Learning To Be Modern

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Overview


In the increasingly global economy, commentators often cite education as a key source of competitive advantage for nations locked in economic contention on the world stage. Byron Marshall examines the evolution of Japanese schools over the past 120 years. Emphasizing the political discourse and conflict that have surrounded Japanese education, the author focuses on the three main issues of central versus local control, elitism versus equality, and nationalism versus universalism. The prewar education system in Japan was formulated in the 1870s and modeled after the Western system of public education. After World War II, the American Occupation authorities attempted to reform this system further, but how much discontinuity with the past was produced by the postwar reforms is still an open question.Of course, the dilemmas facing Japanese schools are endemic to all modern school systems, and Marshall’s broad historical survey provides a valuable case study of Japanese attempts to strike a balance between equality and excellence, individual creativity and team cooperation, standardization and innovation, and internationalism and cultural identity. The book thus provides a valuable historical perspective on contemporary American issues of “political correctness” such as gender and ethnicity.As we head toward the “Pacific Century,” this book gives readers the background and insight necessary to make informed judgments about the relative strength of Japanese education and the merits of various school reforms.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This broad historical survey draws on sources in English and Japanese to examine the evolution of Japanese schools over the past 120 years, emphasizing the political discourse surrounding Japanese education and focusing on the three main issues of central versus local control, elitism versus quality, and nationalism versus universalism. It provides a historical perspective on such contemporary issues as gender and ethnicity. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Byron K. Marshall is professor of history at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of several books and articles on Japan and Asia, including Academic Freedom and the Japanese Imperial University.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Preface
Introduction 1
1 Clarifying Loyalty and Filial Piety: 1800-1850s 5
2 Knowledge from Throughout the World: The Reforms of the 1870s 25
3 Assimilating the Elements: 1879-1905 51
4 To Liberate Education from Bureaucratic Control: 1905-1931 91
5 Mobilizing the Spirit of the Nation: 1931-1945 119
6 Stamping out the Bad, Stamping in the New: 1945-1950 143
7 Warfare Waged Between the Entrenched: 1950-1969 167
8 The Challenge of a New Era: 1970-1989 207
9 Our National Identity as Japanese: Post-Showa Japan 249
Notes 257
Bibliography 283
About the Book and Author 305
Index 306
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