Education and Leadership for the Twenty-First Century: Japan, America, and Britain

Education and Leadership for the Twenty-First Century: Japan, America, and Britain

Education and Leadership for the Twenty-First Century: Japan, America, and Britain

Education and Leadership for the Twenty-First Century: Japan, America, and Britain

Synopsis

This book looks at how future leadership is being forged in educational institutions in the Old World, the New World, and the most powerful nation in modern Asia. In a detailed comparative analysis of 40 secondary schools that can be expected to produce many future leaders, Duke examines the role of educational styles in shaping the character traits, attitudes, and perceptions that will ultimately influence leadership qualities. He argues that Japan's traditional and unchanging educational method is producing leaders who will be inadequately prepared to deal with the enormous international responsibilities and complex bilateral relationships that await the Asian superpower in the 21st century.

Excerpt

Like many historical phenomena, leadership is paradoxical in nature. It is both a function of, and in part a determining factor in, the societal nature over which it exercises sway. The same can be said of education. What, how, and why we teach our young people is defined by, but also defines, our social, political, and economic condition.

Seen in this light, education, leadership, and society form part of an essential calculus--three dependent variables whose interaction creates our continuously changing world.

Throughout most of history, when individual polities (whether nations or city-states) lived in relative independence, or only regional interdependence, leadership evolved in a clear, culturally specific way. The last several centuries, which have witnessed the military and political ascendancy of Europe and then the United States, have resulted in a style of leadership that most Westerners would find natural or at least familiar, if not always admirable. However, as author Benjamin C. Duke asserts in this most interesting book, with the rise of Japan to the status of an economic leader at the threshold of the globally interdependent twenty-first century, the question of leadership takes on a new dimension for citizens of Western countries. Professor Duke contends, "For the first time in modern history Western countries that had maintained economic supremacy for centuries, enabling them to extend their cultural influence throughout the world setting the pattern for international intercourse, must deal with non-Western people, the Japanese, as equals. It is somewhat baffling to both sides as they increasingly share responsibility for global leadership. . . ."

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