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Superpower or A Nation at Risk Presented by Lee Ann Graddy Spring 2010 Education in Japan.

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Presentation on theme: "Superpower or A Nation at Risk Presented by Lee Ann Graddy Spring 2010 Education in Japan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Superpower or A Nation at Risk Presented by Lee Ann Graddy Spring 2010 Education in Japan

2 Japan Facts and Figures 4 major islands and over 4,000 smaller islands Primarily mountainous terrain Population: 127,417,200 Capital City: Tokyo Currency: Yen Language: Japanese Religions: Buddist and Shinto 85%

3 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

4 Challenges Facing Japan Population decline Political Apathy Lack of will to reform Self-centered youth

5 Reform Efforts Reduced Intensity Reforms MEXT Teacher frustrations Parental fears Private School role Integrated Studies

6 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.

7 Crisis in Education? PISA League Table 2000 – Literacy 2003 – Math Science Japan = 8 th Japan = 4 th Japan = 3 rd U.S. = 15 th U.S. = 24 th U.S.= 21 st Is the crisis in Japanese education real or a ploy to incite panic within the nation?

8 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 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

9 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

10 School Finance National Government bears one third to one half of the cost of education 4.7% of the GNP is allocated to education Schools across the nation are viewed as equal. There is little variation in quality of the school due to area socio- economic factors.

11 Public School Curriculum in Japan

12 A Day in the life of a Japanese student…

13 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.

14 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.

15 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.

16 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.

17 Class size averages 28 students …to be honest we dont always teach what we are supposed to. We dont have enough time in the schedule to teach math, so we use that morning IS time for math. If we dont use that time for math, we have to find other times to teach math. (Mr. Aoyama, 7 th grade teacher) …the Course of study contents have changed and were reduced. The teachers have less material to cover but they arent sure how to deal with the changes. They have become rudderless, shifting from one direction to another. They are under pressure to raise students academic abilities, which creates work and pressure. (Mr. Sekine, 9 th grade teacher)

18 Higher Education in Japan Japan is the worlds 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 Rapid decline in birthrate has higher education scrambling for ways to fill future seats and find financial security.

19 Is American education following the same path? NCLB HIGH STAKES TESTING COMMON CORE CURRICULUM

20 References Beauchamp, E.R. (2003). Comparative Education Reader. New York, New York: RoutledgeFalmer. Bjork, C. (2005, April). Education reform in Japan: competing visions for the future. Phi Delta Kappan, Bjork, C. (2009). Local implementation of Japans integrated studies reform: a preliminary analysis of efforts of decentralize the curriculum. Comparative Education, 45(1), Deasy, R.J. (1986, September). Education in Japan: surprising lessons. Educational Leadership, 38. Education in Japan. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from Education System in Japan Facts and Details. Retrieved March, 20, 2010, from Gainey, P., & Curtis, A. (2002). The Japanese education system: globalization and international education. Japanese Studies, 22(2), Kai, K. (2009). The modification and adaptation of Montessori education in Japan. The International Journal of Learning, 16(7),

21 References Phillips, M. (2007, May). Backwards into the future – again. Phi Delta Kappan, Schwartz, S. (2007, April). Educating the heart. Educational Leadership, Takayamam, K. (2007, November). A nation at risk crosses the Pacific: transnational borrowing of the U.S. crisis discourse in the debate on education reform in Japan. Comparative Education Review, Web Japan. Japan Fact Sheet Education. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from Wieczorek, C.C. (2008, Winter). Comparative analysis of educational systems of American and Japanese schools: views and visions. Educational Horizons, Willis, D.B., Satoshi, Y., & Rappleye, J. (2008). Frontiers of education: Japan as Global Model or Nation at Risk?, International Review of Education, 54,

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