The focus of the presentation was the ever increasing impact of top-down nation-wide educational reforms on teachers in Japan, exemplified in the upcoming 2020 reform. Its unique contribution is a suggestion of an interdisciplinary framework: programming education and English as a foreign language education in elementary schools. Many elementary school teachers are not specialized in computer programming, or English education, as discipline specialties, yet they face obligation to teach both subject areas under the authority of the MEXT. Their lack of training as specialists in these curricular areas creates a high level of anxiety. Concerning programming education, many teachers are not even digital natives, working in schools where “IT rooms [are] covered with dust”. The significance of this study highlights offering professional development workshops for teachers, Integrated Programming English Education, demonstrating how much these two areas of disciplines share commonalities and how teachers can effectively use them in their daily teaching. The study results reveal how interdisciplinary frameworks disrupt deficit norms in teaching based on single-disciplinary based curricula overly used in Japanese education, and yet it helps to increase teacher agency through the connectivity of programming and English language education in practice.
Naoko Araki (PhD) is an Associate Professor in Akita International University. Her career as an educational researcher focused in the areas of curriculum pedagogy in additional language education since her completion of PhD in Education at The University of Melbourne, Australia. After she taught schools in Australia, she has been running many professional development workshops for educators in Australia, Singapore, and Japan. Her long-standing research interest in interdisciplinary as well as implications for intercultural communication have provided scholarly opportunities to theorise everyday language and cultural practices.
Mary Frances Agnello (PhD) is a professor in Akita International University. Her background was in foreign language education focused on French and Spanish and teaching English language learners. After having taught in schools for several years in Texas, her university work has focused on diversity education and working with future teachers, as well as studying the discourses of literacy including human capital, cultural, multicultural, and financial.
Florent Domenach (PhD) is an Associate Professor in Akita International University. After completing his PhD in Computer Science in Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, France, and post-doc in Tsukuba University, he spent eleven years teaching and researching in University of Nicosia, Cyprus. His main research fields include formal concept analysis, consensus theory and programming education.