(EDUCATION) Japanese Education System No.1
1.0) Ability Grouping
1.1) There is more ability grouping in the US than in Japan.
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1.2) There is less ability grouping in Japan than in the US.
2.0) After School
2.1) Many US students work after school.
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2.2) Most Japanese students go to cram school (juke) after school.
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3.0) Daily Schedule
3.1) Eight hours a day but less days per year. There are no classes on Saturday and Sunday.
3.2) Six hours a day but more days per year. Many schools still meet on Saturday despite a movement to phase this out starting in 1992.
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4.1) Student uniforms are not common.
Around 20 percent of all public schools require uniforms.
4.2) All public high school students must wear a uniform. Everyone must remove their shoes at the entrance and change into indoor shoes.
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5.1) There is no entrance exam for high school. There are more short essay questions than in Japan.
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5.2) Japan has an entrance exam. There are more objective questions such as multiple choice in exams than the US.
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6.1) In the US schools are mostly financed by property taxes.
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6.2) In Japan national government accounts for one third of the school funding.
7.1) US scores lower on most international math and science tests compared to Japan. There is a perception that the US does better in critical thinking than Japan.
7.2) Japanese students have consistently ranked first in mathematics literacy and second in science literacy.
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8.1) The US has the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
8.2) Homeroom teachers visit parents at their homes.
9.0) Role of the Student
9.1) Students are expected to be more active. Classroom participation is an important. Relationship between teacher and student is more informal.
9.2) Students are expected to be more passive. The relationship between student and teachers is more formal.
School Rules in Japan 日本の校則
10.0) Role of the Teacher
10.1) Teacher is more of a facilitator. Teachers use a more transactional teaching style and encourage discussion.
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10.2) Teacher is more of a director. Teachers see their roles as that of a transmitter of knowledge and students should focus on receiving that knowledge and use more lecture and less discussion.
11.0) School Calendar
11.1) Two Semesters, Schedule varies, Dates are approximate, Less school days per year
5/10 – School Starts
10/12 – Columbus Day Observed
11/11 – Veterans Day
11/26 -27 – Thanksgiving Recess
12/24 -1/1 – Winter Recess
1/18 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
2/2 – Spring Term begins
2/15-19 – Midwinter Recess
3/25 – Good Friday
4/25-29 – Spring Recess
5/30 – Memorial Day
6/28 – Last Day for All Students.
Schedule more standardized
More school days per year
School begins the 2nd in April
5/3 – Constitution Memorial Day
5/5 – Children’s Day
End of July through the end of August- Summer vacation
9/15 – Respect for the Aged Day
9/23 (or 24) – Autumnal Equinox Day
10/10 –Health-Sports Day
11/3 – Culture Day
11/23 – Labor Thanksgiving Day
12/23 – Emperor’s Birthday
12/25 – 1/7- Winter vacation
1/15 – Adults’ Day
2/11 – National Foundation Day
3/21 (or 20) – Vernal Equinox Day
School ends 3rd week in March and Spring Vacation begins
12.0) Student Clubs
12.1) Student clubs are optional. Sports include American football, basketball, baseball and cheerleading.
12.2) Students are strongly urged to join a student club. Sports include baseball, softball, soft tennis, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, track and field, swimming, kendo, and band.
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13.0) Support Services
13.1) US schools have janitors, cafeterias and bus services.
13.2) Japanese schools do not have janitors, cafeterias and bus services.
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Time of the Soji (school cleaning in Japan)
14.1) Comprehensive high schools do not use tracking. Magnet schools are examples of tracking in the US.
Tracking vs. Detracking in Schools
14.2) Starting in high school, Japanese students are tracked into various schools with various academic rankings. Students are also tracked by ability or by educational goals into different classes within a school.
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