cover image Shogun's Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education

Shogun's Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education

Ken Schoolland. J F Bergin & Garvey, $75 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-89789-218-6

The superiority of Japan's education system is a myth credibly exploded in this first-person account by an American who taught in colleges there for five years. In contrast to the American perception of a monolithic structure of excellence in Japanese schools, the author's classrooms were comprised of students in general disarray and uninterested in education, given to cheating and influence peddling. Schoolland buttresses his observation of an ``educational system under attack from all corners of Japanese society'' with critiques from parents whose children have suffered from teachers who use physical punishment, and reports of student deaths from abuse of power. The author, who now teaches in Hawaii, sounds a warning to U.S. educators who would establish a school system based on the Japanese model. (Nov.)