Megumi Honjo

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Institute of Human and Social Sciences, Kanazawa University


Comparative Study on Physics Education of Sweden and Japan

There are many international comparative studies such as PISA and TIMSS today. However, less is known about about what is written in the curriculum and enacted in the educational practice itself. This presentation will provide insights from an ongoing study comparing the Physics curriculum and lassons of two countries (Japan and Sweden) and found some fundamental differences.


Megumi Honjo is associate professor of Kanazawa University in Japan and now a guest researcher of Uppsala University. Her research fields are mainly on curriculum and instruction. She has been studying and collaborating on Lesson Study with a variety of teachers in K-12.


Active learning: Reforms of Curriculum and Teaching Methodology in Japan

The National Curriculum in Japan was largely revised last year. Until then, the National curriculum determined the educational goals and the main knowledge contents for schools. In addition to that, the new curriculum determines preferred teaching methods. Instead of long lectures or textual readings, teachers should adopt teaching methodologies such as holding discussions and participating in group work. I would like to discuss the possibilities and problems of this trend, using my classes in teacher training program in university as examples.

The Prospect and Dilemma of Lesson Study
Lesson Study is very common in Japanese schools. Teachers observe one class and reflect together so as to develop their teaching skills and grow their collegiality. There is, however, no solid way for it. Each school or district has own way to do lesson study; some works very well and some have difficulties. As a researcher, I have joined some lesson study to support teachers’ reflection and learning. I have visited some schools also in Sweden to compare the way of improving the quality of education. I would like to look into the possibility and difficulties in Lesson Study.

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Active Learning: Curriculum Reforms and teacher Education in Japan.
The National Curriculum in Japan was largely revised last year. Until then educational goals and the main contents knowledge were prescribed. The new curriculum also prescribes preferred teaching methods, which is called “active learning”. Elementary teachers are already familiar with this pedagogical approach and all Japanese teachers are accustomed to collaborative lesson study, but high schools and universities need big changes as training programs have to include active learning strategies, such as discussions and group work, instead of long lectures or text reading. I would like to discuss the the potential promises and problems arising from this approach while taking my classes in university as examples.