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Study of Japanese University Students' Perceptions of Teachers- Conclusion

Summary:
In the first chapter, we hypothesized that teachers were at the center of a triangle consisting of the profession, the individual, and society. We could not examine the hypothesis itself. Provisionally, we assumed that this hypothesis was true, and asked where we could position the "the real teacher / the ideal teacher, as envisioned by university students." Let us reexamine this by summarizing the main points of each chapter.
Study of Japanese University Students' Perceptions of Teachers
Conclusion

i. Teaching as a Profession
Limiting the area of discussion to children and pupils, the image of a desirable teacher appeared to be obviously different depending on school level. More specifically, as the grade level (school level) of children went up, we saw a shift in emphasis from instruction pertaining to everyday life and one's immediate surroundings to career guidance, teaching of academic subjects, and similar things that are of concern to students determining their careers in the immediate future. Furthermore, in looking at teachers from the pupils' point of view, as the grade level went up, we saw a turning away from "teachers as accessible adults," towards "teachers who do not treat one as a child," "teachers as exemplary adults," and "adults who are have the proper standpoint" when one is developing and growing up. Actually, there is also the complicated issue of personality, and it is difficult to analyze, but an ability to respond to the situations faced by pupils was seen as a must. While it was not touched on in this paper, we saw a leaning towards confidence in "being able to understand children's feelings" ("very confident" + "fairly confident" came to 57.3%) and "gaining the trust of children" ("very confident" + "fairly confident" came to 61.8%). In the sense that this leaning is absolutely a matter of the self-reporting of respondents who are registered students in a school of education, we cannot make any claim with absolute certainty. However, regarding the ability to respond to the situations that children are faced with as a professional prerequisite is not so much an ideal as a proof of the students' optimism.

ii. Teachers as Individuals
First, speaking of the personality of teachers as individuals, we found that estimations of the personalities of "great" teachers different depending on the school level. And, to reiterate a point made in the above paragraph, there were also differences in expectations about personality depending on school level. However, the students were of the opinion that this did not necessarily determine whether or not a person was of excellent personality in any comprehensive way. Furthermore, we found that students were both positive and negative on the subject of whether or not currently employed teachers could gain the trust of pupils' caregivers. On the other hand, on the subject of the personalities of the educations students themselves, generally speaking, we found a tendency to value human relationships in everyday life, and did not see much of a tendency to feel uncertain about "getting along well with colleagues" in the future. However, we cannot deny that the students did not seem to think that currently employed teachers were "getting along well" in their relationships in all settings. Assuming that the students' estimate of the future reflects an "idealized teacher's personality", they do not feel that the personalities of presently employed teachers necessarily meet this ideal.

iii. Opinions Concerning Commonly-Held Theories of Education
Basically we found the students to be positive about current reformist trends in education that focus on "child centeredness". Still, the students could not conjecture about ways of responding to children at the moment. As we discussed in Chapter Four, there are many things that they cannot predict before being hired as a teacher in a school, and there was a tendency to emphasize ideals and conjectures like "at this moment I would like to deal with it this way," and "I think like this." They were consistent in their "child centered" stance. Most noticeable was what we referred to in Chapter Four as their defensiveness about "sacred space". This is more evidence that hold solid convictions about education. They agreed with many popular theories, but on the other hand they disagreed with some too. Calling this idealistic rather than realistic would surely be a little harsh.

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