Recontexualisation of Global Education Agenda in Totally Pedagogising Society: A Case Study of Education for Sustainable Development in Japan
페다고지화 된 사회와 글로벌교육의제의 재맥락화: 일본의 지속가능한 발전교육 사례연구

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Sung-Sang YOO
사범대학 협동과정글로벌교육협력전공
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서울대학교 대학원
Totally Pedagogising Societypedagogic deviceempty signifierglobal agendaESDJapaneducation reformknowledge economysustainable developmenttransformation
학위논문 (박사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 사범대학 협동과정글로벌교육협력전공, 2018. 2. Sung-Sang YOO.
Recontextualisation of global education agendas has been typically regarded as an inevitable and often necessary process that occurs during localisation for effective implementation. In this tactical agreement, the agendas are integrated into the national education system while being transformed to assimilate with or resist against the prevailing ideas of a society. This study conceives that this process exerts a significant effect on the modalities of global agendas, and the contexts play a key role in orienting the process and result of the transformation.

With the case of the DESD in Japan, the study focuses on the modality of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) that is promoted as an education model for academic ability in Japan. The research questions for the study are: 1) what is the impact of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) on the national education system of Japan? 2) Conversely, how did ESD promote an education model for academic ability in Japan? 3) Overall, how are global agendas recontextualised through pedagogisation? For the research, literature, policy documents, meeting minutes, speeches and news articles were analysed by deploying a modified analytic method of Bengtsson and Laclau, conceiving policy documents as articulations. Since the term ESD has not been widely used or known, this study traces the articulations of ESD in order to look into the integration of ESD with education policies of Japan. The articulations of ESD are categorised into four dimensions: 1) education for sustainability focusing on intrinsic role of education, 2) education for sustainability focusing on instrumental role of education, 3) education for development focusing on intrinsic role of education, and 4) education for development focusing on instrumental role of education. For the text mining and mapping of the key words by categorising articulations of policy documents, KHcoder was deployed to an abundant number of materials. Additionally, interviews with academics and specialists were conducted to replenish the shortage of policy analysis.
For the research, three steps of analyses are made. First, ESD is conceptualised by deploying Laclaus empty signifier. Second, the traits of the education context of Japan are investigated through the recent reforms. This study characterises the contemporary society of Japan with the concept of Totally Pedagogised Society of Bernstein to discuss the interwoven relationship between the recontexualisation of global agendas and knowledge economy. Knowledge economy, life-long learning and trainability are a few of key words that make up the traits of a knowledge-based society in which consistent learning to acquire and manage new knowledge is emphasised. Third, the process of pedagogisation of ESD in the education context of Japan is analysed by applying Bernsteins pedagogic device.

The study reveals four main findings. 1) Generally, the articulations of ESD did not much appear. Both the analysis of policy documents and interviews reveal that the impacts of ESD on the national education system in Japan were not significant regardless of its prominent role in launching the UNDESD. 2) The pattern of regularity of articulations shows that the DESD has provided legitimacy for continuous or additional support for environmental education but other elements of ESD remain stunted. 3) Regardless of its low internal impact, Japan made an effort to take a leading role in the DESD in which involved actors contributed to accord hegemony to ESD by promoting it as an education model for academic ability and human resource building by referring to the competency model of DeSeCo and PISA. 4) The mechanism that was established for ESD promotion in Japan enabled power relationships within the Japanese government to affect the implementation of ESD both domestically and internationally.
The findings reveal that ESD and the DESD did not have a hegemonic profile. There was no clear evidence of conflict and resistance in the process of promoting ESD as an education model in Japan due to imbalanced structure of recontextualisation. Recontexualisation is the procedure that ESD is transformed within the complex web of social, political and economic contexts of Japanese society. As a result of the recontexualisation, ESD assimilated into predominant discourse of education in Japan – human resource building for knowledge economy. This was possible because Japan, with a desire for a leading role in the DESD, is a knowledge-based society where the mechanism of production, recontextualisation and reproduction of knowledge plays a central role in sustaining the knowledge economy.

The case of ESD and Japan informs that a country equipped with capacities to build an effective mechanism of pedagogisation can accord significance to a certain idea and integrate it into pedagogic knowledge. By pedagogisation, a global education agenda can serve as a de facto governance system via policy experiments, even without the absence of hard law. Therefore this researcher characterises the process of ESD becoming an education model as having evolved through pedagogisation. In this context, this study claims that both direct and indirect involvement of international organisations in the national education sector has strengthened over time under the effect of globalisation, yet the state maintains power to mediate or even restrict that drive. Accordingly, integration of a global education agenda into school education is determined by how useful the agenda is for responding to states. Given its views predominantly centred on economic growth, the discourses of a global education agenda are vulnerable to manipulation in the process of symbolic control. This is how ESD could evolve as an education model for human resource and global competency regardless of its original sense. Therefore, this study asserts that resistance or conflict during the process of integration is natural and essential to build the appropriate meanings and values of a global education agenda for a society. This process also requires equal and horizontal relationships between diverse actors.
This study provides in-depth discussions on the impact of global education agendas on education by looking into the phenomenon of recontexualisation, which has not been systematically developed in academia. Moreover, this study shows the applicability of a new complementary research approach by conceptualising global agenda as an empty signifier and analysing through a theoretical framework of pedagogic device for the study of global agendas. This study lays a foundation stone for further study from the aspects of theory, policy and practice in two ways by expanding theoretical discussions on the potentials and limits of the conceptual logic of empty signifier, and by testing the applicability of the pedagogic device framework to study the impact of global education agendas.
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College of Education (사범대학)Program in Global Education Cooperation (협동과정-글로벌교육협력전공)Theses (Ph.D. / Sc.D._협동과정-글로벌교육협력전공)
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