Beverley A Yamamoto, Takahiro Saito, Maki Shibuya, Yukiko Ishikura, Adam Gyenes, Viktoriya Kim, Kim Mawer and Chika Kitano—Osaka University and Nara University of Education
In 2011, the Japanese government announced its plans to introduce the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) into 200 Japanese secondary schools. This study examines the implementation of the dual language (Japanese and English) DP in Japanese secondary schools to identify enabling practices as well as barriers and disablers. Secondly, researchers developed an instrument to understand the skills, competencies, expectations and attributes of DP and non-DP students. Data was collected in five case study schools (candidate DP schools) as well as in IB workshops and existing IB World Schools. Allowing a proportion of DP subjects to be taught and assessed in Japanese was identified by schools as key to the DP being a viable option. Other main enabling factors that the researchers identified were: networking with existing IB World Schools, supportive leadership in the case study schools and a tradition of creativity regarding curriculum development that these schools had already embraced. Taken as a whole, the case study schools highlighted the need for more practical help in addition to general advice from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the IB as well as greater flexibility with regard to determining curricular equivalency. The baseline data indicated that DP students had higher ratings than non-DP students for being “internationally-minded” and had higher expectations of acquiring problem-solving and leadership skills while at high school.