Dec 25, 2014

Testing students' ability to think

An education ministry council could be presenting an over-idealized picture of its proposed reforms of Japan's university entrance exams, often criticized for placing too much emphasis on rote learning.

Determining good and evil, with the kids

| Nov 8, 2014

Determining good and evil, with the kids

by Michael Hoffman

What is “moral education”? Assuming we more or less know what education is, try defining “moral.” The education ministry’s website takes a stab at it: “A heart-and-mind (kokoro) that values life, a heart-and-mind that is considerate toward others…” That’s unimpeachable as far as it ...

Shizuoka governor rapped for posting school scores online

Sep 5, 2014

Shizuoka governor rapped for posting school scores online

by Mami Maruko

Education minister Hakubun Shimomura on Friday harshly criticized Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu for disclosing the names of public elementary schools that scored above average in this year’s nationwide achievement test, saying the move goes against ministry rules. Shimomura also said the ministry will consider ...

Aug 17, 2014

Three local governments to release academic test results school by school

The education boards of one prefecture and two major cities plan to disclose school-by-school results of national academic achievement tests conducted in April, a Jiji Press survey showed Saturday. Beginning with the latest Japanese and mathematics exams covering final-year students at elementary and junior ...

May 10, 2014

Good example of English use

Perhaps an education ministry division's decision to begin conducting its meetings in English this month will help shake loose Japan's grammar-translation paradigm, which does little to compel students to communicate and understand English better.

Isle disputes to make schoolbooks

Apr 4, 2014

Isle disputes to make schoolbooks

Japan's territorial disputes with China and South Korea will enter all social studies textbooks for elementary school students starting in 2015, the education ministry says.

Feb 23, 2014

Plans don't make the grade

by Takamitsu Sawa

Don't count on the education ministry's plan to hire more foreign teachers and students to have much effect on its goal of getting at least 10 Japanese universities to place among the world's top 100.

Feb 14, 2014

Moral education material revised

The education ministry announced Friday fully revised material for moral education in elementary and junior high schools. The ministry plans to distribute it to all students in time for fiscal 2014, which starts April 1. It spent some ¥980 million to make some 10 ...