University of Oulu

Phenomenological research on shitsuke, Japanese disciplinary action used in school and its impact on students

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Author: Wakaume, Ken1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : K. Wakaume, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-06-04
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Järvelä, Maria-Liisa
Reviewer: Järvelä, Maria-Liisa
Teatini, Sebastiao
Discipline is taught in school, home and in the society in order to follow the expected social etiquette all over the world. This research focuses on the discipline taught in schools in Japan, so called shitsuke. Every student experiences shitsuke in schools one way or another and the impact on them can be seen even after many years. Educators’ understanding of the impact of disciplinary actions is essential both in terms of classroom management and the future of the students’ life. Lack of discipline and corporal punishment are long discussed issues in the field of education and still need to be investigated. The aim of this research is to find out the uniqueness of disciplinary actions used in Japanese schools and the impact of those from the students’ perspectives. The research begins with defining the discipline from both Japanese and western perspectives. In order to discuss today’s disciplinary actions used in schools as a phenomenon, Japanese cultural and historical background such as Confucianism influences are underlain. Having defined what the discipline used in school is, different types of theories related to the discipline is discussed. This research mainly utilises the operant conditioning (reward and punishment) model from Skinner’s learning theory to investigate how the discipline is applied in schools to motivate and modify the pupils’ behaviours. Other than Skinner, Canter’s, Kounin’s and Gordon’s models are also explored in order to aid the insight for this research. While most of the theories used rely on Western studies, Confucius and Japanese Bushido add Asian perspectives to the context. Data for this research is collected from five Japanese students in Finland using semi-structured interviews. The interviews are carried out in Japanese language to ensure that the participants are able to convey their experience and thoughts as much and as clearly as possible. The content analysis is used to analyse the interview data, then the contents are translated into English. Despite the possible loss of meaning in the translation and the low number of participants, this research revealed the general understanding of shitsuke among Japanese students is reasonably similar and they consider it as a type of education. The disciplinary actions play important role to shape Japanese collectivism culture, and as much as the students dislike being punished it is crucial to be taught. Skinner’s reward and punishment model for controlling the behaviour is also confirmed by all the participants. Further research on this topic is highly recommended to investigate discipline use in different school systems in Japan and its effect on the students. Further, it would be of great interest to see and document eventual changes in disciplinarian practices in Japanese educational institutions.
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Copyright information: © Ken Wakaume, 2018. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.