Cooperative Learning in Japan: History and Present Situation of Research and Implementation.Report as inadecuate

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This chapter gives a brief history of cooperative learning in Japan, describes several types of Japanese cooperative learning, offers short vignettes of modern situations in which cooperative learning has been effective, and concludes with thoughts about the future of cooperative learning in the Japanese context. Learning in Japan was structured along highly competitive lines until after World War II. This was the legacy of the Meiji era (1868-1912) and the Taisho Period (1912-1926). The shift to more cooperative forms of learning began in the postwar period, but intensified in the 1950s, particularly a new method termed Buzz Learning. Concerns grew that Japanese education was excessively group-oriented and gave short shrift to the individual, so that by the 1980s educational reformers began to look for ways to encourage individual growth and development in a Japanese setting. The common response was to promote instructional and personal guidance. Truly cooperative approaches are more successful in promoting and allowing individuality to flourish. Cooperative learning, supported by human trust, has brought positive educational outcomes even in countries that have cultural diversity. Therefore cooperative learning must be essential in the process of learning by human beings. Using cooperation that is a part of human nature can lead to an environment where children can develop their individuality. (Contains 44 references.) (KFT)

Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Cooperative Learning, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Instructional Innovation, Japanese, Teaching Methods

Author: Shuji, Sugie


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