Education Policy and Equal Opportunity in Japan

Tuesday 23 February 2016, 4.15 to 5.45 pm Room 790, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Presenter: Professor Akito Okada

This presentation aims to throw light on the evolution and historical transformation of the concept of equality of opportunity as applied to educational policies in Japan from the end of World War II to the present day. It analyses the Central Council for Education’s (CCE: Chūō kyōiku shingikai) reform proposals in recent years, and places them in the context of developing the concept of equality of educational opportunity in the years since 1945, when the post-war education system was established in Japan.

More specifically, the seminar addresses the following questions. What kinds of equality of educational opportunity have the central administrative bodies (the Ministry of Education or the CCE), the political parties (mainly the Liberal Democratic Party), and teachers, aimed to achieve since the war? How have they applied equality of opportunity to educational policies? What kinds of criteria are used by them to measure equality of educational opportunity?

The presentation 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.

Akito Okada is Professor of Comparative and International Education at Tokyo University for Foreign Studies. He received his PhD in Education from Oxford University. He is known for his research on equality of opportunity in Japanese education in comparative and international perspective. He is the author of Education and Equal Opportunity in Japan (2011, Berghahn).

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: please contact  to book a place.

        This event is supported by JSPS London.