Topic outline

  • Rice Fish Dilemma

    Hisashi OTSUJI and Atsushi YAMAZAKI, College of Education, Ibaraki University, Mito, Ibaraki, JAPAN

  • Topic 1

    You are an organic rice farmer living in contemporary Japan. When faced with the economic, ecological, and political dilemmas associated with modernisation, you must decide between the monetary needs of your family and community or the preservation of an endangered species.
  • Topic 2

    What is It About?

    This dilemma is set in Japan and deals with biodiversity conservation. The story focuses on Medaka, a species of fish found in the rice streams in Japan. In addition to its ecological significance, the rice fish has a particular cultural significance for Japanese people. However, to the shock and dismay of many Japanese, scientific data released in 1999 revealed the fish was at a high risk of extinction resulting from modern irrigation and agricultural practices.

    You are a farmer and most of your produce is organically grown rice, it is time for you to hand over the family business to your son. In face of a modernizing world and increasing economic and agricultural demands, you are asked to make land adjustments which will increase the yearly harvest and thus your family's income at the expense of the rice-fish which you know is an endangered species.

    Students undertaking this dilemma are required to think deeply and critically about the real-life complexity of modernization, economic growth, and biological and cultural conservation.

  • Topic 3

    Where to Use It?

    This dilemma was designed to be used in both Science and Social Science education for primary school children in year five (10 years old) and older
  • Topic 4