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Content analysis of cultural values represented in Japanese early moral education textbooks

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Abstract:

The researcher proposes to examine cultural values reflected in first- and second-grade moral education textbooks in Japan. These two years, called teigakunen (early grades) in the Japanese elementary school system, are the very beginning of formal moral education which extends throughout the middle school years (through the ninth grade in the U.S).

The researcher will employ Schwartz’s value theory as a theoretical framework. Values can be defined as the “cognitive representations of desirable, abstract, trans-situational goals, varying in importance, that serve as guiding principles in people’s lives” (Schwartz, 1994, p. 21). Schwartz (1994) identified ten types of values, each of which express a distinctive motivational goal along with the corresponding specific value items. Schwartz’s value theory has been tested in more than 60 nations. And, in total, 45 individual values are found to be core values across nations (e.g., Schwartz 2000, 2001).

The researcher will read each story in the textbooks and extract a major moral value from the story following the method of qualitative content analysis suggested by Garaneheim and Lundman (2004). The value will then be categorized according to Schwartz’s value theory. The ATLAS.ti qualitative-research toolkit (Muhr, 2004) will be used for analyzing the textbooks.

The findings of the analysis will show (1) types of values, (2) frequency of value occurrence and (3) differences in value content by grade, if any. The findings will be discussed in light of their Japanese cultural and social context and their pedagogical implications to classroom teaching.

Values serve the interests of social entities and guide people’s lives, and are thus critical to understanding cultures. Given the accepted role of schools as legitimate socialization agents charged with educating future citizens, this study will shed light on the kinds of values deemed desirable and important for children in Japanese society.
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Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493100_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Anzai, Shinobu. "Content analysis of cultural values represented in Japanese early moral education textbooks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493100_index.html>

APA Citation:

Anzai, S. , 2011-05-01 "Content analysis of cultural values represented in Japanese early moral education textbooks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493100_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The researcher proposes to examine cultural values reflected in first- and second-grade moral education textbooks in Japan. These two years, called teigakunen (early grades) in the Japanese elementary school system, are the very beginning of formal moral education which extends throughout the middle school years (through the ninth grade in the U.S).

The researcher will employ Schwartz’s value theory as a theoretical framework. Values can be defined as the “cognitive representations of desirable, abstract, trans-situational goals, varying in importance, that serve as guiding principles in people’s lives” (Schwartz, 1994, p. 21). Schwartz (1994) identified ten types of values, each of which express a distinctive motivational goal along with the corresponding specific value items. Schwartz’s value theory has been tested in more than 60 nations. And, in total, 45 individual values are found to be core values across nations (e.g., Schwartz 2000, 2001).

The researcher will read each story in the textbooks and extract a major moral value from the story following the method of qualitative content analysis suggested by Garaneheim and Lundman (2004). The value will then be categorized according to Schwartz’s value theory. The ATLAS.ti qualitative-research toolkit (Muhr, 2004) will be used for analyzing the textbooks.

The findings of the analysis will show (1) types of values, (2) frequency of value occurrence and (3) differences in value content by grade, if any. The findings will be discussed in light of their Japanese cultural and social context and their pedagogical implications to classroom teaching.

Values serve the interests of social entities and guide people’s lives, and are thus critical to understanding cultures. Given the accepted role of schools as legitimate socialization agents charged with educating future citizens, this study will shed light on the kinds of values deemed desirable and important for children in Japanese society.


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