How the history of curriculum affects the development of curriculum today. An overview of the curriculum of Japan post WWII and it's affects of todays curriculum development.
RUNNING HEAD: Curriculum History
History of Curriculum: Affecting Modern Day Curriculum Design
October 10, 2006
The study of curriculum is essential to the understanding of educational systems and how they educated their students. Through this study we are able to create curriculum that is ever changing and addresses the current needs. Both the United States and Japan have had major reforms in their educational system trying to address the need for changes to curriculum. Post WWII Japan has experienced one evolutionary change to it's curriculum after another. This ever changing process has created both a complex and unique curriculum to be studied and analyzed. We will briefly discuss the major reforms of the Japanese Curriculum and look to the future for more changes.
Studying the history of any subject including curriculum teaches us to not only respect how we are where we are today, but provides us with a foundation to learn from and build upon. Without understanding the history how can anyone profess to have the ability to make changes, develop, create or even understand curriculum and its design? It has been the belief of the Society of the Study of Curriculum History that by evaluating what has happened in the past we can begin to create more effective curriculum. "It seems to me that it is not up to the historians to formulate a new approach to their subject but up to the curriculum field to look to its history to make better judgments about present and future actions." (Tanner, 1977).
The history of curriculum show us how over time it has evolved trying to accommodate the every changing times of society and teach the skills that are necessary to survive in that era. Through the study of this history educators will be able to become more equipped in developing curriculum that addresses the needs of today's society while implementing the "what works" from the historical perspectives.
This history of curriculum is quite different from country to country and can be traced backed for centuries. We will take a closer look into the history of curriculum over the past 50 years in the country of Japan.
At the end of World War II the educational system of Japan was completely devastated and archaic in terms of the "new" beliefs being brought into Japan by the current military occupation. (Education in Japan, n.d.) In 1946 the United States Education Mission established a number of changes that brought about the democratizing of the Japanese education. Prior to the war much of the education was based on teaching loyalty to the country, politics, and cultural morals. With the US Education Mission text books were re written removing such things and replaced with what we call typical curriculum in the United States: Social Studies, Mathematics, and Reading etc. With this reform also came about local school boards and teachers unions. ...
The expert examines the history of curriculum in Japan.