- Low rate of high school dropouts: Japan’s high school dropout rate is 1.27%. The average percentage of Americans who drop out of high school is 4.7%, in contrast.
- Education equality: Japan ranks highly in providing students with equal educational opportunities, irrespective of socioeconomic status. Japan is rated as having one of the highest levels of educational equity by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Only 9% of the variation in students’ academic performance in Japan is due to their socioeconomic status. Comparatively speaking, the average variation in the OECD is 14%, while the average variation in the US is 17%.
- Teacher mobility: Unlike most other educational systems, Japan assigns teachers to schools in a different manner. Individual schools do not have the authority to appoint teachers, unlike the majority of nations. Prefectures, instead, place teachers in the classrooms of the most in needy schools and pupils. Early in their careers, teachers switch schools every three years. This makes it easier for teachers to work in a variety of settings rather than just in institutions serving a particular socioeconomic group. Teachers tend to move less as their careers progress.
- Savings: The Japanese government only spends 3.3% of its GDP on education, which is a relatively low amount of money compared to other developed nations. Japan’s thrifty spending is the reason for this difference of more than one percentage point from other developed nations. As an illustration, rather than spending money on ornate buildings, the Japanese government invests in plain schoolhouses. Other necessities include fewer on-campus administrators and paperback textbooks. Last but not least, there is no need for janitors because students and faculty handle the cleaning of the school.
- Exams for teaching entry: The Japanese exam for teaching entry is very challenging. It is comparable in difficulty to the American bar exam. If you pass the test, you’ll be guaranteed a job until you’re 60 years old, a steady income, and a pension.
- Personal energy: Teachers in Japanese education must invest a lot of their own personal energy. Many teachers put in 12 or 13 hours a day, which is more frequent than not. In some cases, teachers stay on the job well past midnight.
- Problem-solving emphasis: Teachers emphasize thinking skills instruction. Japan places a strong emphasis on teaching students problem-solving skills, in contrast to some other nations that tend to teach students exactly what will be on standardized tests. Japanese students are better equipped to solve test-day puzzles they have never seen before because they are encouraged to use critical thinking skills.
- Collaboration between teachers: Pedagogy development is emphasized in Japanese education. New lessons are created by teachers, who then present them to their colleagues for feedback. Teachers also work to pinpoint issues that affect the entire school and join forces to find solutions. In order to improve education in Japan and engage students, the educational system constantly challenges teachers to come up with fresh ideas.
- Japanese students cannot be held back in their grade progression. No matter their attendance or academic performance, all students can advance to the next grade. Test results from high school and university entrance exams are the only ones that really matter. Despite this system’s apparent lack of regulation, Japan’s high school graduation rate is 96.7%, compared to the U.S.’s 83% (where passing a grade and maintaining attendance are requirements).
- Traditional methods of instruction: Despite being one of the world’s leaders in science and technology, Japan uses little technology in its educational system. Pen and paper are preferred in many schools. In order to reduce costs, schools substitute kerosene heaters for central heating and electric fans for air conditioning. However, with increased use of the internet and computers for homework, technology is now gradually being incorporated