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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 9 August 2022

Hikaru Komatsu, Iveta Silova and Jeremy Rappleye

Humans remain unsuccessful in their attempts to achieve environmental sustainability, despite decades of scientific awareness and political efforts toward that end. This paper…

2264

Abstract

Purpose

Humans remain unsuccessful in their attempts to achieve environmental sustainability, despite decades of scientific awareness and political efforts toward that end. This paper suggests a fresh conceptualization, one that focuses on education, offers a fuller explanation for our lack of success and calls attention to alternatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first critically review mainstream approaches that have been used to achieve environmental sustainability, then introduce an alternative that the authors call the cultural approach. The authors finally discuss how educational research should be re-articulated based on the cultural approach.

Findings

The authors identified three mainstream approaches – the technological, cognitive approach and behaviorist – all of which function to reproduce modern mainstream culture. In contrast, the cultural approach assumes modern mainstream culture as the root cause of environmental unsustainability and aims to rearticulate it. To elaborate a cultural approach, the authors recommend education scholars to (1) bring attention to the role of culture in sustainability and (2) identify education practices that are potentially useful for enacting a cultural shift, primarily developing richer synergies between qualitative and quantitative research.

Originality/value

Unlike many previous studies in the field of education, the authors’ account highlights how current mainstream approaches used for current global education policymaking often merely reproduces modern mainstream culture and accelerates the environmental crisis. It thus proposes to redirect educational research for a cultural shift, one that allows human society to move beyond the comforting rhetoric of sustainability and face the survivability imperative.

Details

Journal of International Cooperation in Education, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2755-029X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Takehiko Kariya and Jeremy Rappleye

Japan has long occupied a unique place in East Asia and continues to do so in an era of increased global interconnectivity. Beginning with the Meiji Restoration (1868), it became…

Abstract

Japan has long occupied a unique place in East Asia and continues to do so in an era of increased global interconnectivity. Beginning with the Meiji Restoration (1868), it became the first in the region to make a decisive, sustained, and highly successful attempt to “modernize” its political, economic, and social structures, thereby largely avoiding Western domination. This particular historical trajectory built directly on social foundations laid during the prolonged closure of the Tokugawa period and largely allowed Japan free reign to craft its own version of modernity, educational and otherwise. One result of this conscious, directed process of “catch-up” was an impressive “compression” of the transition to modernity – a phenomenon that had stretched out over hundreds of years in most Western countries – to little more than a half century (Kariya, 2010); a feat unmatched by any country in the first half of the twentieth century. Following the devastation of the Second World War, Japan redoubled its efforts to “catch-up” and through a combination of high birth rates following the war, export-driven economic growth leading to an explosion of manufacturing jobs, a commitment to egalitarian growth and full employment, and the creation of an educational meritocracy that meticulously selected the country's best and brightest, the country quickly moved up the value-added chain until, by the early 1980s, the Japanese economy was globally dominant (Katz, 1998; Okita, 1992). As such, by the 1980s, Japan became unique, first, in being the only country in the region whose social conditions facilitated genuine comparison with the “advanced” countries of the West and, second, a model for “modernization” that other countries in the region could emulate, first the four Asian Tigers and then (although rarely explicitly) China in the post-Mao “Reform and Opening” period (Rappleye, 2007; Kojima, 2000).

Details

Globalization, Changing Demographics, and Educational Challenges in East Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-977-0

Book part
Publication date: 27 September 2019

Maren Elfert and Christine Monaghan

In this short piece, written from the authors’ particular perspective as co-chairs of the Globalization & Education Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Comparative and…

Abstract

In this short piece, written from the authors’ particular perspective as co-chairs of the Globalization & Education Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), they argue that the field of comparative and international education is fraught with contradictions. This chapter reflects on the implications for the field of three interrelated aspects in particular: the shift in the primary responsibility for education from the nation-state to non-state actors in our globalized world, the unsettled ontological assumptions of the field, and the lack of theory that informs some of its actors.

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2018
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-416-8

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Abstract

Details

Globalization, Changing Demographics, and Educational Challenges in East Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-977-0

Article
Publication date: 18 November 2020

Sachi Edwards and Akemi Ashida

This paper reviews the national and institutional internationalization activities in Japan's higher education sector and considers the extent to which these efforts have attempted…

943

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reviews the national and institutional internationalization activities in Japan's higher education sector and considers the extent to which these efforts have attempted to incorporate and/or contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper was developed based on a review of available demographic data on internationalization in Japan (in both English and Japanese), a survey of recent scholarly literature on this topic and conversations with numerous faculty and staff members working on internationalization issues in a wide range of higher education institutions throughout the country.

Findings

There are substantial internationalization efforts being made at both national and institutional levels, yet scholars and practitioners of higher education question the extent to which genuine internationalization is occurring. Moreover, the metrics used to track internationalization are somewhat limited and the available data, in many cases, can be complicated to interpret. A bit of tension also exists in Japanese universities between those who support the movement to internationalize and those who see it as a passing fad, an intrusion on their academic freedom and/or as a guise for Westernization – a tension that some cite, along with language barriers and system misalignment, as a challenge to internationalization.

Originality/value

Numerous scholars discuss the internationalization of higher education in Japan. The originality of this paper is in the comparison of Japan's higher education internationalization efforts to the movement to achieve the SDGs – both in Japan and as a global effort.

Details

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2396-7404

Keywords

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