Corporate Japan goes to school case studies examining corporate involvement in public schools in Japan


Kaori Takano

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


School of Education and Health Sciences


Advisor: Joseph Watras


This multiple case study examined corporate involvement in Japanese public elementary schools through 3 corporate programs. In 2005 the Basic Law of Food Education, Shokuiku Kihon Ho was enacted. This law promotes food education as a national movement and encourages food makers to become actively involved with the public sector to provide food education programs. Major food makers approached public elementary schools as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Purposeful sampling was selected, and programs from 3 companies were identified as cases. This researcher conducted email interviews with 35 elementary school teachers and 3 company spokespersons to examine their motivations, implementations, advantages and disadvantages of the programs, benefits to the company, and changes in teachers' perceptions of the companies, if any. The findings first include sources, including governmental, from which teachers initially learned about the programs. Second, the primary reason for program use was food education. Third, the 3 corporate programs studied appeared to be very successful in obtaining publicity in the schools. Two out of 3 companies had their products present in the classroom and also gave their products as gifts. Fourth, teachers were satisfied with corporate programs because they gained professional knowledge, rich materials, and experience-based activities for children. Fifth, the major disadvantage was scheduling. Few teachers recognized that corporate programs effectively influenced the knowledge of teachers and children. Sixth, teachers' perceptions of the companies were positively changed after experiencing the programs. Teachers were impressed with professional knowledge and they tolerated corporate promotions. This study included implications: School policies and professional development are needed to address commercial activity and insure that the children's knowledge would be balanced.


Business and education Japan Case studies, Education Japan Case studies, Nutrition Study and teaching Japan Case studies, Corporations Public relations Japan Case studies

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