Preparing for 2020 through Action Research: The Development and Installation of an In-Service Training Programme for Japanese Elementary School Homeroom Teachers in Japan

King, David (2018) Preparing for 2020 through Action Research: The Development and Installation of an In-Service Training Programme for Japanese Elementary School Homeroom Teachers in Japan. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

As instructed by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and

Technology (MEXT), from 2020, elementary school homeroom teachers in Japan will be

expected to teach elementary school English lessons, a subject they are neither trained for

nor experienced in. MEXT is set to implement reforms that will see an increase in English

lessons for fifth and sixth graders (ages ten to twelve) from thirty-five to seventy classroom

hours a year. Despite the significant lack of support, MEXT has stated that homeroom

teachers for the fifth and sixth grade will be responsible for teaching the increase in English

classes. This has resulted in an overwhelming sense of anxiety amongst teachers which is

not being addressed by those responsible, namely MEXT, prefectural and local boards of

educations, and school principles. As such, this paper set out to investigate two research

questions, firstly, what impact on Japanese HRTs’ English teaching abilities can the

development and implementation of a 6-week in-service action research training programme

provide, and to what extent is action research an appropriate methodology to explore

elementary school homeroom teacher anxiety. Conducted at the local scale, with scaffolding

provided by the author, this research was carried out with five homeroom teachers, three from

the fifth grade and two from the sixth grade. Action research began through initial semistructured

interviews focused on the homeroom teachers’ backgrounds, opinions on current

elementary school English education including their classroom role, and their opinions on the

2020 MEXT reforms. Research concluded with a semi-structured interview focused on

homeroom teacher feedback and impressions a of the action research, and progress made in

English teaching. This research concludes that through action research, homeroom teachers

were able to take greater leadership over both classroom material preparations, including

lesson plan development, as well as become more confident in teaching English. This was

possible due to the suitability of action research as the chosen methodology in this research.

Despite a lack of support and interest shown towards the research by those who should be

taking leadership, all homeroom teachers, were able to directly address individual areas of

teaching anxiety and concern, and thus were able to take the first steps towards becoming

elementary school teachers of English.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2019 12:14
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 14:32
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/56322

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