Schooling around the World (Part 5)

After looking at how public schools are organized and how teachers teach in France, Germany, and Russia, I now turn to schools in Japan. At a national level, Japan, has a Ministry of Education responsible for a national curriculum, funding and staffing schools in 47 prefectures (like states in the U.S.) across the country.

The system of schooling is organized in this fashion:

Here is a sampling of elementary and secondary school classrooms across Japan.

Preschool classroom

Kindergarten classroom

Elementary school classroom where each student has computer

High school classroom discussion of nation’s judiciary

Due to Covid-19, students maintain physical distance from one another in a classroom at a high school in Nagoya in May 2020. The school reopened after being closed for about one and a half months. | KYODO

Students raise their hands to participate in discussion in a Coby Preschool in Yoshikawa, suburban Tokyo, with their teacher and preschool principal Akihito Minabe. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

Teacher handing out tests in high school classroom

High school class
Computer class in high school

For a short video of a Japanese school and classrooms, see:


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4 responses to “Schooling around the World (Part 5)

  1. In the summer of 1999, I studied in Japan through the Princeton in Ishikawa program. My host family worked in education. My host mother worked in an after school program at a local elementary school and my host father was a principal at a school for children with Down’s Syndrome and cognitive disabilities. I visited his school one day. It was located walking distance from a small town and many of the children walked to school by themselves, with their red rucksacks and in small groups, as children throughout Japan do. I observed a class in the afternoon. There was one teacher for four students and there appeared to be aides that floated between classrooms. There was an afternoon break in which one of the classes had prepared cold soba noodles and we went to a courtyard to eat them with other students and staff. The students gifted me several crafts that they had made- these were of fairly high quality and it appeared that the students were practicing manual arts in an apprenticeship type of program. The school seemed very relaxed and the students and staff seemed happy. The structures appeared seamless and the kids were well organized, confident, and comfortable. As in other Japanese schools, the students helped with serving meals and cleaning the school. The small class sizes were astonishing to me. This special population of students was very well regarded and cared for in this idyllic small school. I wondered if it was the same throughout Japan.

  2. Am I right when I think there will be a part 6? I’m putting links to these on my website, so maybe I should wait ?

  3. Pingback: Is Schooling Around the World the Same? Classroom photos from France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Sweden and India | International Education News

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