Over the years, tests have determined that the United States has not improved in math and science compared to Japan. Both countries have a different approach towards school. This might be the reason why American students are doing so poorly in math and science. American education should be compared to Japanese so that both can learn from each other because even though American scores are down they still have great ways to educate students. Differences that they have are ability vs. effect, teaching techniques, and parenting.
In Japanese education, prime factors of their success are viewed as effort instead of ability. In his article, “Strengths, Weaknesses, and Lessons of Japanese Education,” James Fallows says, “The Japanese school system acts as though intellectual ability does not matter, assuming that just about everyone has enough ability to succeed”(208). In other words, they must give it there all. Japan does not accept 90% because they aim for 100%. If Japanese students receive a grade of 90%, then they’ll study even harder to be ready for the next test. It’s great that these students put so much effort in their school, but with all their studying, they don’t have anytime to have fun. The down fall is that all their childhood memories are going to be devoted to school and not them having fun.
In the United States, education is viewed more towards ability rather than effort. Compared to Japan’s education, all students are taught the same subject at the same pace. In America, students are placed in classes by their individual levels where some will continue on as other will have to take the whole year over. Also, parents too believe that ability takes role in the learning in their children’s education. It is like parents saying there nothing much to do besides their kids taking an extra year of math. As pointed out by Barbara Vobejda in her article, “Why Are U.S. Kids Poor In Math?” “In America they say, ‘The kid just isn’t good in math’” (202).
Teaching techniques are also a huge barrier for the success in Japanese education. According to James Kilpatrick in “Japan’s School System,” “Children are promoted automatically from one grade to another. If a child has not mastered the work, tough luck” (203-204). This seems to not be the best way to pass students along to the next class because there’s always the students that need extra time to understand what is being covered. The slower students get passed along to the next level without proving that they are able to succeed on their...