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A shift away from an egalitarian system: where do the current reforms in Japan lead?

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This paper deals with an overall changing trend witnessed in public schooling in Japan, known as educational reforms. Through looking at recent reforms in Japan, with an international trend in view, the author first summarizes educational reforms as waves of liberalization that have changed the post-war fundamental principle of Japanese education. Thus the reforms are characterized as a shift from the egalitarian education system to more meritocratic one, focusing on the changing aspects of egalitarian schooling. Secondly, the author considers some interpretations of the central issue of school choice in educational reforms underway to search for a perspective that can be posited for policy discussions in times of change. Finally, the question whether the recent reforms would cause the end of schooling or not is examined and the current educational reforms could be a blessing to those who have been longing for an appropriate representation of their voice in education in that it is encouraging more participation of parents and local people in the running of local schools.
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Keywords: educational reform; egalitarian system; exit; school choice

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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