Learning about the lake environment in compulsory education in Japan and efforts in the teacher training program at the Faculty of Education, Shiga University

Author(s): Toshiyuki Ishikawa
Email (s): ishikawa@edu.shiga-u.ac.jp
Institution or organization of origin: Faculty of Education, Shiga University
Country: Japan


To conserve freshwater environments, it is essential for as many citizens as possible to have both a scientific understanding of the environment and to develop a feeling of cooperation in conservation them. Because school education, especially compulsory education, is given to all a generation and that children have a flexible sense of sensitivity and values, environmental education on freshwater environment in school education can be extremely important for scientific understanding and behavioral change of citizens. In Japan, the Education Law was revised in the 2000s, and environmental conservation became an explicit objective of education. Among the subjects that deal with lakes and rivers at the compulsory education level are science, social studies, home economics, and health, and I will introduce the placement of these subjects at the subject and grade levels. Furthermore, Education Administration in Japan is currently promoting the expansion of “cross-curricular” learning.

I will propose some tentative plans for the development of cross-curricular learning on lakes and rivers. To improve education in schools, we also need to focus on training teachers. At the Faculty of Education, Shiga University, a teacher training university in the region of Lake Biwa. For many years, the Faculty of Education of Shiga University has been offering courses for students who wish to become teachers of elementary and junior high schools to learn about the lake through experience, as well as courses to study the culture and history of Lake Biwa. These efforts will also be introduced.

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