Social Problems In Japanese Education

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Another issue of Japanese education, especially when compared to western countries, would lie in the effects of Japan’s homogenous characteristic of its citizens. While this unique national trait helps bring the country and its inhabitants together as a whole, in schools this tends to take away from individuality, especially when it comes to students that were born differently from the standard Japanese. In an article in The Japan Times, the most popular English-language newspaper in Japan, O’donoghue (2015) says that although differential treatment is not incited in Japan, “by emphasizing sameness they [the teachers] could be instilling conformity and intolerance of difference.” Each student’s uniqueness seems to be taken away due to this …show more content…
These social challenges, “hikikomori (social withdrawal)” and “futoko (school non-attendance),” Jain and Williams (2011) say, are correlated with a lack of determination in students (p. 147). Berlatsky (2013) defines one the social withdrawal problems, saying that hikikomori in Japan are young people who extract themselves from most, if not all, forms of socialization and who remain in their room for the most part, with about 100,000 to 700,000 people in Japan a part of this group who withdraw themselves from society. There could be various reasons for this, with Berlatsky (2013) saying that about a third of these numbers are due to some slight divergence of doing well in school that resulted in a change in treatment by peers, which supports Jain and William’s previous claim. Since the Japanese educational system has a high-achieving goal for its students, one instance of failure would cause an unwelcome treatment toward the individual. This behavior would then cause the person to lose the determination to attend school, resulting in futoko. Then, the lack of school attendance could eventually lead to individuals to completely withdraw from the harsh reality of society and to become …show more content…
Each level of education not only helps in advancing their knowledge, but schooling in Japan gears students toward effectively integrating into Japanese society. Walko (1995), an independent researcher and author who spent some time researching in Japan, says that middle schools in Japan, the highest level of compulsory education, are “designed to accomplish one primary task: to provide properly educated and socialized citizens who can effectively function and work in the Japan of the future” (p. 363). Unlike in the U.S., where education is mostly seen as advancement of knowledge and helpful in acquiring better job opportunities, Japan sees education as a way to prepare students for when they are to initiate themselves into society and enter the work force. This preparation occurs at more than just the middle school level, with the high school and university levels also using this general principle to ensure a solid, smooth transition between schooling and full-fledged

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