Enhancing Global Citizenship Education in Japan’s K-12 Curriculum: Exploring Lessons and Opportunities for Growth


This study explores the efficacy of K-12 Global Citizenship Education (GCE) in Japan, evaluating its impact on personal empowerment and elucidating the challenges and prospects associated with the GCE curriculum. Aligned with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) framework, which envisions GCE as a means to instill respect for human rights, social justice, diversity, gender equality, and environmental sustainability while nurturing responsible global citizenship, our research pursues two primary inquiries: (1) To what extent does the GCE curriculum empower students? and (2) How do the duration and consistency of GCE implementation influence empowerment levels? To answer these pivotal questions, we conducted in-depth interviews with educators from selected UNESCO Associated Schools in Japan and graduates of those schools currently attending college in the United States. This interdisciplinary approach yielded insights from six teachers and six students, all proficient in English as native speakers or bilinguals. Employing semi-structured one-on-one interviews conducted via online videoconferencing, we encouraged the conversational exploration of GCE topics while collecting data on specific facets. Our study aspires to enrich comprehension regarding the integration of GCE within the Japanese educational landscape and its potential to foster personal empowerment. The outcomes of this research also hold the potential to inform and shape GCE policies and practices in Japan, offering invaluable insights into the nuances of its implementation and the challenges it may encounter in this unique context.

Author Information
Kentaro Shintaku, Soka University of America, United States
Tomoko Takahashi, Soka University of America, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2024
Stream: International Education

This paper is part of the ACEID2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Shintaku K., & Takahashi T. (2024) Enhancing Global Citizenship Education in Japan’s K-12 Curriculum: Exploring Lessons and Opportunities for Growth ISSN: 2189-101X – The Asian Conference on Education & International Development 2024 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-101X.2024.24
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-101X.2024.24

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon