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Panel discusses revision of teaching manual to include moral education


Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura met with a ministry panel this week about revising the teaching manual to include moral education as a “special subject” for elementary and junior high school students.

The meeting was a follow-up to a session last December in which a panel of experts submitted a report titled "Special Subject: Moral Education," which advocated revising textbooks to include ethics in the curricula.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated its desire to boost moral education for young people in a bid to prevent crimes and bullying, as well as provide greater support for juveniles isolated from society.

The panel has proposed that the government introduce moral education into the curriculum for elementary and junior high school students in 2015 in accordance with the principles of the Japanese constitution and the laws of the land.

The December report says youth problems are becoming increasingly complex due to expanding income gaps in society. It says that juvenile crime can stem from a lack of communication with family and others, an unstable employment outlook and the financial difficulties of parents. It says that approved textbooks should be used for moral education in the classroom.

In the past, plans to introduce moral education into school curricula have met with opposition from some teachers and parents concerned that it would impose certain values on children.

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Youth problems are increasing also due to the fact that they see corruption all around them. These very people who want to introduce moral education should look at themselves.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What's wrong with imposing certain values on children? Who is responsible for teaching morals and ethics? Parents/teachers?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unfortunately in this modern era the family has become weak and too many parents aren't willing to spend quality time with their children and have lost sight of teaching our moral values. Materialistic belongings is destroying life-long values and in todays society robbing people of their time, freedom, their money, and their identity because they're fooled into buying many pointless and often times very expensive products that they don't need. Children are born helpless and need the care and guidance of adults into their teen and often beyond. More specifically children need to learn how to live harmoniously in society. The domain of moral education has been to develop in the young both the intellectual and the moral virtues such as honesty, responsibility and respect for others. By instilling in the hearts and mind of the young good moral habits, they will be able to live good lives and at the same time become productive, contributing members of their communities and also to its social cohesion.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

teaching 'morals' isn't gonna fix crimes caused by socioeconomics. but fixing socioeconomic gaps might help

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It says that juvenile crime can stem from a lack of communication with family and others, an unstable employment outlook and the financial difficulties of parents.

So what exactly is teaching this in school going to do? Raising a child not to be a delinquent is the parent's responsibility.

0 ( +2 / -2 )


Good parents do not impose values on their children.

They teach them how to use their hearts and brains, so they can grow up to make their own ethical choices in life.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I'm all for teaching morals, if it means children should not grow up to lie to people, take money from the poor, get themselves involved in scandals, have extra-marital affairs, act in a sexist or racist way, etc. Basically teaching them not to act like most Japanese politicians. Unfortunately, I see these lessons soon turn into brainwashing kids to be patriotic or nationalistic, pledging obedience to the government and emperor if Abe as his way. It all starts with small things, and next thing you know...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I think this educational direction, first should be given to the same people who have come up with this idea. A good place to start should be with politicians, Bankers and the CEO 's of the corporate world, Morals and ethics don't seem to have a place in their world. Children learn from their elders, or so we are led to believe. So how do you think this educational directive is going to improve the children's way of thinking, when they see the lack of morals and ethics coming from those same people who are supposed to be leaders. This sentence from the article "The December report says youth problems are becoming increasingly complex due to expanding income gaps in society." That surely wouldn't be if those same politicians,bankers and CEO's hadn't created this situation by their own lack of morals and ethics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

moral isn't being taught better just by changing teaching manual- kids learn morals by observing adults whether they are teachers or parents, or even passer-by. the best thing for us to do in order to teach kids morals is for us adults to act more responsibly and be aware that we are being observed by children. changing books doesn't change people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sadly, the JBOE's idea of 'moral education' would just be more brainwashing into submissive servitude and making sure 'the nail that stands up is hammered down' without any free thinking what-so-ever! Japanese society and the education system has always reminded me of a bee hive. You are born to do 'a' job and that is what you do until you die. Don't get me wrong, there are some highly educated people in Japan, but I wouldn't ask them to change a light globe. They'd have to call a tradesman for that job.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@sillygirl @fishy

You took the words right out of my keyboard!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most parents here in Japan, like in the USA work, meaning like BOTH, so both parents working having very little time to sit down with Johnny and Mary or with Koichi and Hanako, you all get the point. Before Japanese families lived with parents, grandparents, great granparents etc...granma or granpa etc..could sit down and let the kids know work is good, education is good, stealing is bad etc..but now?? Many parents just send their kids off to a HOUIKUEN and some do not even see their kids but once a week! But teachers, usually can see kids many hours at least Monday through Friday. Now, as a teacher, do we have the proper training to teach morals etc...I HOPE SO! Are there some rotton, perverted crap teachers out there?? Sure, not only in Japan but in the USA etc...some real perverts! So we have to be real careful and always keep OUR EYES WIDE OPEN!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Also re-educate the teachers to act instead of ignore?

1 ( +2 / -1 )


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The idea of teaching morals at school is an intelligent choice from Abe's office. It doesn't hurt anyone and also helps preventing bullying and crime.

However, parents are also responsible for teaching civility and morality to their children. Teaching and showing right and wrong and also how to treat other people is part of being a parent. If parents also don't do their parts, school alone is not going to solve anything by itself.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hope they include lessons on bullying and its awful effects and why the victim isn't the guilty party. Some in my department could've done with lessons in that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is not a new development, it's been gathering steam for a while. "Doutoku" (Ethics) is already taught both as a subject, and as something that is to be included when teaching other subjects. The "special subject" development means that it would have a centrally-decided curriculum. i.e. schools would no longer be free to decide how to teach it, but would have to teach the ethical values that MEXT requires, in whatever ways MEXT requires.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is good to teach morals in the classroom, but it should be reinforced in the classroom. Moral values start at home, also, not teaching it as in "DO as I say, not as I do". Parents should be excellent role models for their children, show them how to behave, don't tell them how to behave. Lead by example!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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