Division of School Improvement and Policy Studies

Course Description

Our concerns are research and development of education policy, educational administration, educational finance, politics of education, and school management. We also aim to train researchers who can conduct policy planning and evaluation, administration and finance system reform, and management, and supervision, as well as public officials in leader positions (education administration officials, school administrators, teacher consultants, and others). The Division was created in 2006 after reorganization of the former Division of Education Administration. The interdisciplinary nature of the field has resulted in much active collaboration and cooperation with other research fields and institutions.



Professor (School Leadership and Management)
Faculty member of the Division of Educational Practices and Policies

My research areas include education policy, school leadership and management, and teacher education. In particular, I have a continuing interest in teacher evaluation policies and practices, and currently value-added approaches to teacher evaluation that are increasingly becoming popular around the world attract my attention. I am also doing research into professional learning networks or communities across as well as within Japan’s high schools.
I am interested in working with students from different backgrounds who are keen to conduct research in a wide range of areas that roughly match mine. Those students who share with me concerns about democracy, social justice, equity, quality and effectiveness in schooling will be particularly welcome.

  • Teacher Evaluation Policies and Practices in Japan : How performativity works in school, New York ;Routledge 2016.
  • Katsuno, M. (2012). Teachers’ professional identities in an era of testing accountability in Japan: The case of teachers in low-performing schools, Education Research International, 2012, Article ID 930279, 8 pages.
  • Katsuno, M. (2010). Teacher Evaluation at Japanese Schools: an examination from micro-political or relational viewpoint, Journal of Education Policy, 25(3), pp.293-307.
  • Katsuno, M. (2003). The ideas and policies of teacher evaluation, Tokyo: Eidell Kenkyujo, 172p. (in Japanese)


Associate Professor (Politics of Education, Education Policy)
Faculty member of the Division of Educational Practices and Policies

My research interests include the politics of education, and the education policymaking system and process in Japan. Education policymaking requires both democratic control and a high degree of professionalism. However, these elements do not always work in conjunction and we have to balance between the two. I have examined the school board system in Japan that aims for the checks-and-balances system, and have analysed how the dynamic between democracy and professionalism cause different policy outcomes.

I’m also interested in political science theory and the case study and statistical analysis research methods. In the future, I’d like to examine cross-national research and clarify the patterns in politics of education and educational policymaking.

  • Murakami, Y. (2011) Political Science of Educational Administration, Tokyo: Bokutaku-sha, 328p. (in Japanese)
  • Murakami, Y. (2013) Rethinking a Case Study Method in Educational Research: A Comparative Analysis Method in Qualitative Research, Educational Studies in Japan, (7) 81-96
  • The Japan Educational Administration Society. (2012) Local Politics and Reforms of Educational Administration and Finance, Tokyo: Fukumura Publisher. (Co-editor) (in Japanese)


Associate Professor (Education Policy and Education Administration)
Faculty member of the Division of Educational Practices and Policies

My research field is education policy including education finance, policy evaluation, economics of education, and politics of education. I’m concerned with democraticness and efficiency in the context of education policy. The education policy researches have avoided committing to the argument on efficiency for a long time, the view point of efficiency is indispensable today. I’m doing the research of empirical and normative aspects on the efficiency of the education finance.
I’m also very interested in “evidence-based policy (making)’’. Beyond the methodology of program evaluation, I’m concerned with the empirical analysis of the policy process which policy research affects actual politics and society, and the normative argument about role of policy research in democratic society.

  • The Concepts of Educational Administration and Policy, Yuhikaku, (co-author, in Japanese)
  • Politics and Policy of Contemporary Education Finance, Daigaku Kyoiku Shuppan, (in Japanese)