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Cultural Differences: Education In Japan Vs The Usa

1051 words - 5 pages

Culture: our internalized beliefs, values, and behaviors we learn to function as a member in society. Culture is everything we pick up on as we grow up, all the little things we never even notice that we do. It can be as apparent as the type of clothing you wear or as subtle as how you interact with others. There are many cultural differences between the United States and other societies around the world. Defined, society is a group of people with the same learned behavior, or culture. Every country, city, and even neighborhoods can have their own traditions and culture that is entirely different from one other. This being said, generally, after being consistently exposed to certain traditions, people find it very difficult to adapt to another tradition or culture. This reluctance to easily adjust to different cultures, and to not judge them negatively, can potentially create vast barriers between people of different cultures. Quite often, people refuse to accept other’s cultural views, because they are so different. In this paper, I will be comparing the educational systems in Japan and the United States, including the importance of education, expectations of students, and xxxxxx .
One dominate difference in education in Japan and the U.S. is the value and emphasis of education in these two cultures. Although it is evidently clear that both Japan and American cultures place importance on education, the way in which each country stresses education may be a topic of difference. Cross-cultural studies show that Japanese parents are extremely encouraging of their children to learn from early age, but it is also instilled in these children that education is the whole foundation for all of their success in life. In the Japanese culture, parents’ play an exceptionally vital role promoting academic superiority. These students are encouraged by both their parents and teachers that anything less than the best in school is a failure. Children’s performance also reflects highly on their parents in the Japanese culture. This type of mentality is shown in a focus group study when one student says, "his brothers success on the track team was not a source of pride for his parents; in fact, they refused to attend his track meets. Only straight A's and getting into an Ivy League school would completely satisfy the parents" (Grace Kao). Subsequently, this shows that a student’s extra-curriculars have inferior, if any, significance to a student's self-worth and their parents’ approval, and therefore even putting effort into these mediocre activities is deemed useless.
With this strong cultural emphasis placed on Japanese students to achieve such high academic standards, they are expected to spend significantly more time studying and doing homework than the average American student. In “Strengths, Weaknesses, and Lesson of Japanese Education,” James Fallows states “Pass with four, fail with five,” this being a motto of Japanese school children signifying the...

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