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Japanese students climb to 3rd in OECD ranking of reading ability

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According to this 2022 PISA report, Japan’s education system certainly excels in the realms of mathematics, reading, and science. And that is generally reflected in society, even though there is the occasional outlier.

I am saddened to see the U.S. 15-year-olds doing so poorly in mathematics, currently ranking between Malta and the Slovak Republic.

The full results can be examined through the link below.

https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/pisa-2022-results-volume-i_53f23881-en

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Tests are only tests, how those skills are applied in the real world is the main issue. Thinking outside of the box, thinking on the move and critical thinking should also be emphasized in Japan instead of only focusing on test results.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

2022? We are almost in 2024. Old news. Yawn.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

I am now preparing an aptitude test for a job promotion. In the same time, studying for an SPI test. I have done one before here but never back home. Not sure it is closed from the PISA test.

A high score does reflect a high skilled person, but it is also really a matter of speed. Many questions are ambiguous, need time, and have nothing to do with a real job efficiency.

Young Asians do train for those kind of tests and have more automatisms do proceed quickly.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

A pity that Japanese score so low on tests of English though.

In recent years the score is way down on previous years

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Not that impressive. Not that much higher than Canada where students have a solid 2 months off in summer and 2-3 weeks off in winter and a lot of Friday's off and are not being driven to suicide.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

A teach-to-the-test mentality, which is exactly what test-obsessed Japan does is a pretend education. These sort of results and articles will unfortunately only embolden those in the Ministry of Education to keep pretending that they are doing a great job.

The reality is the conformist, inside-the-box rote learning. highly risk-averse indoctrination that goes on behind the doors of the J classroom is one of the major factors for the lost decades, an unproductive workforce and also the demographic cliff. It is a potential and a soul crusher. Just strike up a conversation with your average 20-year-old and see the state of their worldview. They have little clue of the world, nor their own history to launch from. Sorry, but these tests are a deliberate and convenient smoke screen.

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

Way to go, Japanese kids! I have always been a big supporter of youth in Asia.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If the test scores (zero) of all of the 15 year olds in Japan who committed suicide because of the grinding education system were included the average for Japan would be a lot lower.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

What's more concerning is the decline of Japanese student's English test scores.

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h01843/

Japan’s English Proficiency Continues to Drop Among Non-English-Speaking Countries

A survey found that Japan currently ranks eighty-seventh out of 113 non-English-speaking countries and regions for English language abilities. This is a fall of seven places from last year and relatively low among Asian countries.

A 2023 survey by the Swiss international education company EF Education First, which measures the English proficiency of people in 113 non-English speaking countries and regions, found that Japan ranked eighty-seventh overall and was fifteenth among the 23 Asian countries and regions. Japan is at the fourth level out of five set by the company, equating to “low proficiency” (64–90).

.

20 Philippines

25 Malaysia

29 Hong Kong

49 South Korea

57 Nepal

58 Vietnam

60 Bangladesh

60 India

64 Pakistan

67 Sri Lanka

73 Mongolia

79 Indonesia

82 China

87 Japan

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

NHK did an interesting piece on this last night.

While rightfully so praising the high scores in Science and Maths - Japan always does well - their focus was on the improvement in reading - the ability to comprehend and problem solve.

They showed a history class at a public high school in Tokyo.

There the students listened to the teacher's explanations and then were involved in discussion and Q & A. One young girl was excited about the lessons and being actively involved. The teacher said if the students could summarize the topic orally after they finished studying then it would be a success.

The announcers were equally impressed and "wowed".

I thought that encapsulates the problem of education in Japan - generally.

Methods that have been de rigeur for decades or more in other advanced nations are just being put into practice here.

Imagine being asked "And what do you think about this?" or "What are the merits and demerits of this action?" or "Please summarize this in your own words?" etc etc. Hardly groundbreaking stuff at all. Just the norm.

I know - decades of extracting answers and opinions from my high school and uni students here has been a long process evolving. At first they are amazed that this guy Browny asks questions, but eventually become used to it and enjoy the topics on hand and freedom to speak.

The principal reason why interactive communicative lessons have been not the norm is because they can't be graded on a multiple choice answer test or a fill in the blank test.

Most students after 12 years of primary 2ndary schooling have never written a real essay of a few pages outlining their thoughts or opinions or knowledge of a particular subject.

Perhaps it is changing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

 to solve real-life problems

computer-based test

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Studying for tests is the number 1 problem not only in Japan, but all over the world. When those kids are put in real life situations or scenarios, then you can see their true value of their intellect.

Sadly this is not their fault but off the broken System which teaches students material to pass the tests not to actually learn something or develop their brains by self thinking.

Want a proof? Just check their English or foreign languages abilities, which Japan is one of the worst in the World (87th in the world)...

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

browny1Dec. 6  12:21 pm JST

NHK did an interesting piece on this last night.

While rightfully so praising the high scores in Science and Maths - Japan always does well - their focus was on the improvement in reading - the ability to comprehend and problem solve.

They showed a history class at a public high school in Tokyo.

There the students listened to the teacher's explanations and then were involved in discussion and Q & A. One young girl was excited about the lessons and being actively involved. The teacher said if the students could summarize the topic orally after they finished studying then it would be a success.

The announcers were equally impressed and "wowed

Can guarantee you this Browny , there would have been nothing real about this class. Worked in high school English for twenty years and these show classes are scripted to the minute. The kids get told the contents, the students to make comments and ask questions will have been pre organized for the cameras, and the show was put on. This is one thing the Japanese education system excels at. Doing these shows for important people and pretending, then falling back to mush.

Witnessed it over and over again. Always thought to myself, what lessons are the children being taught here? That it’s perfectly ok to become a good fake.

Sounds bitter, but it’s just the way things operate here. Still in trenches and love my job. Luckily managed to free myself from the overseers of expediency and pretend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DanteKHDec. 6 03:10 pm JST

Want a proof? Just check their English or foreign languages abilities, which Japan is one of the worst in the World (87th in the world)...

so i guess you already passed the N1 test? else it will be great joke

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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