Full Text
Home > Policy > White Paper, Notice, Announcement > White Paper > Japanese Government Policies in Education, Science, Sports and Culture1999 > Part2 Q14

Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q14: I understand that elementary and lower secondary schools are to see a30%reduction in the content taught to students through the careful selection of educational content.Are you worried that this might lower the children's academic ability as a result?

A:The amount of knowledge they will acquire will be lower than before,but we are removing this kind of worry by making great efforts to cultivate in children the desire to learn by themselves and to teach children study methods.

As is evident from the chart on the opposite page,at present approximately30%of students in elementary schools and50%of students in lower secondary schools are unable to understand more than half of their classes.A major reason for this is thought to be that schools have tended toward education that in-stills knowledge in a one-sided manner and that the lessons progress without the children ever sufficiently understanding the content for them-selves.Under the new Courses of Study,we have selected the educational content so that it forms the basics which will ensure that the chil-dren take on board the content as they study in a liberal,flexible and comfortable school life.The educational content of elementary and lower secondary schools,for example,arithmetic,mathematics and science,will be reduced by up to30%compared to how it stands at present.Furthermore,we are expanding further than before the range of subjects that the children are able to study as electives.Therefore children are able to learn voluntarily and independently study will take place in a more lively fashion in line with their.interests and concerns.Naturally,their learning is based on the basic abilities and skills they have secured in their knowledge learning.Through this,the children will be able to thor-oughly acquire the basic abilities and skills of reading,writing and arithmetic in a liberal,flexible and comfortable school life and improve the quality of academic ability,part of their"zest for living,"by acquiring the desire and study methods for learning and by fostering intellectu-al curiosity and an inquiring mind.

Looking at the state of children's education,we see that as a whole,while there are general good points,we may also note that there are not a few children who do not sufficiently under-stand educational content,and cannot study at their own pace due to the intensive knowledge-cramming nature of many classes.Furthermore,we find the trend that as age increases,the level of understanding in classes declines.

Level of Understanding in Classes

(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Back to Top   MEXT HOME