By Brian J. McVeigh
During this dismantling of the parable of jap "quality education", McVeigh investigates the results of what occurs whilst statistical and corporatist forces monopolize the aim of education and the boundary among schooling and employment is blurred.
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But in Japan the demands of the official projects are so powerful and difficult to satisfy that the connection between “representation” and “rhetoric” is strained, and in some instances, snaps, producing high levels of mendaciousness and institutional simulation in which students, instructors, and administrators often pretend they are engaging in higher education. I must emphasize that what I will say about institutional simulation (and how this relates to what may be called “individual duplicity”) is not peculiar to Japan.
Social life places us in positions in which we do well to play parts, circumvent the truth, and prevaricate. There are as many motivations and reasons for engaging in what is false as there are ways of playing fast and loose with the truth (protecting the feelings of others, fantasizing, political stratagems, personal aggrandizement). But the countless examples, and ubiquitous and almost mundane nature of the human need and propensity for mendacity should not deter us from recognizing the social scientific usefulness of analyzing its sociopsychological dynamics.
Here let me emphasize that this work is not meant to be an indictment of the Japanese educational system: it is rather an analysis of the weak MYTHS, MENDACITY, AND METHODOLOGY 21 links in a chain of ideas and institutions that hold it together. , Kei÷o, Waseda), who seem to have caught the attention of the media, in and outside of Japan. 2 Caveats and Critics I begin this chapter by noting that many non-Japanese investigators (in particular, many Americans) view Japanese education through a lens configured by “what can we learn from Japan in order to improve our schools,” which leads them to ignore the less admirable aspects and features of the system that simply do not fit in with their notion of what education should be.