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Rethinking Equality and Equity in Multicultural Education in a Diversified Society: The Case of Language Education for Newcomer Students in Japan

  • Miki SugimuraEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)

Abstract

The Japanese school education system has been evaluated from the viewpoints of high performance, quality and its contribution to producing good human resources/assets. The Japanese education model has been a base in the East Asian model of education. Sato (Imaging neo-liberalism and the hidden realities of the politics of reform: teachers and students in a globalized Japan. In: Willis DB, Rappleye J (eds) Reimagining Japanese education: borders, transfers, circulations, and the comparative. Oxford studies in comparative education, Symposium Books, Oxford, pp 225–246, 2011) states that China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore promoted modernisation along the lines of the Japanese education model and observes that the East Asian model has common features. Japanese education has attached importance to high efficiency and productivity, with centrally controlled bureaucracy. Students are expected to be diligent in their study and have gained international prominence over the years due to their top performance on international tests like the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

However, Sato (Imaging neo-liberalism and the hidden realities of the politics of reform: teachers and students in a globalized Japan. In: Willis DB, Rappleye J (eds) Reimagining Japanese education: borders, transfers, circulations, and the comparative. Oxford studies in comparative education, Symposium Books, Oxford, pp 225–246, 2011) also observes that the Japanese education model or East Asian model lost its grand design for future schooling in Japan in the late 1990s, while a neo-liberal educational discourse has expanded. Japan has the serious problems of a low birth rate, an ageing society and a shrinking population. For this, it is necessary to increase the workforce to sustain its development, and Japan has been trying to accept foreign workers focusing on Nikkeijin (South Americans of Japanese descent) since the 1980s. Since then, Japanese society has included people of Korean and Chinese ethnicity with different nationalities. Since 2007, the Chinese population has been the largest of the foreign nationalities (Tsuneyoshi, The ‘internationalization’ of Japanese education and the newcomers: uncovering the paradoxes. In: Willis DB, Rappleye J (eds) Reimagining Japanese education: borders, transfers, circulations, and the comparative. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education, Symposium Books, Oxford, pp 107–126, 2011). As a result, some schools situated in areas with many foreign workers now face the issue of integrating more foreign students.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education, Faculty of Human SciencesSophia UniversityTokyoJapan

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