Japanese and American Education: Attitudes and Practices

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Harry Wray
IAP, Apr 1, 2008 - Education - 336 pages
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Under the present educational centralization Japanese secondary school teachers are severely handicapped in carrying out the goals of cultivating a spontaneous spirit and creating a culture rich in individuality. Although Japanese nursery, kindergarten, and elementary teachers could provide many hints to improve the methodology of their American counterparts, the reverse is true at the secondary and college levels. American teachers try to encourage students to be creative in approaching a problem, writing an essay, and sketching an object, and they will suggest appropriate courses, recommend books, and encourage intellectual challenge, while Japanese secondary school teachers' goal is narrowly focused on presenting designated textual material in as efficient a manner as possible. In the United States, farmers constitute less than ten percent of the population, but American schools still operate as if students had to return home each day for chores, or as if the summer vacation and fall schedule had to be used to help parents with planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops. Today, most American mothers work full time and children have much more free time and live in less secure urban environments. The amount of time spent attending school in Japan and the United States is just one of the cultural attitudes that is examined in this book.
 

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Contents

Japanese Schools Higher Achievement Literacy Efficiency Discipline Classroom Management and Strengths of Centralization
1
Factors Shaping Current Japanese Education
41
Japanese Educational Weaknesses and American Strengths
75
The Distorting Influence of School Ranking Entrance Examinations and Supplementary Institutional Educational Systems on Individuals and Schools
131
Societal Attitudes Debilitating American Education and the Compelling Need for Educational Reform
177
Teaching Morale Policy Input Remuneration Competence and Professional Education in Japan and the United States
219
American and Japanese Curricular Differences
255
Conclusion
287
Selected Bibliography
301
Index
311
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About the author (2008)

HARRY WRAY is Professor of Japanese History and International Relations in the College of Foreign Studies, Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan.

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