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Standardization, Deregulation, and School Administration Reform in Japan

  • Jun HirataEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 16)

Abstract

In Japan, decentralized and deregulated education reform began after World War II. The Course of Study (the national curriculum) was issued in 1947 as a guideline for teachers. Since around 1950, however, tension between the Western bloc and the Eastern bloc in the international society grew. This conflict was compared to the relationship between the Ministry of Education and teacher unions in the Japanese context of education. Furthermore, the interregional gaps in student performance increased. Influenced by these matters, the Ministry embarked upon standardization of educational content by claiming that the Course of Study had legal binding force over teachers in 1958. In the 1990s, educational content was deregulated and contents in the Course of Study decreased to implement yutori education. This deregulation was criticized because critics thought that it brought about the decline of student performance. Since around 2004, therefore, restandardization has been implemented by introducing the National Achievement Tests, increasing contents and instructional hours in the Course of Study, and so on. Especially since the late 1990s, policies strengthening principals’ leadership have been implemented. A series of reforms increases principals’ leadership and autonomy in relation to teachers by reducing teachers’ voice in school governance. On the other hand, substantive authority is not devolved to individual schools, and therefore, principals’ autonomy from Boards of Education and the Ministry is not sufficiently realized.

Keywords

Junior High School Education Reform Community School Liberal Democratic Party Educational Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hirosaki UniversityAomoriJapan

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