Education In Japan
The following presentation Education
in Japan will give you a general idea
about the education development in
Japan and its current situation.
Middle school and high school
students who are interested in Japan
are encouraged to take a look of the
Education in Japan is well-known:
well-maintained educational system
and excellent achievement.
Japanese children consistently rank at
or near the top in successive
international tests of most
Who is in charge of education?
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports,
Science and Technology (MEXT) is
responsible for comprehensive
educational administration of Japan.
MEXT is led by a minister, who is a
member of the Cabinet and is chosen
by the Prime Minister.
Take a look at MEXT!
History on Education:
Formal education in Japan began with
the adoption of Chinese culture in the
Buddhist and Confucian teachings as
well as sciences, calligraphy,
divination and literature were taught.
Scholar officials were chosen through
an Imperial examination system.
What is power? Martial Arts?
The rise of the bushi, the military
class, during the Kamakura period
ended the influence of scholar officials
but Buddhist monasteries remained
influential centers of learning.
Or economy, or knowledge?
During the Edo period (1603-1867),
the Samurai elite were educated not
only in military strategy and the
martial arts, but also agriculture and
Likewise, the wealthy merchant class
needed education for their daily
business, and their wealth allowed
them to be patrons of arts and
Is education always needed?
Temple schools educated peasants,
as estimated that at the end of the
Edo period 50% of the male and 20%
of the female population possessed
some degree of literacy.
Even though Japan was isolated from
foreign contact, books still imported
from China and Europe.
Isolation or communication?
Adoption of western learning was seen
as a way to make Japan a strong,
modern nation after Meijin Restoration.
Students and even high-ranking
government officials were sent abroad
Foreign scholars were invited to teach at
newly founded universities and military
Development in long-running or
Compulsory education was
Around 1890, only 20 years after
the country was opened, Japan
started to send most of the
Education, war and reformation!
The rise of militarism led to the use of the
education system to prepare the nation for
The military even sent its own teachers to
After the defeat in World War II, the allied
occupation government set an education
reform as one of its primary goals, to
eradicate militarist teachings and
What is the momentum of world
The end of the 1960s were a time of
student protests around the world, and
Japan has no exception.
A number of reforms were carried out in
the post-war period until today.
They aimed at easing the burden of
entrance examinations, promoting
internationalization and information
technologies, diversifying education and
supporting lifelong learning.
Diagram of Education Phases
Kindergarten and Nursery school
Junior high school
Universities and colleges
Education involves in family,
society and the world!
Early childhood education begins at
Numerous books and TV shows help
mothers to preschool children to
educate their children, and to
"parenting" more effectively.
Who are children’s first and forever
Much of the home training is devoted
to teaching manners, proper social
behavior, and structured game,
verbal and number skills are also
Parents are strongly committed to
early education and frequently enroll
their children in preschools.
Who teaches and run the business
Preschools (yochien 幼稚園),
predominantly staffed by young
female junior college graduates,
are supervised by the Ministry of
Education, but are not part of the
official education system.
The majority of preschools are private.
A well-developed system of government-
supervised day-care centers (hoikuen 保育
園), supervised by the Ministry of Labor, is
another important provider of preschool
Together, these two kinds of institutions
enroll well over 90 percent of all
preschoolage children prior to their
entrance into the first grade.
What might be taught in the phase:
The Ministry of Education's 1990
Course of Study for Preschools, which
applies to both kinds of institutions,
covers such areas as human
relationships, environment, words
(language), and expression.
More than 99% of children are
enrolled in elementary school.
All children enter first grade at age
six, and starting school is considered
a very important event in a child's
6-year education for elementary
Where to go for elementary?
Virtually all elementary education
takes place in public schools;
About 1% of the schools are private,
which are costly.
Do they just think about
elementary in the period?
Some private elementary schools are
they serve as a first step to higher-
level private schools with which they
are affiliated, and thence to a
Junior high school
A typical classroom
in Japanese junior
Three-year education from grade
seven, eight, to ninth grede.
ages of roughly 12 and 15
focus on academic studies
it would not be easy to find jobs, so
most of the students will continue
after this phase even though the
compulsory education is ended.
Go to public or private?
Majority of Junior High School are
but there are still very few
private schools, which can be
very expensive, maybe 4 or 5
times more than public.
Exam for High School entrance
for 2008-09 in a city, Japan.
Planned to Recruit: 280(Boy: 180;
Actual Examinee: 3509(Boy: 2341;
Qualified People: 1345(Boy: 951;
Teachers and students:
Junior High School teachers
usually teach the subjects based
on their major;
Most of them are four-year
35 students per class on average;
A homeroom teacher is assigned
to each class, and he will serve as
a counselor as well.
Do you like to move or stay?
The teacher, rather than the
students, moves to a new room
for each fifty-minute period.
Different teachers for different
subjects, which means students
would have a different teacher
each class by staying in the same
Computers become common
Classroom organization is usually
based on small work groups.
Some new courses, like foreign
languages, will start officially at
What to learn:
The curriculum covers Japanese
language, social studies, mathematics,
science, music, fine arts, health, and
Moral education and special activities
continue to receive attention.
After-school sport clubs or classes are
popular among many of students.
It is not compulsory in Japan;
Most of students will go to high school
High schools are not free, family may spend
3000 USD for a child each year;
The number of private high schools is much
bigger than private Junior High Schools, it
usually costs twice as high as a public high
An Office for Japanese High School
academic courses for students preparing for
technical and vocational courses for
students expecting to find employment
Vocational-technical programs includes
several hundred specialized courses,
information processing, navigation, fish
farming, business English, and ceramics.
What would you do in Japan?
Business and industrial courses are
very popular, and accounting is one
of top courses as well.
Some basic academic courses are
Japanese language, English,
mathematics, and science.
What is the way you like best to
Teachers are university graduates;
Teach in major fields they specialized;
Teaching depends largely on the
lecture system, with the main goal of
covering the very demanding
curriculum in the time allotted.
Approach and subject coverage tends
to be uniform, especially in the public
Special education is always an
Training of handicapped students,
Emphasizing vocational education
to enable students to be as
independent as possible in the
High School students in uniforms
Universities and colleges:
There are about 600 popular
universities and colleges;
Four-year learning to earn bachelor’s
Pubilc universities are comprised of
national universities and local
Half of the universities are private.
What would you do for your
business, law, accounting, engineering,
humanities, and education are popular fields
The average costs (tuition, fees, and living
expenses) for a year of higher education in
Japan is very high.
Part-time jobs, loans, schalorship, nonprofit
corporation and other institutions could be
some choices for students.
University of Tokyo, Kyoto University,
Waseda University are among the very
English Education in Japan:
It reflects the development of Japan
just like a mirror.
A Strategic Consideration on English
Education in Japan in the 21st
Century expects to boost its
An English Classroom in Japan (L) &
A young man studying English in
Situation of English Education:
English is very popular among the
Both school and society take it
Ability of communication is still not
Reading and writing are much better
than spoken English.
How would you like to learn a
Individual tutoring, school study and
training class after school are popular ways
of learning English since preschool.
English as one of the major courses starts
since Junior High School, up to High school,
6 years in total as a required core course.
English is still a popular and important
course in universities, some of the
universities require 3 more years to
continue studying English.
What makes it so hard:
Instruction focusing on the skill of reading
Japan used to be a single ethnic group, few
opportunity to converse in a foreign
language, except obtaining the knowledge
from the literature of other countries.
Japanese and English belong to different
families of languages, hardly any
similarities in structure or words.
To follow the guideline of Ministry of
Education makes study restricted and
What can you tell from the reasons:
Japanese is a nation pursuing perfection all
the time: we make great electronic
products and won’t speak it unless it is
----Dignity is more than everything.
Follow the way how we learn generation
----Tradition should always be respected.
Different sound: Japanese should speak
What we should do as an American:
Take English-study seriously in stead
of taking it for granted.
To spread our language and culture
for worldwide communication and
Learn other languages seriously to
open our mind and to build up
harmonious international community