Technical Report Increasing Japanese Students' Interest in Science by Leveraging Space Program Communication: Exploring Solutions for Rika Banare

Kurokawa, Satoki  ,  黒川, 怜樹

JAXA-RM-15-012Epp.1 - 116 , 2016-03-11 , Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) , 宇宙航空研究開発機構(JAXA)
This study examined if space program communication could be used in addressing the problems of rika banare (decreasing interest in science among students), which is one of the biggest educational issues facing Japan. In order to explore its solutions, the research question was posed: Can public relations strategies and tactics increase interest in science among Japanese students in primary and secondary schools by raising awareness of space programs? A total of 1,147 Japanese students and eight Japanese teachers both in Japan and in the U.S. participated in this surveys and focus groups. The study revealed that most of the students (69%) increased their interest in learning subjects―such as science (56%) and math (33%)―after space program lectures were delivered. This also had positive effects on other subjects, including history (26%), sports (22%) and Japanese language (19%). The effectiveness of space programs for building students’ motivation for learning was found especially on secondary school students. Among space programs, manned missions had the greatest impacts on learning interest regardless of school grades. It was also revealed that despite the new science curriculum introduced in 2009, the negative trend, namely decreasing interest in science among students as their grade advanced, appeared to be continuing. Further, the study indicated that online technologies―especially social media―could be used to better leverage space programs to increase students’ interest in science. Most of the students (46%) in the study obtained information on space from the Internet, and more than half of them (59%) had used social media as an information source for space, by accessing websites including YouTube (65%), blogs (22%), Facebook (20%) and Twitter (17%). Combining public relations strategies and tactics including online communication platforms, space programs could bring us a solution for this long-lasting educational issue, by motivating the younger generations to learn science and technology. Expanding the audience in these areas may help secure human resources to maintain and increase Japan’s international competitiveness through invention and innovation.
本論文は、理科離れをテーマに、宇宙プログラム(space programs)と広報(public relations)の手法との組み合わせが主として小、中学生の理科への興味関心に与える影響を調べ、理科離れの解決策について論じたものである。日米双方で、1,147名の生徒と8名の教師を対象に定量的調査と定性的調査を実施。宇宙に触れることで、69%の生徒が学習意欲が向上したと回答。理数分野(理科:56%、算数/数学:33%)以外の他分野(例、歴史:26%、体育:22%、国語:19%)を含め、宇宙は学習意欲の向上に広く影響することが分かった。特に、学年に関わらず有人宇宙プログラムの、また、宇宙の分野を問わず中学生への高い効果が見られた。一方、2009年の学習指導要領改訂等政府、産業界等による様々な取り組みにもかかわらず、学年の経過と共に理科への興味、理解は失われ、理科離れは解消していないことが判明。また、インターネットで宇宙に関する情報を得たことのある生徒(46%)のうち、多く(59%)がソーシャルメディア(SNS。例、YouTube:65%、ブログ:22%、Facebook:20%、Twitter:17%)で宇宙関連の情報を得ていることも分かり、SNSが宇宙や理科に関するコミュニケーションツールとして大きな可能性を有していることがツール別に明らかとなった。インターネットやSNSと共に、宇宙プログラムを広報や教育へ積極的、戦略的に活用することは、理科離れ解消のみならず、科学技術分野における人材確保、ひいては、日本の国際競争力維持、向上にもつながり得ることについて論述。
Physical characteristics: Original contains color illustrations
形態: カラー図版あり

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