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September 17, 2007



Date: September 15 (Sat), 2007
Place: Economics Department, Nihon University, Tokyo

After a brief opening remark by Prof. Fumio Ohtake (Osaka Univ.), a keynote speech was given by Prof. Takamitsu Sawa (Doshisha Univ.), who emphasized that what should be taught and learned in economics is the mechanism of the market economy and the way of economic thinking, and that economic education in Japan is in trouble at every level from the elementary school to college and beyond.
Then, in the first afternoon session, Prof. Inose (Hirosaki Univ.) gave an experimental class by using a manual of “Public Goods Game” (originally developed Nihon Univ. Prof. Nakagawa), where participants were divided into 10 groups ("households") to decide whether they would bear the cost of earthquake proof repairs for their condominium. The result was that about half of the households would be willing to pay, and some discussion took place as to how to interpret this result.
Comments were made by Mr. Katsuya Takahashi (Toritsu Haijima High) and Mr. Shigehiro Tanaka (Kitaku Kamiya Middle School), who appreciated this kind of game material, while pointing out some potential problems about the material in term of teachers' understanding and students' interest.
In the second afternoon session, a symposirum on "How to Support Economic Educaiton at School" was held, chaired by Prof. Hisashi Kurihara (Shinshu Univ.), with three panelists, Mr. Shin Akamine (Tokyo Stock Exchange), Ms. Ryoko Okazaki (Bank of Japan, PR Dept.) and Ms. Shinko Onizuka (Japan FP Association), who explained about their activities and materials to support various school programs in economic education. Active discussions were made among participants including Mr. Tadatoshi Asano (Yamamura Gakuen College) and Mr. Akira Arai, who emphasized the important of the role of schools and teachers in choosing available materials provided from outside.
In concluding remarks, Mr. Saegusa (Meguro Chuo Middle School) pointed out some difficulties on the school side, such as securing enough opportunities and time allocation for teacher training, and the importance of various activities organized by the Economic Education Network to help overcome those difficulties. That was also the conclusion of Prof. Shinohara (Doshisha Univ.) , who expressed his thanks to all the participants for useful discussions.
For a Japanese summary and some pictures, see: