Journey
to
Japan

Research Scenario

In today's global economy, many American companies are "going international" by doing business in other countries around the world. Suppose you work for a local company called Baltimore Imports, which is planning to expand its global operations by opening an office in Japan. Several of the company's employees and their families will be moving to Japan. Many other employees will be visiting Japan on a regular basis for business. Before going to Japan, they will need to become familiar with many aspects of Japanese society. This knowledge will prepare them for living and working in Japan, and for interacting with their Japanese neighbors and business associates. Today's Japanese society is a rich blend of Asian-influenced traditional culture and Western-influenced modern culture. Therefore, Baltimore Imports' Training Supervisor has asked the company's Training Department (your class) to inform employees and their families about the traditional aspects of Japanese culture.

How do traditional values, beliefs, and institutions
play a role in today's Japanese society?

Task & Product

Each Trainer will do in-depth research on one specific aspect of traditional Japanese culture which would be of interest to Americans preparing to live and work in Japan. Click here to preview various aspects of traditional Japanese culture for research. Then use the Back Button on your browser to return to this page.

You will use the information from your research to create training materials in one of these product formats, as approved by your Supervisor (teacher):

  • Brochure (created using Microsoft Word or Publisher)
  • Oral Report with Visuals
  • Poster
  • Power Point Presentation
  • Video Production
  • Web page

Use this research organizer to note your research topic and research product preferences, which will be approved by your Supervisor (teacher).

Assessments

 

The following scoring tools may be used or adapted by your Supervisor (teacher) to evaluate your research process and your final product and presentation.

Research Process Assessments:

  • Daily--Formative
  • Research Process--Summative (Student/Self)
  • Research Process--Summative (Teacher)

Final Product Assessments: 

Questions

 

Essential Question:
How do traditional values, beliefs, and institutions
play a role in today's Japanese society?

Subsidiary Questions:
  1. What is the history of this aspect of traditional Japanese culture?
  2. How is this topic important to the lives of people in Japan today?
  • All Trainers must locate information for questions #1 and #2.
  • Brainstorm additional questions about your topic using Who, What, When, Where, Why, or How as question-starters.
  • Use your research organizer to record your questions, which will then be approved by your Supervisor (teacher).

Gather & Sort

 

Use a variety of resources to gather information about your selected aspect of traditional culture in Japan.

  • Sort your research findings using the note-taking organizer on your research organizer .
  • If you prefer to take notes using lined paper, write each numbered subsidiary question at the top of a separate sheet of notebook paper.
  • Avoid plagiarism by properly paraphrasing and quoting in your writing and citing your sources.
  • Refer to these guidelines and examples for How to Cite Your Sources; click on the source format (book, Internet, etc.) to print out citation worksheet.

Organize

 

 

 

 

Analyze your research notes to determine if you have sufficient information to prepare your training materials for Americans preparing to live and work in Japan.

  • Organize your notes according to subtopics corresponding to your subsidiary questions (History, Importance, etc.). Do you have sufficient details to completely answer all of your subsidiary questions?
  • Is there a subtopic for which you did not find enough information? If so, decide whether to continue searching for information about this subtopic or eliminate it.
  • Did you find interesting information which does not fit under any of your subtopics? If so, decide if this information would be useful for your audience, and identify a new subtopic for it.

Synthesize your findings by creating a first draft of your research product/presentation.

  • What new insights have emerged about your topic?
  • Which facts would be most useful and interesting to your audience of Americans preparing to move to Japan?
  • Which facts are unnecessary or repetitive and should be left out?
  • In what order should your facts be presented to make sense for your audience?
  • What visuals (graphics, diagrams, photographs, models, objects, etc.) would best illustrate or enhance the information you are presenting?
  • Prepare a first draft of your research product:

Evaluate your research product for quality and completeness.

  • Do a self-assessment by using the scoring tool for your product as a checklist to make sure that your work meets all the listed criteria.
  • Have a peer (classmate) use the scoring tool to evaluate your product draft and provide feedback (comments, criticism, suggestions).
  • Revise or edit your draft materials as needed based on your self-assessment and peer-assessment.
  • Use your mock-up, draft, or story board to create your final product for presentation to the Baltimore Imports employees (your class).

Conclusion

 

 

 

 

Presentation:
Plan
how you will present your final product to the Baltimore Imports employees (your class). Consider these options:

  • Have your Supervisor make copies of your brochure for each employee; practice giving an overview of the information on your poster, and be prepared to answer questions.
  • Rehearse your oral report and practice referring to your visual aids.
  • Hang your poster in the gallery-walk area designated by your Supervisor; practice giving an overview of the information on your poster, and be prepared to answer questions.
  • Make arrangements with your Supervisor to present your Power Point program or Web page on-screen using an LCD projector, or on individual computers at the presentation location.
  • Make arrangements with your Supervisor to present your video production on-screen using an LCD projector, or on a TV monitor.

Present your product to the Baltimore Imports employees. As you view and listen to other Trainer's research presentations, use this presentation notes chart to take notes that you will need later to complete your reflection.

Reflection:
The CEO of Baltimore Imports is impressed with the wealth of information gathered by the Training Department. However, there may not be enough time for employees and their families to cover all of this material before going to Japan. Therefore, the CEO would like your written recommendation:

Which facts about traditional Japanese culture would be most useful and interesting for employees and families to know before moving to Japan?
Refer to your presentation notes to support your answer with details and examples from the Trainer's presentations.

Your Supervisor (teacher) may use this constructed response scoring tool to evaluate your reflection.