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31.03.2014 г.

Ecological education in Japan

Tikhotskaya I. S. (MSU, Geography department)

In Japan, as a country that has experienced real ecological crisis in 1960-70s, ecological education received much attention as there rightly believe that environmental protection is only possible when certain rules and regulations are followed by every single member of society and much depends on the efforts or inactivity of a single person. Therefore ecological education starts here at a very young age i.e. at kinder garden, elementary and secondary school. In 1991 the minister of education of Japan created «Ecological education tutorial for Japanese schools». Since 2002 new basic courses with enhanced ecological component in both humanities and sciences were introduced into elementary and secondary schools. In order to deepen multidisciplinary approach of ecological education one academic hour dedicated to comprehensive study of environment was introduced. These means are believed to raise young generation's interest to environmental protection, draw attention to ecological education and set a base for its further development.

In 2003 Japan initiated a Law on environmental protection motivation promotion and ecological education support which contains fundamental idea of environmental activity and motivation for its development and environmental education, it also explains responsibility of central and local authorities of Japan, private sector and individuals. Basic environmental policy and some articles on environmental activity motivation as well as environmental education are represented within the law.

Japan today gives great importance to the concept of sustainable growth, and in this regard ecological education playing a special role. This is a key discipline in a number of Japan's leading university departments and many universities in Japan offer a variety of ecology oriented courses. Within a framework of a permanent education concept that was implemented in late 1980s much attention is paid to involvement of people of different age groups into volunteering and other ecological education related social activities according to their age.

Current research is dedicates to the analysis of the Japanese approach to ecological education, its core principles, forms, aims and results. Particular attention is paid to analysis of school and university ecological education examples of different kinds of innovations are given, and various educational courses offered by Japan's leading educational institutions are examined.

For full text see: IOCS Works («Orientalia et Classica» Series) History and culture of traditional Japan. 7 / Ed. A.N.Mesheryakov, RSUH. Moscow, 2014.
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