Education Reform and Equal Opportunity in Japan (doi: 10.14425/00.45.78)
Main Article Content
Recently, there have been concerns that equality of educational opportunity has been lost and that this is leading to the stratification of Japanese society through the widening of income differentials, in a 'gap society'. In such a disparity society, secure full-time jobs are increasingly becoming limited to those who graduate from prestigious universities, and entry into those institutions is becoming connected more clearly with family income and investments. Parental attitudes towards their children taking extra lessons after school, going to cram schools, getting into university, and getting into a relatively highly-ranked university have influenced educational costs. This article examines the historical formation of the concept of equality of opportunity, which has been applied to the educational policy in Japan, particularly from the end of World War II to the new millennium. This paper also expands on the existing literature on educational policies in contemporary Japan by examining how the current educational reform efforts have affected equality of educational opportunity among children from different family backgrounds.
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