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A Comparative Study of the Japanese and American Educational Systems

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Title: A Comparative Study of the Japanese and American Educational Systems
Authors: Koide, Kimberly
Advisor: Reed, Gay Garland
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: CONTENT: Why is it that in worldwide testing, in the past, the Japanese usually surpass the Americans when it comes to subjects such as math and language skills? "The challenge to industrial America lies primarily in the Japanese classroom rather than in the factory''. This quote is from Benjamin Duke's book The Japanese School and states that the success of the Japanese stems from their educational system. What the Japanese can teach us, and what differences they have in their curriculum as well as in their culture, is something which needs to be explored. Many different aspects to the traditional Japanese curriculum differ from the American one. One of these things are the subjects that are being taught such as teaching Japanese as the National Language. Math is also a big part of the Japanese student's life inside and outside of school. Math standards have been set for the different grade levels, so that every student is held to standards with their surrounding classmates. The other aspect that contributes to this academic success of the Japanese is the differences in culture between the two societies. These differences include the idea of uniformity, personal pride (ganbare), and the culture's child rearing practices. The traditional educational system in Japan is all run under the Ministry of Education in that all the books are chosen by that committee along with course works, rules, and regulations. This creates a national curriculum with standards that need to be met by all students attending that particular school and an atmosphere that is very structured and gives little room for deviation from the curriculum. My focus will be primarily on the differences between the traditional Japanese school system and the effects that their cultural values and norms has on its students. I will talk about the positive aspects that we could learn from this system, although I do understand the negative aspects as well. RATIONALE: I plan to go about my thesis by first researching the way a typical school day in Japan is run. Then I will focus on some studies done on international testing, and obtain some statistics to first prove my thesis is true that the Japanese are doing something differently than the Americans to maintain these impressive test scores. Once that is complete, I will be able to look at the differences in curriculum and in culture and give examples of ways in which we can improve our educational system as well as provide information on what the Japanese could learn from the Americans as well. OBJECTIVES: My thesis will explore the positive aspects of the Japanese educational system. I will also want to focus on some teaching methodologies as well as a brief page or so on some of the things that the Japanese can learn from the Americans.
Pages/Duration: iv, 42 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for Education

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