Guidelines for the Course of Study
がくしゅう しどう ようりょう
The Guidelines for the Course of Study set the standards for school curriculums prescribed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Each school is required to educate its students in accordance with the Guidelines and separate guidelines are stipulated for each stage of education from kindergarten through elementary, junior and senior high school. The Guidelines also delineate the number of units to be covered for each area within each subject and the methods by which those units should be taught.
The "Subjects for General Education" in the Guidelines for senior high schools consist of Japanese, geography and history, civics, mathematics, science, health and physical education, art, foreign languages, home economics, and information science. "Subjects for Specialized Education" are agriculture, industry, commerce, fisheries, home economics, nursing, information science, welfare, science and mathematics, athletics, music, art, and English.
In addition to the above, the Guidelines also describe content desired for various special activities. These include homeroom and student council activities 《→homu rumu ホーム・ルーム homeroom》《→seitokai 生徒会 student councils》 as well as six other types of activities: ceremonies, such as those for school entrance 《→nyugakushiki 入学式 entrance ceremony》 and graduation 《→sotsugyo shiki 卒業式 graduation ceremony》; arts and culture programs, such as bunkasai or gakkosai 《→bunkasai 文化祭 ; gakkosai 学校祭 school festival》, performing arts presentations and film showings; physical education programs, such as field day or sports day 《→taikusai 体育祭 ; undokai 運動会 sports festival/field day 》; one-day field trips and trips lasting longer than one day 《→shugaku ryoko 修学旅行 school trips》; activities relating to health and safety, such as fire and earthquake drills; and activities relating to work and productivity, such as school cleanups, community service projects, and visits to workplaces 《→chiiki katsudo地域活動 community service》.
The objectives of the above are to foster healthy mental and physical development, to nurture individual talent and ability, and to stimulate students to think about what it means to be human and about their way of life through group activities.
The Guidelines are revised about every ten years. The most recent revision, which was undertaken in 1998, will be implemented in elementary and junior high schools from 2002 and in high schools from 2003.
The content of the Guidelines for the Course of Study outlined in this section is based on the high school Guidelines to be implemented from the academic year of 2003 (starting in April).
学習指導要領ホームページ Guidelines for the Course of Study homepage