Reimagining the overview of my final project (12/3/24)


Recap of previous edition

Theme: Re-imagining higher education for the Pacific good in Japan, engaging with futures and wicked problems
Research question: What are the problems in post-compulsory education in Japan to reach ideal futures?

Ideal Futures: A society where fulfilled citizens continue to learn, actively participate, and work together to create better futures.

– Literature Review to examine the ideal futures
– Visualise and Structurelise current problems to reach the ideal futures

After meeting with Huw last month, I set up the final project, which is as I wrote the above. However, after reading the related literature and receiving inspiration from classes and others, I would like to change the general framework of the project as follows.

Theme: Re-imagining civic education in Japan, engaging with futures and wicked problems
Research question: In everyday life (informal settings), how do those who embody the ideal citizen live? What do they experience and learn from?
Ideal Futures: People have inclusive commitment as democratic citizens to conscious social reproduction, the self-conscious shaping of the structures of society.

– Literature Review to examine wicked problems and the ideal futures
– Action-oriented research 
– Life story Interview
– Observe things that reveal the subjects’ lives (asking to see photos of their houses, mapping their friends and family relationships, mining their texts on their posts on social media, etc.)

The rough outline of the Final Project paper is summarised on this Miro (right side of the board), if you have the time to look.

Background to change

– I was very sympathetic to Gutmann and Gutmann’s argument for the ideal state of society, where citizens are doing critical thinking about the reproduction of society (Crittenden and Levine, 2007).

– I want to quit problem-focused research.
– In the literature on research on indigenous peoples that I came across during the group work on Educating for a challenging future, I learnt that research on them affects their social image and self-consciousness (Tuck, 2009). I do not want to negatively affect the subjects and audiences of my research. Instead of that, I would like to focus on hopes.

– Research methods
– No matter how careful I am, my questions would influence on the subjects’ answers
– It seems that no one (at least not many people) has yet conducted action-oriented research of social engagement of young people in Japan (I will have to research more though)

Next steps / Questions
– I would like to get feedback on the overall direction of the project.
– If I go in this direction, Who should be my subjects?
– Along with the selection of the subjects, it would give me ideas of the angles from which I should observe people’s lives.


Crittenden, J. and Levine, P. (2007). Civic Education., [online] (Fall 2023). Available at:

Tuck, E. (2009). Suspending Damage: A Letter to Communities. Harvard Educational Review, 79(3), 409–428.

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