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ERIC Number: EJ945734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0218-8791
Other Japanese Educations and Japanese Education Otherwise. Review Essay
Takayama, Keita
Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v31 n3 p345-359 2011
Education in the United States was in a state of "crisis" at the time of the 1983 release of "A Nation at Risk," the landmark report on the US education reform. This was the time when the rising Japanese economy started threatening the post-war US economic dominance and conservative figures such as Ronald Reagan gained popular support. Subsequent US debates over education reform put Japanese education in the spotlight, driving many American education researchers to travel to Japan to learn the "secret" of its educational and by implication its economic success. A large number of books and journal articles about Japanese schooling-- what the author refers to as the "foundational studies" (Takayama, 2010)--were published in the 1980s and early 1990s (e.g., Cummings, 1980; Finkelstein, Imamura, & Tobin, 1991; Hess & Azuma, 1991; Lewis, 1995; Peak, 1991; Tobin, Wu, & Davidson, 1989; Shields, 1993; White, 1987). As one observer rightly reflects, "cross-national attraction anywhere in the world has rarely been as strong as was US attraction to Japanese education" (Rappleye, 2007, p. 38) at that time. The three books reviewed here ("The Japanese Model of Schooling: Comparisons with the United States," by Ryoko Tsuneyoshi; "Inside Japanese Classrooms: The Heart of Education," by E. Nancy Sato; and "Primary School in Japan: Self, Individuality and Learning in Elementary Education," by Peter Cave) are rooted in this genealogy of Anglo-American, English-language scholarship of Japanese schooling. They are based on the authors' dissertation studies completed in American and British institutions (Cave at Oxford, Sato at Stanford, and Tsuneyoshi at Princeton) that have played an important role in the development of the field. While Cave and Sato undertook ethnographic studies of Japanese primary schools, Tsuneyoshi's book not only draws partly on her ethnographic study in both American and Japanese primary schools but also summarizes the large volume of anthropological and sociological studies of Japanese socialization, child-raising, and schooling. In so doing she lays out what supposedly constitutes the "Japanese model of schooling" of which Cave and Sato's ethnographic studies provide contextualized descriptions. (Contains 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Book/Product Reviews; Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; United States