- 教育社会学研究 (ISSN:03873145)
- vol.83, pp.107-127, 2008-12-15
What significance did people give to "entering university from local areas" in Japan in the period following the Second World War? And how have their views changed in the time since? To answer these questions, this paper focuses on the "advanced course" of Tottori prefectural senior-high schools, using the methods of political-sociology. The "advanced course" of Tottori prefectural senior-high schools is sometimes called a "publicly funded cram school." The teachers of the prefectural schools give instruction to students who are preparing for a new chance to enter university after failing the first time. In the period around 1960, there were still no private cram schools in Tottori Pref., but the number of students hoping for a second chance to enter university was rapidly increasing. In response, teachers at one prefectural senior-high school began to give them instruction on a volunteer basis, and a few years later, the Board of Education institutionalized it as the "advanced course." This system was spread within the prefecture by the Board. Judging from this analysis, it may be said that the Governor, administrators and teachers recognized the disadvantageous condition of the local prefecture, and devised a policy to train talented youth as a means to overcome the backwardness of their home region. However, a debate on whether the "advanced course" of prefectural senior-high schools should be maintained or not began in Tottori Pref. about 2005. Private cram schools asked for the abolition of the "advanced course," because the social changes since 1990s had hurt their business. As a result, this demand became a focus of public policy in the prefectural assembly. The groups on both sides of the issue disagreed fundamentally on whether the course should be maintained or abolished, but agreed in regarding the "advanced course" as a device for meeting the "needs of individuals." With the massification of university education, the existence of the "external effect," meaning the social profit brought about by higher education, has come into question. In addition, the "needs of society," meaning the survival of the local prefecture, is not recognized within the policy of the modern "non-profit-sharing" model. In comparison with the "supplementary courses" established by PTAs, which perform a similar function in senior high schools of other prefectures, people do not feel a justification to spend public money on Tottori prefecture's "advanced courses." This leads to the hypothesis that the significance of "entrance into university from local areas" changes with the movement in perspective from social profit to personal profit. This means that the circuit between "education" and "society/economy" has been severed. Hence, the nurturing and outflow of talented youth from local prefectures is no longer seen as the main issue. However, local prefectures have been seriously affected by recent changes in both the industrial structure and decentralization. Now is the time to rebuild the tripartite affinity between "education," "society/economy" and "local areas."