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Educational reform in Japan for lifelong learning

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Abstract:

This report describes the current state of affairs and reform in Japan in 2007 of the theory, policy, and practice of lifelong education. As in most countries, Japan has been talking of decentralisation in government, of giving more local autonomy to communities and of promoting individuality in education. In line with these aims, the government has said it promotes lifelong learning for the economic security, wellbeing, and the quality of life of the people in the new millennium. The fall in birth rate and rise in the proportion of old-aged pensioners have supported the general reform towards lifelong learning. However, recently it seems that the government has switched to focus on more tightly controlling school education which had been liberalised during the past 10 years—leading some to feel that the government was using recent adolescent crime and delinquency as a guise to recover centralised influence in schools. Some observers have interpreted this re-focus on school education reform as abandoning the drive towards individual autonomy and lifelong learning. The new revisions to education laws and the prevailing socioeconomics surrounding education are summarised. Based on a full literature survey, theory and analysis on how to initiate the social intrinsic motivation to lifelong learning, this study shows that the government is likely on the right track by pushing through the reform laws to set minimum standards in education—as the only foundation upon which lifelong learning can flourish.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370802051629

Affiliations: Open Education Network, Kurume City, Japan

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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