English book title in big typography


Genba de tsukaeru Kyoiku-Shakai-gaku (Sociology of Education for Teachers - An introduction to Inequalities in Education)


NAKAMURA Takayasu, MATSUOKA Ryoji (authors and editors)


358 pages, A5 format




October 30, 2021



Published by

Minerva Shobo

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Genba de tsukaeru Kyoiku-Shakai-gaku

Japanese Page

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This book is a sociology of education textbook for university students. However, this textbook is designed differently from the usual sociology of education textbooks. Its key feature is that it focuses on educational inequality. Sociology of Education is an academic discipline that elucidates educational phenomena using sociological theories and methods, and it does not necessarily limit itself to educational inequality and issues of social stratification. However, this book is structured to ensure that the issue of educational inequality be addressed in each chapter. The intention behind this approach is that, although the issue of educational inequality is a crucial topic that forms the basic foundation for understanding educational phenomena and problems, one of the co-editors, Ryoji Matsuoka, discovered through his research that this issue is not adequately addressed in teacher training courses in Japanese universities. Despite its importance, it is not taught. Many young teachers start teaching without fully understanding the reality of educational inequality. The two editors of this book felt a great sense of crisis about this phenomenon and extensively discussed the concept over numerous hours. This book is the result of up-and-coming sociologists of education who agreed with the purpose of the book, lending their cooperation to its writing process.
As this sense of impending crisis was the basis for writing this book, a more difficult path was chosen for the process of creating the textbook, following significantly different procedures from those used for editing normal university textbooks. Specifically, first, research meetings were frequently convened at the stage of conceptualizing the content of each chapter, the authors were requested to submit a draft of each chapter, and we all exchanged opinions on the chapters’ contents. Second, we sought input about the draft from several specialist researchers who were familiar with the field covered in each chapter, and this feedback was incorporated into the chapters’ contents. Third, we held public editorial meetings online, and received feedback from people from various backgrounds who voluntarily participated in the meetings, including active teachers, teacher training course students, general working adults, and university lecturers. We held 16 public editorial meeting sessions over an eight-day period, and on average, approximately 70 people participated each day, excluding the writing team, with a total of 560 people participating over the eight days. The content of each chapter was finalized after intense discussions. Perhaps because it is quite rare for textbooks to be created with such care, this process attracted much attention, and was even reported in newspapers (Asahi Shimbun, November 3rd, 2020 “Aspiring teachers, learning about educational inequality, and creating a textbook online”).
Although this book is already the fifth edition, we are hoping that many more will read it. Records of an actual lesson using this textbook at the University of Tokyo were published in March as a new book (Ryoji Matsuoka, Fumiko Takahashi, Takayasu Nakamura (Ed.) (2023) “The University of Tokyo Students Learn about Inequalities in Education”, Kobunsha Shinsho). So please, also take a look at this book.

(Written by NAKAMURA Takayasu, Professor, Graduate School of Education / 2022)

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