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Study of Japanese University Students' Perceptions of Teachers- Ch.1: Goals of Research / Survey

Study of Japanese University Students' Perceptions of Teachers
Chapter One: Goals of Research / Survey

1. Research Goals

This survey was originally planned with the goal of conducting a study (below referred to as "this study") on "The Image of an Ideal Teacher" as a year-long project by Child Research Net.

This study discusses the image of the teacher from various standpoints (that of the media, the family, children, and so on) and differences in views on education that can be inferred from it, and ultimately use it as a means to get a handle on what "ideal education" consists of. To become cognizant of these differences, it is necessary to study the opinions both of those in the schools (the professional's point of view) and of the media and families (the layperson's point of view).

Accordingly, we focus on university students in education who aspire to become teachers. This is because, in their case, while they understand the "professional" side of things from having had actual on-site training, in the sense that they are not teachers yet, they also understand the thinking on the "layperson's" side. In other words, they have an objective view on what might go into an ideal education, based on what they know of the conditions in educational sites. By ascertaining what kind of differences there are, we in the research team hope we can shed light on the various misconceptions of professionals and laypeople alike. Consequently, we would like to propose a new "view of education".

2. Survey Goals

Let us briefly clarify the structure of this survey. We considered a total of three factors. Two factors are involved the making of a teacher, and one involved the teacher's environment.

The first factor in the making of a teacher is the word "teacher" as a professional title. In other words, what kinds of things are deemed essential when "teacher" is viewed as a profession? Second is "the person before the teacher", (i.e., the individual). Here, we asked about the essential characteristics of people who pursue the teaching profession, and the qualities a person needs to become a teacher. Last is a factor that pervades the teacher's environment: the existence of educational theory, which is mainly manifested in the media. We asked about theories of teachers and education in the media and in the general population. Namely, we inquired about the influence of reformist proposals on teachers and on education, and what sort of idea students in education have about these proposals.

These three factors are by no means independent of one another; they influence each other mutually. That is to say, the teacher is in the middle of the triangle formed by these factors: profession, individual, and society.

We will start with an overview of these three factors, and afterwards return to the results of this survey.

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