Education in Japan

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Transcript Education in Japan

Education in Japan
A Nation at Risk
Presented by Lee Ann Graddy
Spring 2010
Facts and Figures
4 major islands and over 4,000
smaller islands
Primarily mountainous
Population: 127,417,200
Capital City: Tokyo
Currency: Yen
Language: Japanese
Religions: Buddist and
Shinto 85%
Perceived Strengths of
Japanese Education
Math and Science foundation of students
Society committed to academic excellence
Respect among students
Teacher culture focused on designing and implementing lessons
Challenges Facing Japan
 Population decline
 Political Apathy
Lack of will to reform
 Self-centered youth
Reform Efforts
 Reduced Intensity Reforms
 Teacher frustrations
 Parental fears
 Private School role
 Integrated Studies
Focus of Educational Reform
 Emphasis on Individuality - this is significantly different
from the current system that emphasizes harmony and
uniformity. They will focus on creativity and have more
hands-on activities for children.
 Emphasis on Life Long Learning - this will bring about
change in the current system from rote memorization to
learning how to learn and higher level thinking.
 Emphasis on preparing students who can plan and cope
with change and succeed in the information age and
global society - there is political pressure for students to
acquire the skills to compete internationally. There is a move
to provide students with comprehensive international
learning; to help students understand other cultures, history,
and values.
Crisis in Education?
PISA League Table
2000 – Literacy
2003 – Math
2006 -Science
Japan = 8th
Japan = 4th
Japan = 3rd
U.S. = 15th
U.S. = 24th
U.S.= 21st
Is the crisis in Japanese education real or a ploy to
incite panic within the nation?
Structure and Governance of Schools
System is organized as follows:
6 years of elementary school
3 years of junior high school
3 years of high school
4 years of college
Compulsory education from ages 5-14
240 day school year with a 6 day school week – approximately 30
days devoted to out of classroom experiences
MEXT – Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and
Technology regulates educational system
Japanese Culture
 The role of the family in education of children is vital
The culture promoted within school focus on:
 Cooperation
 Relationships
 Responsibility
 Following set rules and routines
 Values
 Punctuality
 Stewardship
 Loyalty
 Leadership & subordinate roles
 Place a high value on economic success
Confucius had a great impact on education in Japan
School Finance
 National Government bears one third
to one half of the cost of education
 4.7% of the GNP is allocated to
 Schools across the nation are viewed
as equal. There is little variation in
quality of the school due to area socioeconomic factors.
Public School Curriculum in Japan
A Day in the life of a Japanese student…
Peace Curriculum
As part of the Peace Education Curriculum which combines moral and political topics for Junior and
Senior High School students, a trip is made to the Hiroshima Memorial. An inscription there reads:
Hiroshima was the first city in the world to suffer an atomic bombing.That terrible experience
gave us a new understanding of the cruelty of war, the terror of nuclear weapons, and the
importance of peace. Until the day when all people on Earth can live in peace, we will
continuously send messages of peace from Hiroshima to the world.
Special Education
 There are 995 schools for handicapped individuals.
70 schools for the deaf
107 for the blind
790 for those with disabilities
This number is not seen as adequate to serve the population of special needs in the country.
Diversity and Equity
 There is a disparity between the percentage of women and
men who attend 2 year colleges. Approximately 95% of
those attending are women. There is discrimination in the
fields open to women and the level of education they are
encouraged to pursue.
 Changing roles for women may help address problems with
aging society. United Nations report stated that Japanese
women are falling behind women in other countries in terms
of being able to participate in economic and social activities.
 Although, Japanese women are some of the most highly
educated in the world with 42.5% having some post
secondary education.
 Most education settings are co-educational.
Teacher Methods and Training
 Strong Professional Learning Communities among teachers
 Teachers have 4 year degrees and are licensed through the government
 Role of schools and teachers shifting in discipline and motivation of students
 Teaching methods have shifted with reform efforts and movements, not a tremendous amount of
technology seen in classrooms.
 Strive for democratic classrooms
 Moving away from skill and drill and are now expected to respond to individual students needs and
encourage a “zest for living”.
Called to be facilitators of learning rather than disseminators of knowledge
Post war teaching methods were designed to organize and transmit large amounts of information to
large groups and was very effective.
Class size averages 28 students
…to be honest we don’t always teach what we are supposed to. We don’t have enough time in the schedule to teach math,
so we use that morning IS time for math. If we don’t use that time for math, we have to find other times to teach math.
(Mr. Aoyama, 7th grade teacher)
…the Course of study contents have changed and were reduced. The teachers have less material to cover but they aren’t
sure how to deal with the changes. They have become rudderless, shifting from one direction to another. They are under
pressure to raise student’s academic abilities, which creates work and pressure. (Mr. Sekine, 9th grade teacher)
Higher Education in Japan
 Japan is the world’s largest source of study abroad students
Both younger and older students (ages 12 – 50+)
Economic downturn and need for life long learning
Growing dissatisfaction with challenges and outcomes of higher ed.
Very little guidance in courses or career paths
Attendance in class is poor and behavior is often disruptive
There is a push to increase the number of foreign exchange students
to aide in the development of Japan and international relations.
The number grew from 10,000 in 1983 to 64,000 in 2000.
 Rapid decline in birthrate has higher education scrambling for ways to fill
future seats and find financial security.
Is American education following
the same path?
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