In a new study, researchers from the University of Tokyo found that Japanese schools are indeed more diverse and diverse schools are more racially diverse than their American counterparts.
In the study, which analyzed data from 5,000 Japanese school uniforms collected from 2008-2010, the researchers found that only 14% of schools had at least one race of students in their designations, while 42% had two, 23% had three, and 22% had four or more races.
“Japanese schools are definitely not a homogeneous setting,” Dr. Shigeru Takamura, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University and the study’s lead author, told the BBC.
“They have their own traditions, their own cultural values, their different social environments, their very different cultural values.”
The researchers also found that while the average age of a school uniform wearer was between 14 and 17, they were still more likely to be in a family with a child who was younger than 13 than a school without one.
“The fact that there are very few children under the age of 14 in the school system makes it more likely that children are being educated at an early age in the classroom, in an environment where they may be exposed to the values and experiences of a Japanese society,” Takamura told the Telegraph.
“These are all very important factors for children to understand and appreciate.
In terms of the impact on the educational process, it’s probably the least of the factors that affect the outcome of the student’s schooling.”
According to the report, Japanese schools also have “much higher rates of minority students than American schools,” as well as “a higher percentage of minority teachers, a higher percentage among minority students, and a higher proportion of minority staff than American school systems.”
In addition to the findings, the study found that in Japanese schools, children are more likely than their U.S. counterparts to be taught Japanese at home, and Japanese schools have more bilingual students, which is something that Americans may not see as a good thing.
“If you are in a school where you can’t speak your language, you are not likely to learn a foreign language,” Takami told the newspaper.
“And that’s a big difference.”
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