ERIC Number: EJ801025
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Frontiers of Education: Japan as "Global Model" or "Nation at Risk"?
Willis , David Blake; Yamamura, Satoshi; Rappleye, Jeremy
International Review of Education, v54 n3-4 p493-515 Jul 2008
The Japanese educational system is undergoing extensive change, affecting all stages from pre-school programmes to higher education. As Japan has moved from a nation at the top to "A Nation at Risk," certain dichotomies have been highlighted. Viewing Japan as either educational super-power or educational tragedy, depending on the era of research or background of the researchers, has been especially provocative for educators and policy-makers. At the same time, the controversies in America surrounding the report "A Nation at Risk" (National Commission on Excellence in Education) are well known, a major impetus for the report of course being Japan. Central to the question of whether Japan is best understood as a "Global Model" or "A Nation at Risk" are themes of cross-national attraction and educational transfer. What can the world learn from Japan? What does Japan need to learn from the world? The answers to these questions have particular significance for Japanese higher education, which we take up as a case study here, with its urgent task to innovate in the face of a steep demographic downward trend. For those in Japan who feel that Japanese education is in a dismal state, what are the origins of this serious decline? For observers in other national contexts who envisage Japan as a model, how do the calls to learn from Japan' reflect genuine attempts to improve practice at home? Or are they simply rhetorical tools in support of domestic political projects?
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Educational Change, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Case Studies, Educational Improvement, Models, Educational Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan