Home | Other Papers and Essays | Return to Beginning

Lifelong Learning in Japan

Section 6. Conclusions

Several key conclusions can be reached from this essay's analysis of Japanese lifelong learning for adults:
  • Japan has strong laws and policies supporting the promotion of a lifelong learning society and the provision of a wide variety of adult educational activities. However, the actual state of lifelong learning for adults falls far short of Monbushô's goals.
  • The lifelong learning system has several notable strengths such as kôminkan, a wide variety of challenging certification programs, on-the-job training by businesses, the University of the Air, and private enterprises that provide educational activities to adults.
  • The deep-seated attitude of most Japanese people which overemphasizes a person's prior academic career will probably not change quickly. If the Government continues to strongly support lifelong learning and programs to recognize a person's knowledge and skills regardless of where learned, the emphasis on prior formal schooling should eventually decrease.
  • Very few adults take university courses or participate in degree programs. Despite some recent limited improvements, universities generally remain inaccessible to adults and inflexible in the ways to earn and transfer credits. Business support hardly exists for employee attendance at universities. The current system still requires many improvements to provide adults satisfactory opportunities for higher education.

ALC (1998) Advertisement, The Nihongo Journal, March, 122.

Goya, Susan (1993) 'The Secret of Japanese Education', Phi Deltan Kappan, 75 (2), 126-131.

Horio, Teruhisa (1988) Edited and Translated by Steven Platzer, Educational Thought and Ideology in Modern Japan: State Authority and Intellectual Freedom, Tokyo, University of Tokyo Press.

Kawanobe, Satoshi (1994) 'Lifelong Learning in Japan', International Review of Education, 40 (6), 485-493.

Kumagai, Fumie (1996) Unmasking Japan Today, Westport, Conn., Praeger Publishers.

Maehira, Yasushi (1994) 'Patterns of Lifelong Education in Japan', International Review of Education, 40 (3-5), 333-338.

Makino, Atsushi (1997) 'Recent Developments in Japan's Lifelong Learning Society', <http://www.apec-hurdit.org/lifelong-learning-book/makino.html> (24 January 1998).

Monbushô (Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture) (1997a) 'Heisei 8 Nendo Shakaikyôiku Chôsa Sokuhô' (Fiscal Year 1996 Social Education Research Bulletin), <http://www.monbu.go.jp/news/00000133/> (25 January 1998).

________ (1997b) 'Program for Educational Reform', <http://www.monbu.go.jp/series-en/00000004/> (24 December 1997).

________ (1996a) 'Shôgai Gakushû Shakai no Kadai to Tenbô - Susumu Tayôka to Kôdoka - ' (Tasks and Prospects for a Lifelong Learning Society: Continuing Diversification and Advancement), <http://www.monbu.go.jp/hakusyo/1996jpn/j1-ch01.html#1.01> (24 December 1997).

________ (1996b) 'Shôgai ni Wataru Gakushû Katsudô wo Shien Suru Tame ni' (Supporting Lifelong Learning Activities), in 'Kyôiku Shisaku no Dôkô to Tenkai' (Trends and Developments in Educational Policies), <http://www.monbu.go.jp/hakusyo/1996jpn/j2-ch02.html#2.02.5> (24 December 1997).

________ (1996c) 'Lifelong Learning', <http://www.monbu.go.jp/em03010.html> (24 December 1997).

________ (1996d) 'Social Education', <http://www.monbu.go.jp/em03020.html> (25 January 1998).

________ (1995) 'Remaking Universities: Continuing Reform of Higher Education', <http://www.monbu.go.jp/hakusyo/1995eng/index.html> (2 March 1998).

Moro'oka, K. (1989) 'Provision in Japan', in Colin Titmus (ed.), Lifelong Education for Adults: An International Handbook, Oxford, Pergamon Press.

Ogisu-Kamiya, Motoyo (1997) 'HRD in a Multicultural Workplace: The Need for Lifelong Learning', <http://www.apec-hurdit.org/lifelong-learning-book/ogisu-kamiya.html> (24 January 1998).

Sawano, Yukiko (1997) 'Lifelong Learning: An Instrument for Improving School Education in Japan?', <http://www.apec-hurdit.org/lifelong-learning-book/sawano.html> (24 January 1998).

Smith, Herman W. (1995) The Myth of Japanese Homogeneity: Social-Ecological Diversity in Education and Socialization, Commack, N.Y., Nova Science Publishers.

Stephens, Michael D. (1991) Japan and Education, New York, St. Martin's Press.

Thomas, J. E. (1985) Learning Democracy in Japan: The Social Education of Japanese Adults, London, SAGE Publications.

Tsubashi Shoten Editorial Department, Compiler (1997) Kokka Shiken Gaido (Guide to National Examinations), Tokyo, Tsubashi Shoten.

United Technologies (1997) Annual Report.

________ (1998) 'Be There First - Education', <http://www.utc.com/ADVERT/chair.htm> (9 March 1998).

Introduction | Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3
Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6 and Bibliography 
Home | Top | Other Papers and Essays | About the Author