Cover image for National standards and school reform in Japan and the United States
National standards and school reform in Japan and the United States
DeCoker, Gary.
Publication Information:
New York : Teachers College Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xx, 218 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Introduction. What do national standards really mean? / Gary DeCoker -- The development of the Course of study and the structure of educational reform in Japan / Hiroshi Azuma -- Setting national standards : educational reform, social change, and political conflict / Gerald K. LeTendre -- How do Japanese and U.S. elementary science textbooks differ? : Depth, breadth, and organization of selected physical science units / Ineko Tsuchida and Catherine C. Lewis -- The creation of Japanese and U.S. elementary science textbooks : different processes, different outcomes / Catherine C. Lewis, Ineko Tsuchida and Samuel Coleman -- Comparing Japanese and U.S. teachers' manuals : implications for mathematics teaching and learning / Shin-ying Lee and Akane Zusho -- Individual differences and Japan's Course of study / Harold W. Stevenson -- Teacher professional development in Japan / Nobuo K. Shimahara -- "It's glacial" : incrementalism and Japan's reform of foreign language education / David L. McConnell -- Deregulating Japan's high school curriculum : the unintended consequences of educational reform / Gary DeCoker -- The role of the private sector in determining national standards : how juku undermine Japanese educational authority / Nancy Ukai Russell -- Epilogue. Concluding observations : wider contexts and future issues / Thomas P. Rohlen.
Added Author:
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB3060.87.J3 N38 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Explores the implications of a national US curriculum through the study of Japanese education. It suggests that the US educational system lacks certain organizational mechanisms that support student achievement and would facilitate teacher involvement in the educational reform process.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The title is a bit of a misnomer, since the book mainly concerns education policy and other aspects of educational practice in Japan. Some of the authors in this useful collection, especially in the section on textbook development, compare the Japanese and American experiences. Main themes include development of national standards and national policy for education, development of textbooks and classroom materials, teacher professionalization, and implementation of educational policy. One theme that permeates the essays is that Japan presents an interesting paradox of a centralized educational system with power concentrated in the Ministry of Education while permitting and encouraging much "influence from below"--from teachers and teachers' unions, textbook publishers, and others. The authors explode the myth of an all-powerful government agency that is not influenced by anyone in the development of educational policy. The slowness of Japanese policy change is also emphasized, as is the overall consistency in the direction of Japanese education over time. An interesting chapter discusses how private interests, in this case the private jukus (cram schools), affect how education policy is played out. The chapters are informative and well researched and provide a useful and original perspective on the development and implementation of educational policy in Japan. Recommended mainly for graduate students and faculty. P. G. Altbach Boston College