Japanese Education: Made in the U.S.A

Japanese Education: Made in the U.S.A

Japanese Education: Made in the U.S.A

Japanese Education: Made in the U.S.A

Synopsis

The Japanese educational system has become an object of growing dissatisfaction among Japanese students and parents, and some Japanese educators are looking at the American system of higher education as a model of a viable alternative. According to Haiducek current efforts to develop branch schools of American colleges and universities in Japan are consistent with Japan's penchant for borrowing and adapting information and technology. But Japanese and American expectations concerning the goals of these endeavors differ greatly and this constitutes significant obstacles to their success. By outlining the historical facts and the ideological motivations of Japanese educational climate and the American perspective, this book increases awareness of the conflicting purposes at work and tries to stimulate communication between the two countries concerning the development of more effective educational programs.

Excerpt

Among the great changes of the latter half of the twentieth century--the tearing down of the Berlin Wall; the redrawing of the world map, especially in the Middle East and Africa; wars and threats of war on almost every continent; earthquakes, famines, tsunamis, and AIDS--no change is more apparent to the American consumer than the economic ascendancy of postwar Japan. With a Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Daihatsu, or some other Japanese-made vehicle in every other driveway--not to mention the Panasonics, Sonys, and so on in our living rooms-- American children of the next generation are as apt to finish out the series "hotdogs, apple pie, and_____" with the name of a Japanese manufacturer.

In the meanwhile, Japan has increasingly adopted Western dress, knives and forks, MacDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and pizza, American-style. Japan has learned to play baseball and eat hamburgers. Disneyland has been brought to Tokyo.

However, there are a few elements missing in the Americanisms of modern-day Japan. For instance, the names of Chevrolet, Ford, and Chrysler remain relatively unknown to Japanese consumers. Zenith, Magnavox, and Curtis Mathis are not apt to be found there. Instead of buying American manufactured goods, Japan has bought, imitated, or otherwise acquired the means to produce them.

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