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NOS/HPS in Japan


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IPHST 2013, PIttsburgh.

Published in: Technology, Education
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NOS/HPS in Japan

  1. 1. NOS/HPS in Japan Yuko Murakami Tohoku University Joint work with Manabu Sumida (Ehime University) Partially supported by PSSJ, PHSJ, and Science Council of Japan
  2. 2. East Japan Earthquake (March 11, 2011) and its consequences
  3. 3. Not just nuke • Restoration from Tsunami disaster is still under planning • Safe places of high altitude are hard to move in: already used or inappropriate for living • Declining and aging population • Harmful rumor: debris contaminated of radioactive particles
  4. 4. Sendai • Basic infrastructure almost recovered in months
  5. 5. November 2012, Minami Sanriku
  6. 6. stranded decision making • Miscommunication? – Depopulated areas and tsunami/nuke • Organizational malfunction? • Public misunderstanding of science? • Focus here: Historical development and educational implementations of the very idea of science and technology in Japan – Sumida: elementary and secondary education – Murakami: tertiary education
  7. 7. Backgrounds • Pre-modern Japan: Edo era (-1868) – Isolated policy (1633-1854) – Ban of Christianity (1587-1858) • Eagerness for independence • Usefulness of technology recognized as well as curiosity of science
  8. 8. Science and technology under isolation policy • High literacy rate in all classes – Samurai class: Dutch and Chinese • Scientific discovery – Astronomy – mathematics • Technological interests – flood control – Earthquake-proof architecture
  9. 9. Each “han”(local government) has Its own policy
  10. 10. Diplomatic policy and technology • Students sent to Europe from various areas of Japan in the late Edo period – Satsuma – Choshu – Saga – Central government • They imported knowledge of western science and technology to Japan under the new government
  11. 11. Oyatoi gaikokujin: recruited foreign lecturers • Erwin von Baeltz • Patrick Lafcadio Hearn • Alexander Georg Gustav von Siebold • Raphael von Koeber • Ernest Francisco Fenollosa – German philosophy • Taught in early universities and later replaced by Japanese • Teaching language shifted to Japanese
  12. 12. Introduction of modern education system • Elementary school: lower (4y) and higher (4y) • Multi-track middle/higher education • Science was taught in higher elementary and upper • Most went lower elementary only • Government, not teachers, determined academic contents of each subjects in elementary and secondary schools
  13. 13. (why am I telling the old story?) • The same structure remains in spite of educational reform after the WWII under American influence • NOS has been excluded from the official education system • ONLY RECENTLY (April 2012!) a slight sign of change was issued
  14. 14. Science and Technology • Ministry of education: Edo governmental school -> UT science and technology • Ministry of Industry: Industry school (under Scottish influence) -> UT Engineering • Later merged and restructured at University of Tokyo – School of science: pure science – Engineering: also covered applied science • Kyoto, Tokyo Tech…
  15. 15. Aim of S&T education • The first item of the Imperial University Law explicitly states that Imperial Universities aimed to teach and research arts and science for the country's needs – To catch up the Western countries by science and technology, no matter what S&T mean – “What is science?”--- never taught nor asked in the official educational system
  16. 16. School math and sci goal in WWII • Patriot statement. – “To train ability of precise thinking and processing normal events and phenomena and to apply the ability to everyday practice and to nurture rational and creative mind in order to prepare for contribution to the prosperity of the nation.”
  17. 17. S&T in WWII • Waiver of military service – STM students were considered to contribute to the nation via their specialization • Workforce allocation – STM graduates were allocated to government and industry according to the central plan. – The system continued even after WWII in the form of “recommendation by laboratory” until 1990s
  18. 18. Prioritized Education of Science and Technology in HE after WWII • 1952:142,546 • 1957: 202,334 – New economy plan: first forecast of personnel need in S&T – 1960: +8,000 (210,000) – 1963 plan: +20,000 (230,000) • 1963: 273,098 • 1975: 598,872 electronics Nuclear engineering Babyboomers in college age In late 1960s The idea of S&T for nation still alive
  19. 19. Status of HPS in HE up to the 1970s • General education for non-S&T students – as “inexpensive S&T teachers” – Did not grow to the departmental level • Who taught HPS? – Retired researchers in S&T – HPS researchers trained abroad (mainly in US) • Graduate program of UT HPS: established in 1970 • Tokyo Tech? (Natsuhiko Yoshida taught 1969-1988)
  20. 20. Philosophy of science vs analytic philosophy: institutional confusion • UT Komaba: HPS department in liberal art college – Founding members: HPS-conscious S&T researchers – Then invitedf • Philosophers • Historians of science
  21. 21. History of Science • Komaba – Nakayama Shigeru 中山茂: History of geology and astronomy – Ito Shuntaro 伊東俊太郎: Greek science – Murakami Yoichiro 村上陽一郎 history of physics, science and religion
  22. 22. History of Science • Tokyo Institute of Technology – HPS lab eventually in management engineering department – Strong in Russian and east European science • Historian of Science -> science education – Tsukahara Syuichi 塚原修一 – Narisada Kaoru 成定薫 • Such personnel exchange extinguished…exactly when?
  23. 23. Philosophy in Japan • Under strong influence of German philosophy • Komaba became a reserve of philosophy of the English-speaking world---still no international Ph.D. in philosophy – Omori Shozo 大森荘蔵 Quine – Tsueshita Ryuei 杖下隆英 Hume – Fujimoto Takashi 藤本隆志 Wittgenstein – Hiromatsu Wataru 廣松渉 Mach, Kant (supporter of student activities in the late 1960s)
  24. 24. Philosophy of science • Hokkaido University, dept of physics – Ishigaki Toshio • Kyoto University, dept of ethics – Uchii Soshichi • Tokyo Institute of Technology – Yoshida Natsuhiko • Internationalization was relatively late compared with history of science, although there were researcher exchange (outbound, 1-2 years)
  25. 25. Science education (理科教育) • 1947 The Society of Biological Sciences Education of Japan (日本生 物教育学会) • 1948 Japan Society of Earth Science Education (日本地学教育学会) • 1951 Society of Japan Science Teaching (日本理科教育学会) • 1953 Physics Education Society of Japan(日本物理教育学会) • 1975 Education Committee, The Chemical Society of Japan(日本科 学会教育部会) • 1977 Japan Society for Science Education (日本科学教育学会) • 1995 Council of Science Education Related Societies(教科「理科」 関連学会協議会) – Association of the 6 societies above • 1990 The Association of Basic Chemical Education in Japan
  26. 26. Split of 理科 and 科学 • 理科 1. (opposite of 文科) S&T in general 2. (as in 理科大学) natural science 3. (in school curriculum) physics, chemistry, biology, geology [notice it usually does not cover NoS as a subject] • Cf. 理科 in Chinese(百度) includes mathematics
  27. 27. Communities seggregate Preschool Science education in a world standard COVERS ALL Sci edu aka科学 教育Elementary education Sci edu aka 理科 教育 Secondary education Higher education Lifelong education Distance education Public understanding Science communication 科学コミュニケー ション Communities divided
  28. 28. No official recognition of “indeterminacy of science”? • Official idea of science: naïve! – [naïve progressive view of history of science] Scientific research has no limit and will reach at the truth in principle – [naïve platonism] Science is absolute and independent from human activities – [clear cut] Scientific question is true or false – [??? Infallibility of science] Science gives the right answer
  29. 29. Restrictions in secondary education • Conservative teaching system – Teacher training given under segmentation of “subjects” – Governmental guideline of education • Optimization of educational contents and emphasis in university entrance examinations – No exam questions, no mention in classroom – Exam questions are designed to be easily scored • NOS never appears in university entrance examination (exception: essay exams)
  30. 30. Alternative?: NOS popularized • “what is science?” ---a natural question • Alternative media of NOS---out of school classroom • Essays on science and society – Terada Torahiko (geophysicist) – Ishihara Jun (physicist) – Miyazawa Kenji (novelist, also teacher of agriculture)
  31. 31. Alternative • After WWII: – magazines – Yukawa Hideki (physicist, Nobel award winner): responsibility of scientists – Anime and comics: mixed message on science (both optimistic and pessimistic) • Sci-Fi, “Fantasy” – More focus on social effects of science without “what is science” being explicitly asked
  32. 32. Pseudo-science • Positive side: Creationism is not popular – Science and Christianity is totally disconnected (clearly by history) • Moral education appeals to science? – Primary school teachers: without self confidence in science (due to teacher training program admission) – Attracted to “scientific” metaphors in moral education • Talk kindly to water and it crystalizes beautifully
  33. 33. Summary • Discommunication between segregated HPS/NOS communities • Governmental curriculum and entrance examination system