenship. The second step required documenting the levels of citizenship awareness in Japan and UK school children, based on an analysis of responses to a questionnaire about the nature of citizenship. The results of this research show that British children put emphasis on community perspectives when forming their opinions, while Japanese children put emphasis on the perspectives of moral issues when forming their opinions. This reveals the characteristic of using judgement when forming opinions on social issues. British children seek solutions to futuristic problems from an objective viewpoint. In contrast, Japanese children look for solutions to problems of the present from a subjective viewpoint.

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