Cover image for Education in contemporary Japan : inequality and diversity
Education in contemporary Japan : inequality and diversity
Okano, Kaori, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvi, 270 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.

Format :


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LA1312 .O426 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This book offers a balanced introduction to and examination of contemporary Japanese education. The postwar system of schooling has led to some unfavorable developments such as excessively competitive exams, stifling uniformity and an undervaluing of non-Japanese ethnicity. This book examines the main developments of modern schooling in Japan and includes analysis of the most recent reforms, presenting a new picture of the role of schooling for individuals and the wider society. Essential reading for students and educators alike.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The subtitle of this book provides the focus of the volume--an analysis of issues relating to inequality and diversity in the Japanese educational system. This is unusual and valuable in the literature on Japanese education because most authors focus on Japan's generally more egalitarian educational system. The heart of this book is a discussion of how education affects teachers and students of different social class and various backgrounds. Several chapters focus on how students react to education and the realities of schooling. The authors argue that beneath the seeming equality of the Japanese educational system lies considerable inequality, and the realities of schooling differ depending on the students' backgrounds. The realities of the work of teachers are also analyzed, again pointing out variations. In all, this book's focus on the "underside" of Japanese education is a useful counterbalance to the general thrust of the literature (see, for example, Merry White, The Japanese Educational Challenge, 1987 and William K. Cummings, Education and Equality in Japan, 1980). The consideration of minorities and schooling in Japan and of education for students with disabilities is also unique. Recommended for graduate students and faculty. P. G. Altbach; Boston College

Table of Contents

1 Analytical frameworks: Schooling and the society
2 Development of modern schooling
3 Students' experiences of schooling I: Social groups
4 Students' experiences of schooling II: Minorities
5 Teachers' experiences of schooling
6 Problems and reforms in the 1980s and 1990s