June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1142.1 - 11.1142.8
Some Recommendations for U.S.A. Faculty on Teaching Liberal Education Courses in Japan
This work presents a summary of practical information for faculty from United States institutions of higher education planning on teaching liberal education courses in Japan. These recommendations are based on the experience of the authors in teaching sociology, history, economics, psychology, and general education classes, at both a US liberal arts college and at a medium sized comprehensive university in Tokyo, Japan. For faculty participating in an exchange program, a key element is successful adaptation of existing familiar course materials for use in a different institution and culture. We have found that a major theme in successfully negotiating this change is shifting from a process-oriented approach favored in the US, to one emphasizing the specific learning goals and assessment methods of a particular course. In the experience reported here, Japanese students were accustomed to taking responsibility for their own learning process, therefore requiring the course instructor to define learning objectives and the specific nature of evaluation process. Other recommendations focus on adapting to the differing features of student schedules and pre-college preparation in the two countries. Guidelines are prepared as a distillation of some recent experience for the benefit US faculty participating in US-Japanese exchange programs.
The goal of this paper is to convey information from recent experiences by US faculty teaching in Japan. This work represents a summary of recent experiences and is not intended as an exhaustive review of Japanese higher education. More comprehensive overviews of Japanese higher education have been prepared by Benjamin1, Becker2, and Hayes3. The National Research Council has examined the similarities, differences, and trends in how the US and Japan educate and train engineers4.
To provide a background, the major features of the Japanese educational system are reviewed. The educational systems of the United States and Japan have a similar structure2-4. This is in part because the current Japanese system was strongly influenced by the US occupation government after World War II. In Japan, education is compulsory until age 15. The Elementary grades are for ages 6-11. This is followed by junior high school, also called middle school or upper elementary school, for ages 12-15. Nearly all education in elementary and junior high school is in the form of neighborhood public schools.
At the university level, total undergraduate enrollment in Japan in 1995 was 2,263,512 students. Enrollment in engineering and computer science was 516,244 (23%). At a comparable time in the United States total undergraduate enrollment was 7,791,000.
Krupczak, J., & Heisler, J., & Ludwig, T., & Nemeth, R., & Piers, J., & Sobania, N. (2006, June), Some Recommendations For U.S.A. Faculty On Teaching Liberal Education Courses In Japan. Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/445
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015