Course of Study for Tokkatsu Junior High School (tentative)
I. Junior High School
II. Objectives and Contents for each Activity/School Event
Classroom activities aim at forming positive relationships and helping each to contribute in improving classroom and school life as a group member. They motivate pupils to deal with various problems and take action, and also to have a healthy attitude toward life.
Using the classroom unit, teachers are encouraged to organize activities that enrich and improve classroom and school life and address various problems faced by students.
(1) Creating the Classroom and School Community
* To solve various problems which come up in the course of classroom and school life
* To organize groups within the classroom and to share responsibilities
* To improve the atmosphere in the various groups in the school.
(2) Adjustment, Development, and Health/Safety
*To address and solve anxieties and dilemmas accompanying adolescence
* To understand and respect the individuality of both oneself and others
* To feel responsibility as a member of the society
* To promote understanding and cooperation between genders
* To form positive human relationships
* To understand the meaning of volunteer activities and participate
* To acquire attitudes and habits which are healthy and safe, both emotionally and physically
* To address sexual development
* To plan school lunches based on “food education” (shokuiku) and encourage the development of desirable eating habits (*2)
(3) Study and Plan After Graduation
*To understand the meaning of studying and working
*To acquire a self-motivated attitude to study and using the school library
*To examine what is the best future choice for each student, and utilize information on future choices
*To form positive views of work and occupation
*To promote independent choice of one’s future and planning the future
[Student Council Activities]
Student council activities aim at forming positive relationships and help students contribute in improving school life as a member of a group or society. They encourage students to acquire an outlook that enables them to be motivated in facing various challenges together and to put their thoughts into action.
Activities by student councils in which all students of the school are members, aim to enrich and improve school life.
(1) planning and management of the student council
(2) collaborative interaction in mixed-age groups
(3) providing and coordinating information on various student activities
(4) collaborating in school events
(5) social involvement such as volunteer activities
School events aim at forming positive relationships and help pupils develop a sense of belonging and connectedness with others in their group and a sense of public spirit. They encourage students to be motivated and to work together towards improving the quality of school life.
School events for the students in the entire school or in a certain grade, provide both order and variation. They give students the opportunity to experience activities to enrich and promote the quality of school life.
Ceremonial events give school life meaningful variation, and mark important turning points, provide students with the opportunity to experience both a sense of solemnness and freshness and help them to move onto a new stage of life.
Cultural events provide the students the opportunity to display the results of their regular learning activities, help to motivate them further, and encourage them to take interest in culture and art.
(3)School Events Related to Health/Safety and Physical Education
School events related to healthy development, both physically and emotionally, and maintaining and promoting health, help students understand such matters. Events encourage students to understand how to act safely and follow common rules; they help students acquire a positive attitude towards exercising, and cultivate a sense of responsibility and togetherness, and contribute to better physical fitness.
(4) Trips and Overnight Events
Trips and overnight events aim to broaden the experience of students, expose them to nature and culture, by placing them in an environment different from their ordinary living conditions. Such activities also aim to provide students valuable experiences in communal life and public morals, etc.
(5) School Events Related to Work and Voluntary Social Service (*3)
Such events aim to provide students with the opportunity to experience the value of work and the joy of producing something. These workplace activities may be an inspiration in choosing their future vocation or course to pursue. Such events provide student with the positive experience of mutual cooperation, and the opportunity to cultivate the spirit of voluntary social service.
III. Developing Lesson Plans and the Contents
1. In developing a lesson plan, consideration should be given to the following points.
(1) When preparing the overall plan for tokubetsu katsudo and an annual teaching plan for each activity and school event, schools should be given the flexibility to be creative. Furthermore, plans should adjust to the needs of the classroom and school, and to the developmental stages of the students. Activities in which students can be motivated and active should be encouraged. In addition, effort should be made to link contents with academic subjects, moral education, and the period of integrated studies, as well as to coordinate with families and people in the community, and to make good use of social educational facilities, etc.
(2) Teachers should make good use of student guidance, and when counseling about educational matters (including the student’s future), care should be taken to contact families frequently, and to provide appropriate advice.
(3) Teachers should be imaginative in instruction about adaptation to school life and forming human relationships, choosing one’s future course, etc. by strengthening guidance functions (e.g., classroom activities), etc. Especially when the students have just entered junior high school, teachers should be imaginative in encouraging each student to adapt to school life, and enable the student to lead a school life that is full of hope and purpose.
(4) Based on the objective of moral education listed in subsections I-2 of chapter 1 “general provisions” and in the subsection I of chapter 3 on moral education, teachers are encouraged to consider the relationship between tokubetsu katsudo and moral education and other class periods, and to provide contents which fall under subsection II of chapter 3 of moral education in light of the unique characteristics of tokubetsu katsudo.
2. In teaching the contents listed in subsection II, consideration should be given to the following points.
(1) Teachers should provide appropriate support, taking into consideration the characteristic of the instruction contents, so that students can effectively engage in motivated and autonomous activities during “classroom activities” and “student council activities.” Care should also be taken to coordinate the content. In addition, teachers should give plenty of opportunities for activities such as classroom discussions about how to improve the classroom community, enable students to make and follow their own rules, and help students form good relationships.
(2) For “classroom activities,” in light of the needs of the class, school, and students, challenges faced in building the classroom community (group), and developmental issues, as well as the objectives of moral education listed in 1-(3) of subsection III of chapter 3 on moral education, teachers are encouraged to focus on the key instructional contents that are appropriate for the specific grade. In addition, depending on the needs, teachers can examine the relationship between contents and combine, or add other elements. Teachers are asked to provide quality classroom management, and deepen their understanding of each student; instruction should be rooted in mutual trust between the teacher and student and the contents should be linked to student guidance.
(3) Mainly the students of the upper grades manage the “student council activities.”
(4) As for “school events,” in light of the needs of the school, community, and students, teachers are encouraged to focus on the key events and their contents, depending on the type of event. Teachers should selectively focus by linking and integrating events. In addition, at the implementation stage, teachers are encouraged to provide rich opportunities for interaction with toddlers, the aged, those with disabilities, etc. Teachers are also encouraged to provide high quality activities such as experiencing outdoor life or social experiences. Teachers should be imaginative in providing opportunities for children to analyze what they experienced, put their thoughts into words, and to present the results to each other, among other activities.
3. During entrance and graduation ceremonies, in light of their significance, the national flag should be exhibited and the national anthem should be sung (*4).
*(1) The translation above is a tentative one prepared for this homepage and not the translation by the Ministry. The original (in Japanese) is available at:http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/shotou/new-cs/youryou/chu/toku.htm
(as of Dec. 2012).
*(2) Not part of the Ministry’s translation. Food education includes not only eating a balanced diet, but also knowledge of traditional foods, etc.
*(3) There is controversy over the term “social service” (hoshi) and volunteering, the former seen as having a more compulsory meaning.
*(4) There is an on-going political controversy over the contents of this section.