ERIC Number: ED365584
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Assertive Self: Japanese Middle School Students and Their Educational Decisions.
LeTendre, Gerald K.
This article reviews the existing anthropological and sociological evidence on school choice and educational stratification in Japan. Traditional linear models developed in the West have given little insight into how stratification processes actually occur. There must be analysis of the institutional linkages and organizational cultures of schools to accurately understand both how educational decisions are made, and how stratification occurs. The data for the study comes from field notes, interviews with teachers, students, and administrators, and a two wave panel survey of both rural and urban third year students who would be the equivalent to 9th graders in the United States. Significant interaction was found among student's gender, parental educational levels, and students' aspirations and attainments during the transition period from middle school to high school. But such data proved insufficient in investigating how ascribed characteristics affect children's decisions. As a result of the field work, the study concluded that middle school teachers systematically have developed and instituted a three year program of motivation and aspiration control. Middle school teachers actively define how students should view their educational decisions and what correct aspirations are. Teachers use motivation techniques that focus children's attention on their family background and economic situation. Students retain a strong sense of autonomy because they accept they do not question the logic of the decision making process. Six diagrams summarizing survey findings by location and five tables of survey results are included. (DK)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Decision Making, Educational Attainment, Educational Environment, Educational Research, Foreign Countries, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Parent Background, School Choice, School Organization, Social Stratification, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student Motivation, Teacher Influence
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).