This comprehensive study of the Japanese education system follows the Japanese child from the kindergarten, through the progressively more arduous and competitive environments of the elementary, middle and high schools, to the relative relaxation, even hedonism, of university life. Drawing on numerous surveys and on the author's personal experience, it provides a wealth of information on teaching methodologies, discipline, class sizes, the school day, assessment and the national curriculum. It also examines the role of the central Ministry of Education and the local boards in administering education throughout the country, and outlines and assesses the government's recent programs of educational reform. The behavior, attitudes and expectations of pupils and parents are discussed in detail, and placed within their political, social and historical context, revealing the complex cultural assumptions determining learning and socialization in Japan. This study thus contributes to the efforts of educators and sociologists to understand and evaluate different approaches to education in diverse cultures, increasingly important in the global information age. It shows how the American and Japanese education systems are based on fundamentally different concepts of society: democratic individualism and hierarchic collectivism respectively. While discussing the positive and negative effects of each extreme, it suggests that American educators might learn from a system in which truancy, insolence, violence and drug abuse are comparatively rare. However, the study shows how the traditional ideals of Japanese education - unquestioning acceptance, self-sacrifice, and respect for superiors - face serious challenges in a time of globalization, and moral, social and cultural change.
The Center for US-Japan Comparative Social Studies (www.usjp.org) is an Internet-based nonprofit organization. Since its inception in 2000, the Center has provided information about education, culture and society in the United States and Japan. The author of this book, Miki Y. Ishikida, is Director and a principal researcher at the Center.Japanese Education in the 21st Century is an introduction to contemporary Japanese education and provides the latest information and resources for educators and anyone with an interest in the Japanese school system.Author Miki Y. Ishikida describes The rapid changes in today's Japanese schools and communities that came about from the implementation of the 1987 recommendation of the National Council on Educational Reform that relaxed rigid school regulations Compensatory education and ethnic education for minority and disadvantaged children-Buraku children, Ainu children, Korean children, Nikkei children and disabled children-that are designed to improve their academic achievements and to give them a sense of pride in their heritage Human rights education aimed to instill respect, acceptance, and tolerance for all people by teaching the history and culture of minority population. Ishikida discusses the current state of the Japanese educational system, and the issues of minority education, special education, and lifelong education based upon her examination of administrative documents, school journals, and secondary literature. She also presents the results of case studies from her classroom observations and interviews with teachers and administrators from a cross-section of Japanese schools.
Presents a profile of the Japanese educational system and compares and contrasts it with the American system. The objective is not to advocate the replication of the Japanese educational system and practices, but to promote a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of both systems. Charts and figures.
This book illustrates the nature of Japan’s education system and identifies its strengths and weaknesses, as well as the socioeconomic environment surrounding education in contemporary Japanese society. It describes the basic institutional structure of each educational stage, in an overview of today’s school education in Japan, while also analyzing the current implementation status of important policies and the progress of reform at each stage. The book also examines the status of and problems with various issues that are considered essential to education in Japan today. These include teachers, lesson studies, school and community, educational disparities, education and jobs, multiculturalism, university reforms, internationalization of education and English-language education, education for sustainable development, and others, covering a diverse range of fields. The book is unique in its attempt to comprehensively understand and analyze the educational field in Japan by drawing on the expertise of various academic disciplines.
A study of postwar education in Japan which is intended to shed light on the development of Japanese educational policy. Major educational documents are included, some taken from records of the American occupation forces and others being original translations from Japanese sources.
Gail R. Benjamin reaches beyond predictable images of authoritarian Japanese educators and automaton schoolchildren to show the advantages and disadvantages of a system remarkably different from the American one... --The New York Times Book Review Americans regard the Japanese educational system and the lives of Japanese children with a mixture of awe and indignance. We respect a system that produces higher literacy rates and superior math skills, but we reject the excesses of a system that leaves children with little free time and few outlets for creativity and self-expression. In Japanese Lessons, Gail R. Benjamin recounts her experiences as a American parent with two children in a Japanese elementary school. An anthropologist, Benjamin successfully weds the roles of observer and parent, illuminating the strengths of the Japanese system and suggesting ways in which Americans might learn from it. With an anthropologist's keen eye, Benjamin takes us through a full year in a Japanese public elementary school, bringing us into the classroom with its comforting structure, lively participation, varied teaching styles, and non-authoritarian teachers. We follow the children on class trips and Sports Days and through the rigors of summer vacation homework. We share the experiences of her young son and daughter as they react to Japanese schools, friends, and teachers. Through Benjamin we learn what it means to be a mother in Japan--how minute details, such as the way mothers prepare lunches for children, reflect cultural understandings of family and education. Table of Contents Acknowledgments 1. Getting Started 2. Why Study Japanese Education? 3. Day-to-Day Routines 4. Together at School, Together in Life 5. A Working Vacation and Special Events 6. The Three R's, Japanese Style 7. The Rest of the Day 8. Nagging, Preaching, and Discussions 9. Enlisting Mothers' Efforts 10. Education in Japanese Society 11. Themes and Suggestions 12. Sayonara Appendix. Reading and Writing in Japanese References Index
Presents a large representative sample of the literature on Japanese education with an emphasis on its psychosocial aspects. Many discussions compare the Japanese educational system with that of the United States and other countries. The citations cover most of the 1990s including a few earlier and later references. Includes extensive discussions about Japanese educational reform movements and their consequences. Also cites published and unpublished dissertations and theses. Updates the last comprehensive English language bibliography on Japanese education published by Ulrich Teichler in 1974. The citations were taken from many online databases. Suitable for students, teachers, scholars and the general public.
This volume analyses the success or otherwise of reform efforts in Japanese education since the Second World War. Contributors address a wide variety of themes from differing perspectives, their articles ranging from a historical study of reform efforts during the military occupation of Japan, through an analysis of educational developments under Prime Minister Nakasone, to the practical effects of changes in the teaching of mathematics. It will be of interest to all students of education in Japan.
This document presents a comparative analysis of education in Japan and the United States. The report explores differences between U.S. and Japanese culture. While the United States may be characterized by its diversity, Japanese culture is distinctive in the extent of its uniformity. Japan, moreover, has a highly centralized educational system; U.S. education is extremely decentralized. Education is compulsory in both countries, until age 16 in most U.S. states, and until 15 in Japan. While many students in the United States work or participate in other activities, Japan tends to view schooling as a student's job. Japanese students face a longer school year and a more rigorous, government controlled curriculum than do their U.S. counterparts. In Japan, teaching is a more highly respected and rewarded field than it is in the United States. There are major attitudinal differences concerning schooling in the two countries. The United States tends to emphasize students' abilities, while the Japanese place greater emphasis on persistence and personal responsibility. From the Japanese system, the United States can learn: (1) the true value of taking education seriously; (2) the need to raise academic standards; and (3) the ability to spend wisely on education. (Contains 15 references.) (LBG)
Japanese Schooling is organized around important crosspoints for understanding the historic roots and contemporary features of Japanese education. These include (1) socialization for discipline at home and in school; (2) the impact of university examinations on educational equality and moral development; and (3) centralized control and national identity. Written by leading American and Japanese scholars, Japanese Schooling is uniquely informative and comprehensive, with wide-ranging and critical analyses of sensitive issues and traditional educational questions. Among the topics that highlight both strengths and weaknesses are: nursery schooling, pupil violence in junior high schools, the reasons for high achievement levels in mathematics, the textbook controversy and teacher unionism, the role of large class size in teaching cooperative behavior, gender issues, and special education. As one reviewer said, "The book has no equal among recently published works which in comparison avoid sharp analysis and are narrowly focused." Another feature is the bibliography of more than 200 English-language sources on Japanese education published since 1972. It constitutes probably the most complete bibliographic research base currently available for those interesting in studying Japanese education. Overall, Japanese Schooling shows every promise of taking a place alongside Herbert Passin's Society and Education in Japan, published in 1965 and long-considered the classic reference for understanding the interplay between contemporary educational issues and the permanent patterns of Japanese culture.
Globalization is the most common overriding characteristic of our time, with societies all over the world struggling to change their educational systems to meet what are perceived to be the needs of globalization. This book provides an insider's account of how the Japanese educational system is trying to meet that challenge while placing the developments in a larger international context. Distinguishing itself from other books in the same genre, this volume (1) brings in the diversity of insiders‘ reactions concerning globalization reform in education, while placing such actions in the larger international context, and (2) covers a wide span of education (elementary to higher education) and shows how the globalization reforms as a whole are affecting Japanese education. With a focus on insiders’ accounts, this book brings in information that is little known outside of Japan. It also links globalization processes in Japanese society, school education and higher education, accounting for similarities and differences across educational levels, providing insight into the multifaceted processes affecting the Japanese education system. Chapters include: From High School Abroad to College in Japan: The Difficulties of the Japanese Returnee Experience The University of Tokyo PEAK Program: Venues into the Challenges Faced by Japanese Universities Why Does Cultural Diversity Matter? Korean Higher Education in Comparative Perspective
The History of Modern Japanese Education is the first account in English of the construction of a national school system in Japan, as outlined in the 1872 document, the Gakusei. Divided into three parts tracing decades of change, the book begins by exploring the feudal background for the Gakusei during the Tokugawa era which produced the initial leaders of modern Japan. Next, Benjamin Duke traces the Ministry of Education's investigations of the 1870s to determine the best western model for Japan, including the decision to adopt American teaching methods. He then goes on to cover the eventual "reverse course" sparked by the Imperial Household protest that the western model overshadowed cherished Japanese traditions. Ultimately, the 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education integrated Confucian teachings of loyalty and filial piety with Imperial ideology, laying the moral basis for a western-style academic curriculum in the nation's schools.
The Japanese education system, while widely praised in western countries, is subject to heavy criticism within Japan. Education Reform in Japan analyses this criticism, and explains why proposed reforms have failed. The author shows how the Japanese policy-making process can become paralysed when there is disagreement, and argues that this `immobilism' can affect other areas of Japanese policy-making.
For large numbers of school students in Japan school has become a battle field. Recent violent events in schools, together with increasing drop-out rates and bullying are undermining stereotypes about the effectiveness of the Japanese education system. This incisive and original book looks at Japanese high school from a student perspective and contextualises this educational turmoil within the broader picture of Japans troubled economic and political life.