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ERIC Number: ED504803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 92
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-8739-2716-8
Exploring Cross-National Attraction in Education: Some Historical Comparisons of American and Chinese Attraction to Japanese Education
Rappleye, Jeremy
Symposium Books
This book attempts to theorize cross-national attraction by comparing American and Chinese attraction to Japanese education. The study takes a long historical view--spanning roughly from the Meiji Restoration (1868) to today--to determine when and why Japanese education has become attractive to these two countries. It uses a combination of official reports and scholarly analysis as sources to evaluate attraction. The study is underpinned by recently developed models of educational transfer and it attempts to use a comparison of American and Chinese attraction to Japanese education as a means to further develop emerging theoretical understandings of cross-national attraction in education. The research begins with the more familiar case of American attraction to Japanese education finding that the American case shows a long period of historical neglect punctuated by a short burst of feverish attraction to Japanese education in the 1980s. The reasons for this attraction--when it finally did occur--seemed to be partially driven by Japanese economic competitiveness and partially driven by domestic political agendas within the United States. The domestic impulses for attraction are given particular attention in the analysis because few studies have detailed this aspect of attraction. The less familiar Chinese case shows a much longer educational relationship with not one, but two distinguishable periods of attraction to Japan. The first period--roughly occurring at the turn of the 20th century--was so feverish that it led to wholesale "borrowing" of many aspects of the Japanese education system. A second period of Chinese attraction arguably began in the early 1990s continuing through today. The research investigates the reasons for this attraction again revealing a combination of external and internal developments that catalyze attraction. Perhaps because it is partially obscured by historical legacies and current political trends, little research has attempted to investigate Chinese attraction to Japanese education and thus the current attraction of Chinese observers to Japanese education is of particular note. By comparing these two stories of attraction (and neglect), it becomes apparent that cross-national attraction is as much a product of internal forces within these two countries, as it is a result of changes in Japanese education. The study finds that cross-national attraction is therefore best understood as a changing and malleable idea that arises as much from internal as external stimuli. This makes it vital to pay closer attention to the role of human actors in creating cross-national attraction in education. Further comparison of the two cases suggests the need to reorganize the existing theoretical models of cross-national attraction. In the final chapter, an attempt at reorganizing the models is attempted in the form of a "Contextual Map of Cross-National Attraction." Following an introduction, this book contains seven sections. The first section, "Theoretical Foundations and Research Design," includes: (1) Globalization and Comparative Education: A Promising Moment; (2) New Models of Educational Policy Borrowing; (3) Critiquing the New Models: Definitions, Relationships, and Agency; and (4) Research Design: Central Questions, Rational, Limitations. The second section, "American Views of Japanese Education Historically," includes: (1) A Century of Neglect, 1868 to early 1960s; (2) Foundations of Attraction, 1960s to 1970s; and (3) Analysis. The third section, "Contemporary American Views of Japanese Education," includes: (1) A Note on Sources; (2) Intense Attraction, Late 1970s to Early 1990s; (3) Analysis of Attraction; and (4) Decline in Attraction, Early 1990s to Present. The fourth section, "Chinese Views of Japanese Education Historically," includes: (1) "Borrowing From Japan: China's First Modern Education System"; (2) Analysis of Attraction; and (3) Long Period of Neglect, 1922 to Late 1970s. The fifth section entitled, "Contemporary Chinese Views of Japanese Education," continues with: (1) A Note on Sources; (2) "Education for Modernization," Japan as One of Six; (3) Emergence of the Cultural Frame, Attraction to Japan; and (4) Analysis. Next, the sixth section, "Comparisons and New Theories of Cross-National Attraction" presents: (1) Cross-National Attraction: A Brief Review; (2) Comparisons and New Insights about Cross-National Attraction; (3) Evaluation of Existing Models of Policy Borrowing; (4) Toward a New "Contextual Map of Cross-National Attraction"; and (5) Globalization and Comparative Education: Debates Revisited. Conclusions are provided in the seventh section. A bibliography containing Chinese language sources, Japanese language sources, and English language sources is included.
Symposium Books. P.O. Box 204, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 9ZQ, UK. Tel: +44-1235-818-062; Fax: +44-1235-817-275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; Japan; United States