Japanese Education Essay

2645 words - 11 pages

Japanese Education

Japan is a country that takes education very seriously. This may be understood by the remarkable achievement that has been made. Japan=s education system played a major role in enabling the country to meet the challenges presented by the need to quickly understand Western ideas, science, and technology in the Meiji Period. It was also a key factor in Japan=s recovery and fast growth in the years that followed World War II. We can=t assume that education is the only thing that shaped the country, but can we say that it was a major influence in prosperity and welfare. Despite what may have happened before, it is clear that the education reform was necessary to build back up Japan=s prosperity in the years to come.

History of Japan's Education

Education has always existed one form or another. The first system of education was during the Tokugawa Period, which placed a high sense of learning. They learned benevolence, justice, courtesy and individual integrity. These were the most stressed systems of thought. The men also had to learn education and the ways of war. The founder of this method was Tokugawa Ieyasu, he issued a law saying Aarts of peace@ (10) which meant learning and also to learn the arts of war. He felt that both were of equal importance and should be mastered by all. After this system was applied, by the 1860's much of the curriculum was found in more than 300 schools across Japan. This soon changed by1868, when one of the top students from the Tokugawa education, suggested that Japan can compare with other Adeveloped nations@(11) of this time. After this suggestion Japan accepted many of the Western ideas. They wanted to modernize their country and by doing this they needed to have education play a major role in reaching this goal. Through this process Japan took many steps to become the country they wanted to be. First, they sent hundreds of young children to countries like U.S., France, Germany, and England to learn of Western technology and how it was used. Second, they paid several thousands of people to teach Japanese how to railroad construction, modern agriculture, and establish a wide range of institutions that will setup jobs. With this start, the young Meiji Emperor decided knowledge should be looked at as the entire world, which is what happened through the Meiji Restoration. During this era Japan=s schools displayed American curriculums. As a mission to send students to the Untied States, they spent time observing American approaches to school and used America=s schools as a model for Japan. In the year 1872, some years after the Restoration, Japan came up with the Fundamental Code of Education. The Code consists of a plan to have a national educational system, with repeated trial and error they established a centralized education. This was made up of eight university districts, each subdivided into 32 middle school districts, and then divided into 210 primary...

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