The Philosophy of Education Society Japan was established in May 1957 mainly by scholars who took charge of educational research at universities under post-war new educational system and taught “principles of education” in the teacher-training program. The first annual conference was held in October 1958, in which the symposium titled “Trends of modern philosophy of education” was arranged. In June 1959, the academic journal of the society, Studies in the Philosophy of Education, was launched. Since then, our annual conference has been held 62 times and our journal has been published twice a year up to 120 volumes.
The major issues of the society have been about Western educational thoughts and philosophies since its founding, while covering little Japanese ones. The first volume of our Journal includes three papers on European educational thoughts, two papers on John Dewey and one paper on Japanese educational thoughts. It illustrates our predecessors’ attitude of following “advanced” Western educational thoughts to solve educational problems in the period of the post-war recovery of Japan. Also, younger scholars studied and introduced Western classic and modern educational thoughts. The attitude of following the West has been pervasive since the establishment of educational research in the era of Meiji. For instance, Herbartian pedagogy was introduced by Emil Hausknecht who was one of the foreign advisors (O-yatoi gaikokujin) invited to Tokyo Imperial University from Germany in 1886.
Although the philosophy of education following the West has made various contributions to Japanese education, a new trend has arisen since the 1980’s: Research interactions with foreign scholars including Asian scholars have been increased and even international research projects have been done. Now, in this new international context, Japanese scholars are expected to do research not “following the West” but “proposing the Japanese original”; and research not to introduce Western educational thoughts to Japan but to unravel global educational problems with the world standards, or to interpret newly found historical material from an original viewpoint.
One of the urgent issues for Philosophy of Education Society Japan is to globalize research activities of the philosophy of education in Japan. E-Journal of the Philosophy of Education was launched in November 2016 as a tool for the globalization, and its fifth volume has come out. The E-Journal is to be valuable resources about research activities of the philosophy of education in Japan. It is grateful to have any comments from scholars all over the world who are interested in the E-Journal.
President of Philosophy of Education Society Japan