ERIC Number: ED434094
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Japanese Middle Schools: A Reflection on Practices, Issues and Trends.
Whitman, Nancy C.
This paper discusses practices, issues, and trends in Japanese middle school education that have bearing on U.S. education, grouping them into four categories. Section 1, "School Reform," discusses central control of education, opportunities for student creativity, improved teacher education, and the examination system. Section 2, "Centralization," observes Japan's move toward decentralization while the United States concurrently moves away from decentralization. Section 3, "School Organization and the Use of Time," describes middle school grade levels, block scheduling, the school year, team teaching, teacher collaboration, looping, and student uniforms. Section 4, "Curriculum," discusses how the Japanese school curricula differs from U.S. curricula. Some of the differences are that in Japan, the academic curriculum is determined by the Ministry of Japan, while in the U.S., it is determined by local boards of education. In Japan, unlike the U.S., there are academic requirements for music, art, and moral education. Japan has less focus on teamwork and cooperative learning. In recent years, both countries have increased technology use in the schools. Section 5, "Equity Issues," explains that educational equity has different meanings in the two countries. In the U.S., the concept of individualism ties in with the concept of equal educational opportunity, with students grouped by their ability and taught curricula in keeping with an individual student's development. Equal opportunity in Japan means providing each student with the same contents to learn, equal financial support, and equal physical facilities. (SM)
Descriptors: Block Scheduling, Computer Uses in Education, Curriculum, Educational Change, Educational Technology, Equal Education, Ethical Instruction, Foreign Countries, Government School Relationship, Middle Schools, Moral Development, Politics of Education, School Organization, Teacher Collaboration, Teamwork, Time Management
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan