German and Japanese Education in the Shadow – Do Out-of-School Lessons Really Contribute to Class Reproduction?

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Author: Steve R. Entrich, University of Potsdam, Germany
Email: entrich@uni-potsdam.de
Published: August 2014
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.2.2.01

Citation: Entrich, S. R. (2014). German and Japanese Education in the Shadow – Do Out-of-School Lessons Really Contribute to Class Reproduction? IAFOR Journal of Education, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.2.2.01


Abstract

Considering the great impact the first PISA-results caused in Germany and Japan, this study seeks to provide an explanation for the continuous higher achievement rates of students in the PISA-winner country Japan compared to their German peers. Another great difference between the two participants that was detected in PISA is the correlation between students’ social origin and educational achievement, which is still very strong in Germany but not in Japan. The author assumes the reason for these differences lay outside the formal school system, in the sector of shadow education. The so called juku-industry in Japan provides out-of-school lessons that seem to enable all Japanese students to achieve top results regardless of their social origin. In Germany the increased use of Nachhilfe is seen as an indicator for the downfall of the compulsory school system and a problem that seem to widen the gap in education levels all the more. If in Japan almost every household regardless of its social status sends its children to out-of-school classes, the assumption that people do invest in further education in terms of extra classes at juku believing this will have a neutralizing effect on disadvantaged family background suggests itself. Consequently the author intends to refute the prevailing assumption of researchers in Germany and Japan stating that out-of-school lessons just contribute to the reproduction of class structure. Using secondary data as well as PISA-data the author wants to show that shadow education helps to counteract educational disadvantages through the provision of various educational opportunities.

Keywords

shadow education, comparative education, out-of-school education, social disparities, Germany, Japan, PISA 2009