Education About Asia: Online Archives

The Japanese Model of Schooling: Comparisons with the United States

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HARDCOVER, ISBN: 0815336411

Reviewed by Jon Zeljo

Since the American Occupation of Japan (1945– 52), international recognition of Japanese education has grown tremendously. The academic success and discipline of Japanese students have warranted further investigation into the Japanese education system and deemed it a worthy model. Yet, as Ryoko Tsuneyoshi, author of The Japanese Model of Schooling, submits, Japanese education is not without problems, and in this sense, there are noticeable similarities between Japanese and American education. Both countries are undergoing societal changes brought on by a globalizing economy, political shifts, and uncertainty about the future. These issues have translated into louder calls for educational reform, as these societies grapple with the best way to raise and socialize their members. Tsuneyoshi’s book addresses the questions such conditions and attempted reform elicit, such as: What is the role of school? How are our children best educated? What should we teach our children? It is Tsuneyoshi’s belief that cross cultural comparisons will help illuminate the commonalities, alternatives, and future directions of education in Japan and the US.