Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 25–35 | Cite as

Teaching in the shadow: operators of small shadow education institutions in Japan

Article

Abstract

The shadow education sector plays a centrally important role in the Japanese education system. Advocates of Japanese shadow education institutions, or juku, claim that the pedagogy employed in these schools leads to superior results compared to teaching methods used in conventional schools. The lack of value-added testing of juku results suggests that these claims have not been tested. In this article, I examine the background of the owner– operators of small juku and the challenges they face in hiring teaching staff. The small juku examined were mostly founded during the juku-boom of the early 1970s and continue to teach 100–200 students with a staff usually numbering more than 10 part-time or full-time teachers. I find that almost no operators or employees come to the shadow education business by design. Instead, owner–operators “slide into” their role for lack of alternative options, or through early success, or through frustration with previous careers. Subsequently, many of the owner–operators embrace their work as a pedagogical calling. In hiring teaching staff, owner–operators circumvent the larger employment market by hiring their own “graduates”.

Keywords

Supplementary education Japan Juku Teachers Teachers’ training 

References

  1. Aurini, J. (2004). Educational entrepreneurialism in the private tutoring industry: Balancing profitability with the humanistic face of schooling. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 41(4), 475–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aurini, J., & Davies, S. (2004). The transformation of private tutoring: Education in a franchise form. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 29(3), 419–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bray, M. (1999). The shadow education system: Private tutoring and its implications for planners. Paris: UNESCO, International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP).Google Scholar
  4. Cave, P. (2001). Educational reform in Japan in the 1990s: ‘Individuality’ and other uncertainties. Comparative Education, 37(2), 173–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dierkes, J. (2008a). Supplementary education: Global growth, Japan’s experience, Canada’s future. Education Canada, 48(4), 54–58.Google Scholar
  6. Dierkes, J. (2008b). Japanese shadow education: The consequences of school choice. In S. Davies, M. Forsey, & G. Walford (Eds.), The globalisation of school choice? (pp. 231–248). Oxford: Symposium Books.Google Scholar
  7. Fukui, H. (2006). Kyôsô Naki Kyôiku ha Nihon wo Horobosu: ‘Shô Chô Kô Kyôshi’ ni Kômuin ha Iranai—education without competition will destroy Japan. Shokun, 38(4), 263–271.Google Scholar
  8. Iwase, R. (2007). Gendai nihon ni okeru juku no tenkai: juku o meguru shakai teki imi no hensen katei [the development of juku in contemporary Japan]. Tôkyô Daigaku Daigakuin Kyôikugaku Kenkyûka Kiyô (Bulletin of the Graduate School of Education, Tokyo University), 46(3), 121–130.Google Scholar
  9. Komiyama, H. (2000). Juku: Gakkô Surimuka Jidai wo Maeni [juku: Before the era of downsizing schools]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  10. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) (2008). Kodomo no gakkôgai deno gakushûkatsudô no kan suru jittaichôsahôkoku [report on the survey of academic activities outside of school]. http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/houdou/20/08/08080710.htm. Accessed September 14, 2009.
  11. Morokuzu, M. (2007). Juku to Gakko no Kyôiku Gijutsu Kakusa [The disparity between juku and school educational techniques]. Toshimondai, 98, 14–18.Google Scholar
  12. Roesgaard, M. (2006). Japanese education and the cram school business: Functions, challenges and perspectives of the juku. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.Google Scholar
  13. Shimbun, A. [Asahi Newspaper]. (2005). Gakkô yori Juku ya Yobikô ga Yûshû [in a first-time survey by the cabinet office, 70 percent of parents declare juku and Yobikô superior to schools], October 7. http://www.asahi.com/edu/news/ TKY200510060270.html. Accessed October 8, 2005.
  14. Srivastava, P. (2007). For philanthropy of profit? The management and operation of low-fee private schools in India. In P. Srivastava & G. Walford (Eds.), Private schooling in less economically developed countries: Asian and African perspectives (pp. 153–186). Oxford: Symposium Books.Google Scholar
  15. Stevenson, D., & Baker, D. (1992). Shadow education and allocation in formal schooling: Transition to University in Japan. American Journal of Sociology, 97(6), 1639–1657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Asian ResearchUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations