EVALUATION OF STUDENT LEARNING IN CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION IN JAPANESE HIGH SCHOOLS

Ferdinand Pol L. Martin

As one of the main goals of education in Japan, citizenship formation is cultivated through various curriculum subjects such as Social Studies, Moral Education, Period of Integrated Study, and Special Activities. While the Japanese national curriculum guidelines called “Course of Study” sets the basic framework for the goals and content, considerable freedom is given to schools and teachers in terms of approach and evaluation of citizenship education. As a result, various methods of assessment and evaluation in student learning exist. Through literature review, this paper aims to present some of the practices in assessment and evaluation of student achievement in citizenship education which are currently observed in selected Japanese secondary schools. While there is no consensus or single framework being followed that outlines specific steps and procedures for assessment and evaluation, the schools generally observe three main criteria or viewpoints upon which they based their evaluation. These include 1) consciousness and interest in social and civic issues; 2) skills in utilizing ideas and information to solve social problems; and 3) knowledge and understanding of social topics. The specific outcomes and indicators for each of these evaluation viewpoints are decided by the school based on the theory of citizenship that they emphasize and the structure of their citizenship education classes.