International Collaboration in School Library Education Programs
IASL Annual Conference Proceedings
This paper addresses the need for and the requirements of international collaboration as a means of improving school library education in Japan. In 2008, in an official report by the Central Council on Education, the learning process was defined as "acquirement, application, and inquiry." Since then, Japanese teachers have become especially interested in "inquiry," a word that used to be uncommon in the country's educational system. This major trend in Japanese education and in the development
... in the development of information technologies has increased the expectation that students should have a variety of learning resources available to them with help from professional school library staff. At the same time, however, Japanese school librarianship has a significant problem with its training. Most school library education programs are offered at the undergraduate level with the goal of training students who will receive the national certificate for shisho-kyoyu—literally, librarian-teachers. Universities seem to lack incentives to improve their curricula because the certificate is regulated by the School Library Law, and school librarianship in Japan largely remains locally/nationally determined. To explore the issue, a small group of volunteers, including the authors of this paper, planned the International School Librarians' Forum of East Asia 2018, which held three workshops in English in Japan. After each workshop, an online survey was conducted among approximately 20 participants to evaluate the demand for advanced training such as the workshops they attended. Finally, ideas of how to improve education for school librarianship worldwide by connecting programs such as the one in Japan with leading exemplary programs in the world are discussed, with reference to the survey results.