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Shogun's Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education (Hardback)
  • Shogun's Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education (Hardback)
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Shogun's Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education (Hardback)

(author)
£64.00
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 21/09/1990
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In most accounts of the struggle for economic supremacy between the United States and Japan, the inferiority of the United States' education system is continually pointed out. Here, Ken Schoolland, who taught in Japan at the college level, tells a different story about Japanese education. Schoolland gives a first person account of a side of Japanese education rarely seen in the West. Having spent five years teaching in a Japanese university, he writes of pervasive problems with the system of lower level colleges; unruly classrooms where discipline is a myth and cheating is a fact of daily life. Schoolland uses this new knowledge to redefine what he terms the new cold war between United States and Japanese systems of education. Schoolland begins by sharing his experiences as a professor at a Japanese university. He then explores some of the attitudes on education that are typical of publications that seem to be fueling a race between the economic superpowers. He describes some of the changing, relevant characteristics of Japanese society and how these shape the education system. Turning up the dark side of Japanese educaion, Schoolland elaborates on punishments in the schools and reveals the challenge that has come forth against physical punishment, the debate over students rights, court battles, and models of leadership. Finally, Schoolland shows the extent of student violence in the schools, he dissects the myth of Japan as unified, harmonious, homogeneous society, and reaches into Japanese history to show the roots of group responsibility in Japanese society.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780897892186
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 413 g
Dimensions: 230 x 140 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The book makes for interesting and informative reading, especially since it reflects Japanese concerns about their own society. Recommended for informed general readers as well as specialists."-Library Journal
"The underlying brutality of the Japanese educational system receives close scrutiny in Schoolland's expose, which not only explores mistreatment, but shows flaws in the educational system which result in students who are uninterested in learning. The author's two years at a Japanese university are balanced with contrasts between Japanese and other educational systems and choices."-The Bookwatch
"The image of Japan as a homogeneous, socially compatible, smoothly functioning society is shattered by this revealing examination of Japanese education today. Schooland uncovers an oppressive system that has too many rules, indulges in discriminatory practices, is insensitive to students needs, and has a student population plagued by combativeness, violent outbursts, bullying, depression, and suicide. The results of such and eudcational system are antiquated notions of exculsivity as well as a strict social control that tolerates little individual expression or creative thought. If such a system is not modified, Japan will face a bleak future, according to the author, despite its present technological advances."-Booklist
?The book makes for interesting and informative reading, especially since it reflects Japanese concerns about their own society. Recommended for informed general readers as well as specialists.?-Library Journal
?The underlying brutality of the Japanese educational system receives close scrutiny in Schoolland's expose, which not only explores mistreatment, but shows flaws in the educational system which result in students who are uninterested in learning. The author's two years at a Japanese university are balanced with contrasts between Japanese and other educational systems and choices.?-The Bookwatch
?The image of Japan as a homogeneous, socially compatible, smoothly functioning society is shattered by this revealing examination of Japanese education today. Schooland uncovers an oppressive system that has too many rules, indulges in discriminatory practices, is insensitive to students needs, and has a student population plagued by combativeness, violent outbursts, bullying, depression, and suicide. The results of such and eudcational system are antiquated notions of exculsivity as well as a strict social control that tolerates little individual expression or creative thought. If such a system is not modified, Japan will face a bleak future, according to the author, despite its present technological advances.?-Booklist
?The superiority of Japan's education system is a myth credibly exploded in this first-person account by an American who taught in colleges there for five years. In contrast to the American perception of a monolithic structure of excellence in Japanese schools, the author's classrooms were comprised of students in general dissarray and uninterested in education, given to cheating and influence peddling. Schoolland buttresses his observation of an 'educational system under attack from all corners of Japanese society' with critiques from parents whose children have suffered from teachers who use physical punishment, and reports of student deaths from abuse of power. The author, who now teaches in Hawaii, sounds a warning to U.S. educators who would establish a school system based on the Japanese model." Publishers Weekly "An expose of the brutality inherent in the Japanese school system, by an American who taught college in Japan in the mid-80s. Schoolland . . . . was appalled to learn, shortly after his arrival in Japan, that a high-school student had been "killed over a hair dryer." The student had broken a rule forbidding use of such appliances, and as punishment he received a beating from his teacher--the son of a Buddhist priest--so severe that he died of head injuries. Most other students, Schoolland discovered, suffered only verbal abuse in school: "I advise you to take out a life insurance policy--an imbecile like you is better off dead," one teacher screamed at a child. So it was no real surprise to Schoolland when one student committed suicide after being beaten and harassed by bullies and three teachers, who capped their humiliation of the student by staging his mock funeralduring class. Nor is it surprising, says Schoolland, that one fifth of all Japanese high-school students display the same symptoms as patients hospitalized with clinical anxiety neurosis. . . . Nonetheless, Schoolland strives to be fair in his reporting. He finds that similar problems (and an even higher suicide rate) exist in some American and European schools, and that in Japan teacher brutality is often a product of ferocious pressures unwittingly exerted on faculty as well as on students by a relentlessly ambitious society. A graphic yet balanced indictment, convincingly based on firsthand observations.?-Kirkus Reviews
"The superiority of Japan's education system is a myth credibly exploded in this first-person account by an American who taught in colleges there for five years. In contrast to the American perception of a monolithic structure of excellence in Japanese schools, the author's classrooms were comprised of students in general dissarray and uninterested in education, given to cheating and influence peddling. Schoolland buttresses his observation of an 'educational system under attack from all corners of Japanese society' with critiques from parents whose children have suffered from teachers who use physical punishment, and reports of student deaths from abuse of power. The author, who now teaches in Hawaii, sounds a warning to U.S. educators who would establish a school system based on the Japanese model." Publishers Weekly "An expose of the brutality inherent in the Japanese school system, by an American who taught college in Japan in the mid-80s. Schoolland . . . . was appalled to learn, shortly after his arrival in Japan, that a high-school student had been "killed over a hair dryer." The student had broken a rule forbidding use of such appliances, and as punishment he received a beating from his teacher--the son of a Buddhist priest--so severe that he died of head injuries. Most other students, Schoolland discovered, suffered only verbal abuse in school: "I advise you to take out a life insurance policy--an imbecile like you is better off dead," one teacher screamed at a child. So it was no real surprise to Schoolland when one student committed suicide after being beaten and harassed by bullies and three teachers, who capped their humiliation of the student by staging his mock funeralduring class. Nor is it surprising, says Schoolland, that one fifth of all Japanese high-school students display the same symptoms as patients hospitalized with clinical anxiety neurosis. . . . Nonetheless, Schoolland strives to be fair in his reporting. He finds that similar problems (and an even higher suicide rate) exist in some American and European schools, and that in Japan teacher brutality is often a product of ferocious pressures unwittingly exerted on faculty as well as on students by a relentlessly ambitious society. A graphic yet balanced indictment, convincingly based on firsthand observations."-Kirkus Reviews

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