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Thread: Education system : Japan vs other countries

  1. #26
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    Is this a fruitage of logical education?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    It cannot be 100%, but that is true of any trend in any culture/country. I don't know how old is that Florent Dabadie, but choosing one's favourite subject is a quite recent trend, maybe 10 or 20 years old. There are of course conservative families in every country in the world,
    A quite recent trend? What you wrote was "one of the biggest cultural rift"....

    And about Florent Dabadie, he was born in 1974. Too old for that trend?

    Conservative families? As a logical-minded(あるいはそう自称・自負する人間として), You'd better not to say about what you don't know or just research it before stating.


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  2. #27
    Cute and Furry Ewok85's Avatar
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    Still, there's good money in joining and plumbing.
    I remember my chemistry teaching in the last year going "If you want a job where you can write your own money become a plumber" and it the truth, good money to be had.

    I love the system thats in place here. I've done a bit of everything and then focused on what I wanted to do from that (Pure Maths, Chem, Phys, Japanese).

  3. #28
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    THIS IS NOT A JOKE!

    From New York Post, June 25, 2004 -- WONDERFUL news for New York City par ents: Schools Chan cellor Joel Klein is opening a high school called the "Peace and Diversity Academy" in The Bronx.

    The brochure says students lucky enough to be admitted will be able to take courses on: peace, diversity, cultural identity, cultural awareness, bias, conflict resolution, discrimination, prejudice, social action and leadership, and why not? war.

    All at the same school!

    At another new Bronx school, kids will be able to take "Hip-Hop & Citizenship."

    Wonder when the students will have time for math and English . . .

    Welcome to New York's small-school movement, a theater of the absurd where taxpayers spring for front-row seats and the proceeds go to leftist political groups more interested in ideology than education.

    -------------------------

    From New York Post June 28, 2004 --
    IT'S hard to believe that almost half a century has passed since Bern stein and Sondheim composed "Gee, Officer Krupke," satirizing our therapeutic society's response to juvenile delinquency and gang warfare. For those who don't recall, gang members examine the "root" causes of their criminal behavior by in turn appealing to the police, the court, the psychoanalyst and finally the social worker.

    But not the schools - because, back then, no one imagined that our schools would become the comprehensive clinic for all the social ills that afflict our youth. Today, however, all the clichs that Bernstein and Sondheim lampooned are enshrined in New York's public schools, at the expense of real educational goals.

    Consider: In the midst of the most radical overhaul of New York's schools, and the bold attempt to end social promotion, the central schools office at the Tweed Courthouse recently informed us that "rehabilitated" high school students [from violent offenses] would serve as reading mentors for failed third graders this summer. At session's end, they'll get a $500 stipend.

    Huh. The last contract with the United Federation of Teachers extended the school day to allow for the required staff development for our new scripted reading program. Tweed prepared CD ROMS for our English teachers; a vast host of coaches spent the summer learning the new curriculum. Now we learn that kids with the worst discipline and academic records are to be "role models" and tutors after a few months of behavior modification in a Second Opportunity School - SOS being the euphemistic name for the schools of last resort for our most violent offenders.

    So was all that staff development a waste of time and money? Or has simple common sense gone out the window when it comes to dealing with our most difficult discipline problems?

    This month, a student suspended from Washington Irving HS for choking a dean and throwing him to the ground had to be readmitted because the postponement of his hearing denied him timely "due process" and his "right" to an education. Not to worry, the Department of Education would have a school aide accompany the student to his classes until the hearing is held. Who knows, perhaps another role model in the making?

    Meanwhile, the failure to ensure proper safety for the Asian student minority at Lafayette HS has resulted in yet another consent decree between the Justice Department and the city schools. That's the second consent decree this year, and it guarantees another round of endless regulations and court oversight - on top of the consent decrees already in force.

    These decrees don't simply apply to one school; they create precedents for the entire system, and live on in perpetuity. Do they make our schools better, safer, and more efficient? Mostly, they establish permanent boards of inquisition, add to paperwork - and give activists a license to meddle. Perhaps worst, each is a "sword of Damocles" hanging over administrators' heads, intimidating them from taking any initiative that might result in a lawsuit.

    Couple court oversight with federally-funded counseling and peer- mediation services, and you ensure the ongoing presence of behavioral problems in our schools, with very little to show for it but increased costs and diminished educational performance.

    Imagine that the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was permanent, and every year we'd add decorations without removing the old ones. How long would it take before the branches started bending and breaking as the tree collapsed from the weight of the ornaments?

    That, in a nutshell, is our school system - and the Bloomberg/Klein administration has shown that it can decorate the tree with a vengeance.

    The "pushout" consent decree at Franklin K. Lane HS has ensured that guidance counselors citywide will no longer hint that a 19- or 20- year-old with no hope of getting a diploma should consider alternatives like the GED or Job Corps for fear of a lawsuit.
    . . . .

    Well, you get the point.

  4. #29
    me gots isshooz...
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    ........
    i'm actually speechless. diversity is good, but doesn't it need to be taught to those who don't know diversity? isn't the bronx already diverse? wow, this political correctness and sensitivity is getting way out of hand, it's becoming ludicrous (no pun intended).

  5. #30
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashuri2
    ........
    wow, this political correctness and sensitivity is getting way out of hand, it's becoming ludicrous (no pun intended).
    Funniest thing I've heard you say yet!

  6. #31
    Hullu RockLee's Avatar
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    What's education these days.. ??
    Every country teaches something else, different standards
    different subjects,different....even in 1 country they have like uncountable
    differences...what is best??what is the thing that gets you the most?
    It's getting out of hand
    ~ Parempi hullu kuin tylsä - Better crazy than boring ~
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  7. #32
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Some say we should do away with all exams all together because they put undue pressure on kids..

    Up to what grade?

    Would you go to a doctor who never took an exam?

  8. #33
    Hullu RockLee's Avatar
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    You're absolutely right Golgo..that's nonsense...one should always take exams to prove that he is capable of holding knowledge he learned...but maybe spread the exams over smaller periods would take the stress away a bit.Because studying something is childsplay, BUT learning it in very LITTLE time and A WHOLE LOT of material is the biggest difficulty

  9. #34
    Omnipotence personified Mandylion's Avatar
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    aside to omae mona - thanks for your input. Don't think it will change my wife's opinion of him But then again, my household has a rather strong distrust of any mass media (of any country) and those who appear on it. Judgemental, yes, we free and openly admit it. But if you go on TV, you paint a target on your chest - we know there is more to him than meets the eye, but this (the televised version) is all we can see - it is nothing personal.
    "It's a d**n poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."


    - Andrew Jackson

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_13
    Funniest thing I've heard you say yet!
    i'm actually against political correctness becaus eof the lengths it's going to, and many actually agree with me, i wrote an essay against it when i applyed for an academic summer program, and it seemed to impress the judges a lot and i got in. hmmm....at first i'd thought they'd throw it out because i was against it, and the program is held at cornell univ. and i know many universities are liberal and support it....

  11. #36
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Political Correctness for Teens
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No one fails a class anymore, he's merely "passing impaired."

    You don't have detention, you're just one of the"exit delayed."

    Your bedroom isn't cluttered, it's just "passage restrictive."

    These days, a student isn't lazy. He's "energetically declined."

    Your locker isn't overflowing with junk, it's just "closure prohibitive."

    Kids don't get grounded anymore. They merely hit "social speed bumps."

    Your homework isn't missing, its just having an "out-of-notebook experience."

    You're not sleeping in class, you're "rationing consciousness."

    You're not late, you just have a "rescheduled arrival time."

    You're not having a bad hair day, you're suffering from "rebellious follicle syndrome."

    You don't have smelly gym socks, you have "odor-retentive athletic footwear."

    No one's tall anymore. He's "vertically enhanced."

    You're not shy. You're "conversationally selective."

    You don't talk a lot.. You're just "abundantly verbal."

    You weren't passing notes in class. You were "participating in the discreet exchange of penned meditations."

    You're not being sent to the principals office. You're "going on a mandatory field trip to the administrative building."

    It's not called gossip anymore. It's "the speedy transmission of near-factual information."

    The food at the school cafeteria isn't awful. It's "digestively challenged."

  12. #37
    Okama XD Kama's Avatar
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    Maciamo, sometimes it really surprises me that you make such a generalisation about Europe. It's so different in Poland.

    Many of the employees is concerned only for good university's diploma, not for the faculty they graduated from. of course, this isn't true in Western-capital firms.

    We don't have a lot of exams during the school years. Usually from elementary to secondary there were class test (for a bigger or smaller part of material) or oral exam. the hardest is before the end of semester. We hardle ever have a year-ending exams, it depends on the teacher actually.

    here people dont often study what they really want. Many people study what they think is profitable - f.ex. law, psychology, informatics etc. when somebody goes for a exotic (like japanese faculty studies) which isn't profitable at all, people are surprised and asked "why" and "what are you going to do in the future?"

    men sometimes study whatever they got into because they don't want to go to the army.

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  13. #38
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kama
    Maciamo, sometimes it really surprises me that you make such a generalisation about Europe. It's so different in Poland.
    When I say Europe, it usually means old EU members (in the same way as "America" usually means the USA, not the continent). Poland has just joined the EU and so the education system has not yet have time to adapt to EU standards (or anyway that won't affect you as you have already finished school).

    Sometimes I feel that Eastern European countries have chosen to follow a more American-style consumerist approach to capitalism after 1990. Is that the New Europe, Old Europe divide they were talking about ?

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  14. #39
    Okama XD Kama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    When I say Europe, it usually means old EU members (in the same way as "America" usually means the USA, not the continent). Poland has just joined the EU and so the education system has not yet have time to adapt to EU standards (or anyway that won't affect you as you have already finished school).

    Sometimes I feel that Eastern European countries have chosen to follow a more American-style consumerist approach to capitalism after 1990. Is that the New Europe, Old Europe divide they were talking about ?
    Maciamo, so don't talk about Europe when you have few countries on mind. It's misleading.
    I don't know about any diversity between New Europe and Old Europe. These terms are just stupid-western-europe-countries-made. Damn, we have a 1000 of years of national history, so we are not the NEW Europe. And being a democratic country for shortert/longer time isn'a any criteria for being an European country. Poland is also part of Europe, as well as Russia, Lithuania and some other countries. Remember about this ALWAYS when you are talking about Europe.

    Polish education system is being adapted to EU for many years, I suppose about 10 years now. I rember that in secondary school there was a chance (scholarship) to go to Great Britain and make a matriculation exam there.

    Also, Erasmus and etc. (I don't remeber other names) are operating in Poland for years. Even years before joining EU we had the point system at universities compatibile with that in EU countries.

  15. #40
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    I believe that education across Europe differs a little bit. I live in Serbia which is not part of EU (and I'm not sure if it will be soon) and I finished elementary and high school here. Now, I'm on the 3rd year of studying at the university of natural sciences, astronomy and astrophysics.

    I am not sure how difficult passing through grades is all over the world but I think that our education (in Serbia) is pretty strong. We don't have many graduated students put that's because of the criteria at universities.
    In elementary and high school we have tests all the time during school days. We have about 13 subjects per year in high school and exams about 8 times from each subject during a year. For example, in physics we have 4 written tests (like 4-5 problems which you have to solve) and 4 theoretical exams. We don't have tests with cheking the wright answer... That's too easy. We don't have exams for finishing/graduating school, but we do have exams for entering high school and university.

    The exams for high schools are the same for almost every school and they're from the Serbian language and mathematics. The exams for entering the university, of course, vary a lot and they are not easy at all! However, to enter the faculty of physics in my town (the 2nd largest in Serbia) is not hard because a small number of people want it )
    Anyway, when a person like me enters physics/astrophysics/astronomy or something like that, you need 4 years to graduate and you have about 35-40 exams. Most of them are theoretical and experimental, so a student have to work really hard to pass all that.

    Anyway, our system is half-synchronized with European (EU) Bologne declaration so a student can go over there (to EU) and continue his studying very easy. That's good.

    I'm not sure how does it work in Japan.
    If you're wright about their low-education system in elementary and high schools, what kind of criterium do they have at universities? How about post graduated studies? That's what I'm interested in.

  16. #41
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kama
    I don't know about any diversity between New Europe and Old Europe. These terms are just stupid-western-europe-countries-made.
    In fact they were made by the Bush administration to criticize "Old Europe" for not supporting their Iraq War. And btwm the UK and Spain are also New Europe, so it's really only political. I was just being sarcastic here.

  17. #42
    wanted-$$1 reward Legato's Avatar
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    Very interesting thread!
    I don't know enough about japan to add any input but it's good that a lot of the conventional wisdom about their education system is chalenged.
    just to add to the comparison, though, I would say that looking at primary and secondary schools is not necessarily important. it is agreed that the education system sucks at this level but that doesn't mean americans are stupid. A lot of the elite researchers still come out of american universities, which are still top ranked in the world (although all this is more balanced now with Europe and the rest of the world having more and more world class universities and research centers). But these elites do come out of this same educatrion system which sucks so bad. I'm glad I got my education in France but now I understand better how American schools work, that is, on a more self motivated basis. In the US if you are motivated you can usually achieve a lot, there are fewer restrictions, on the other hand if you are lazy not much will try to motivate you. The French system (I try not to generalize too much) standardises a lot, not unlike Japan, by using centrally designed programs and exams. It also stigmatizes a lot by promoting only the general branch of education (which leads to upper education) and leaves very few options once you get stuck in a branch (I don't know how I managed but there are exceptions). Also a big problem, which is more global I believe, is that university education does not lead to a secured job anymore, undermining the university system and giving less incentives to study more. the other side of that is the fact that now people who go to universities are usually motivated and want to learn something specific (I'm tempted to say that it is still a minority though). One last thing I will say is that, I've been studying in one of top universities in Europe (Uppsala, Sweden) with an exchange program and I believe there is still a big difference in what universities offer depending on the country. Subjectively, I think the American system is still the best in the world at the university level.

    PS: Sweden doesn't have any final exam at the end of high school, or any entrance exam to university, a system that exist in a few other European countries. Everything is based on your grades during high school emphasizing a more constant demand rather than a very focused one such as in France. (correct me if I'm wrong)
    "It is far, far better and much safer to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought." J.K. Galbraith

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  18. #43
    Junior Member jEsteR_bOy's Avatar
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    Wow...I was biased in thinking that the Japanese Education System was immaculate and complex...Eh..

  19. #44
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    I am not so sure about the Japanese high school and senior high school matters, but I did study engineering at a Japanese university which is highly regarded in Japan.

    I agree that entry and graduating from a good university generally provide some job security for most, and that many Japanese students take it easy after entering the university. But in the field of engineering and sciences, I seriously doubt that many Japanese students can skive so much.

    My fellow students didn't attend the lectures regularly, and were busily taking part-time jobs to fund their travels during the U holidays. But I can seriously say that they earn their place in that U as they were definitely above-average Japanese, and their mental dexterity amazed me at times during our maths and physics tutorials.

    I remembered my first year subject on Linear Algebra. During the course of the lectures, there was no assignment, report, question, etc. We just attended the lectures and there's this lecturer talking to himself and scribbling on the board. At the semister end exams, there were only 2 theoretical questions. About 1/4 of the students who sat for the exams failed, and had to redo the subject during their second year if they accumulated enough credits to move to second year. I checked with some friends over at top level U in US, UK, etc. and realised that their exams had a good mix of computation and theoretical questions to test their grasp of the subject.

    The above is a very typical Japanese way of doing things. They ask short simple questions, but they will scrutinise your answers to see how deep you can go and analyse the question. Sort of like "zen".

    Ken

  20. #45
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    This thread interests me as I have gone through the typical Japanese educational process myself.

    The Japanese education may have changed since I graduated from a Japanese high school years ago (early 90'). In my school districts for an elementary, junior high, and high school, the teachers were very supportive of students to learn subjects and I was one of the model students (do homework, understand the subjects, and good at tests and exams) and a few teachers at my elementary school gave me the extra tutoring after school as I was aiming for a private junior high which has a tough admission policy and entrance exam; of course, the public schools in general are one size fits all. So, I went to a juku to study more to beat my fellow students in the local and national exams (I am always competing against my fellow students for better exam scores). Then, I moved on to the well-regarded high school which is ranked top 3 in my prefecture in terms of output of quality students it graduates and the strict admission exam to screen out students who did not study in junior high.

    Then, I veered off the beaten path after I am done with the high school as I decided to go for a college/university in the USA. That is after I did one year of college in Japan, which has good foreign study/language programs. The reason I left that college is I did not see any challenge there (they had an English exam periodically and I was always #1 as they listed up the top 10 students on the main board at the college). I picked a college in North East USA where there is not many Japanese students because I wanted to focus on studying and immerse myself in the local environment/culture and because many Japanese college students come to the states more for fun than educational nourishment and challenges or because they could not make it to Japanese universities. I majored in Journalism first (in a 2 year college) and switched to Communications and Marketing when I transfered to a 4 year university. Journalism was my interest at that time (it is so even now); but, I needed to be in the business fields where I can be more marketable in the global job markets.

    Long story short, I think Japanese junior high and high school programs are in a decent shape (but there is always room for improvement) compared to USA. I have no experience in European education system so I cannot comment on that. I actually tutored American students during my 2nd year (they paid me a minimum wage for tutoring) when I was a student at this 2 year college (I was fresh out of Japan and this was my first stint in a foreign country). I admit the Japanese undergraduate universities/colleges are rather anti-climactic after the feverish studying for the entrance exams as the most of the students tend to slack off.

    I think the general education system does not have the power to motivate students (but it can help foster the learning environment) as much as parents/guardians of those students.

    Sorry for the long post. But, I thought I would share my story on this topic.

  21. #46
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_13
    Political Correctness for Teens
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No one fails a class anymore, he's merely "passing impaired."

    Why say that, what's wrong with saying that a person failed?
    You don't have detention, you're just one of the"exit delayed."
    Errrrrr...........okay
    Your bedroom isn't cluttered, it's just "passage restrictive."
    No, it's just dirty
    These days, a student isn't lazy. He's "energetically declined."
    Lazy, lazy, and more lazy
    Your locker isn't overflowing with junk, it's just "closure prohibitive."
    Your locker is overflowing with junk, I call the way I see it
    Kids don't get grounded anymore. They merely hit "social speed bumps."
    I don't even know what to say about this one

    Your homework isn't missing, its just having an "out-of-notebook experience."
    As far as I'm concerned, you either lost it or just didn't do it.
    You're not sleeping in class, you're "rationing consciousness."
    What?
    You're not late, you just have a "rescheduled arrival time."
    Not that's just pathetic
    You're not having a bad hair day, you're suffering from "rebellious follicle syndrome."
    LOL
    You don't have smelly gym socks, you have "odor-retentive athletic footwear."
    Your socks STINK!!!
    No one's tall anymore. He's "vertically enhanced."
    What?
    You're not shy. You're "conversationally selective."
    *sigh*
    You don't talk a lot.. You're just "abundantly verbal."
    You're just a chatter box
    You weren't passing notes in class. You were "participating in the discreet exchange of penned meditations."
    Who comes up with this stuff?
    You're not being sent to the principals office. You're "going on a mandatory field trip to the administrative building."
    Huh?
    It's not called gossip anymore. It's "the speedy transmission of near-factual information."
    No, it's just gossip
    The food at the school cafeteria isn't awful. It's "digestively challenged."
    No the food is GOD AWFUL!

    These are just too funny to me But this is kind of sad as well I'm afraid.
    "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."
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  22. #47
    I Love Edison Chen Kana_Star's Avatar
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    Its fun to see how education is viewed different from a studdents to a teacher's point of view

  23. #48
    Regular Member ex-gaijin's Avatar
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    What really surprised me when used to talk to my co-workers was the lack of general knowledge. They used to come up with "What is the national (?) in Europe?", "Che Guevara? Is he a character of a new Manga?", "Is Paris an Italian City?"

    I was a bit surprised about this but even wen I inquired about their own culture, literature and history...I used to get the same sort of answers. They were even more sureprised bacause a "gaijin" knew about Kabuki, Noh and Samurai...

    I wasn`t a language teacher in Japan but sometimes I did enjoy teaching languages, just as a hobby. It a nice way to get to know more about the locals.

    I remember once, I was explaining "where do/does + subject + live". I asked my two students "where does the kangaroo live?"...one of them said in Japanese "wakaranai"...so I repeated the question slowly. The other one replied the same again "wakaranai"....
    I started being a bit confused...
    I asked in Japanese what the problem was, but they didn`t answer.
    I explained the whole structure again, and asked the same question.

    The first answer was "the kangaroo lives in Africa". Well, I started laughing my head off...saying in japanese: sorry your grammar is fine but you just said something really outrageous. The other guy soon broke into the conversation saying: "no no it`s wrong, the kangaroo lives on the mountains somewhere".

    Well, I couldn`t believe myself. Two business men, with a degree, who travelled the whole world that didn`t know anything about kangaroos living in Australia.
    When I told them the correct answer, they both replied in Japanese "ehh honma?"....

    In a European school you learn these things on your first day of school, when you are 5 or 6. If you ask the same question, in any European country, to any kind of people with or without dgree, everyone knows the answer.

    In other occasions I asked other people, co-workers, friends, acquaintances, about the education system in Japan. It seemed quite clear to me that the only subject they study everyday is koku-go. No Geography, no History, nothing whatsoever...just Japanese!

    The result is: they grow up in a fairy tale, and when they go abroad they realize how the real world is.

  24. #49
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    I'm sorry if I am taking the conversation back, but I was reading and found that I have found different experiances with the Japanese Education system.

    Chiaki, my friend, has recently graduated High School. She would wake up each morning at 5 to eat, dress and then catch the 6 am train. Her class started at 8 am and she would go until 2. After she would have clubs or cleaning. She would then go to Juku. Her english is very good with only a few verb problems. (Considering our President has verb problems with his native tongue I'm sure it can be forgiven) She did have a hard time with Kanji and told me her mother would often make remarks such as, "Are you even Japanese? You ace English yet fail Japanese."
    As for the lack of rounded education. You see the same problem with Americans. There are teens who don't know who Napoleon is other than "some short french dude." There are plenty of ignorant people, but then there are brilliant people. I believe it depends on the school, the children, and the neighborhoods.

    I would have written a better post, but I'm supposed to writing a College essay on the Japanese Education system so I can't stay here long.

  25. #50
    Deus Ex Machina Dr. J. M.'s Avatar
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    Dec 31, 2006
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    Is there any specialization in the Japanese school system?

    I guess in France students can choose between three different paths in their bac (sciences, economics/social sciences and literature, iirc.), in GB there are specializations in their GCSE and A-Levels and in Germany there is the Abitur.

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