ERIC Number: ED426958
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Japanese Education System: A Case Study Summary and Analysis. A Report. Research Today. International Studies.
The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) results suggest to American citizens that compared to the United States' goal of excellence among nations, the U.S. is not on track with other nations. By contrast, Japan is consistently at the top of international rankings in mathematics and science. To gain insight into the Japanese education system success, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned a case study that is documented in "The Educational System in Japan: Case Study Findings" (The Japan Study). The Japan Study, summarized in this report, indicated that one possible explanation for Japan's success is that the educational system actively works to build students' motivation to learn. This study highlights how the Japanese system works to motivate students. The report is divided into four sections: (1) academic standards; (2) individual student differences; (3) adolescent life; and (4) teacher life. Academic standards are set by the Japanese Educational Ministry for all students in mathematics and science. The Ministry focuses on creating well-rounded students in the elementary and junior high school and sets the number of hours per subject in the national elementary school curriculum. Whole-class instruction is used in most elementary school and junior high school classes. This teaching method has students of all ability levels cover one subject at the same pace interactively in one classroom. The focus of the instruction is to emphasize effort over ability, engage students, build strong classroom relationships, and unify the classroom. After school activities for adolescents support the educational goals. This is accomplished through school clubs, supplementary classes, and friendships formed at the clubs and classes that contribute to school values. Japanese schools support an atmosphere of collegial student interaction and teacher interaction that helps to motivate student learning. Although some Japanese students still have motivation problems, part of the explanation for student success in mathematics and science in Japan is due to an education structure that works to build student motivation. (JH)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Adolescents, Comparative Education, Curriculum Development, Educational Administration, Educational Assessment, Educational Experience, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, International Educational Exchange, Student School Relationship, Teacher Education
Web site: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/researchToday/98-3038 html
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Inst. on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment (ED/OERI), Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study