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Mon Sep 21, 2015, 08:59 AM

Japan Dumbs Down Its Universities

By Noah Smith
Most people who follow news from Japan will be paying attention to the economy, or possibly to the fist-fight that broke out in the Diet over security policy. But there was a huge and very worrying change in Japanese education policy that somehow hasn't received much public notice.

Essentially, Japanís government just ordered all of the countryís public universities to end education in the social sciences, the humanities and law.

The order, issued in the form of a letter from Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, is non-binding. The countryís two top public universities have refused to comply. But dozens of public schools are doing as the government has urged. At most of these universities, there will be no more economics majors, no more law students, no more literature or sociology or political science students. Itís a stunning, dramatic shift, and it deserves more attention than itís receiving.

It is also a very bad sign for Japan, for a number of reasons.

more
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-09-20/japan-dumbs-down-its-universities-at-the-wrong-time

6 replies, 1697 views

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Japan Dumbs Down Its Universities (Original post)
n2doc Sep 2015 OP
ChairmanAgnostic Sep 2015 #1
DetlefK Sep 2015 #2
ladjf Sep 2015 #3
shenmue Sep 2015 #4
MisterP Sep 2015 #5
PragmaticLiberal2.0 Oct 2015 #6

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 09:06 AM

1. It wants to be Wisconsin?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 09:35 AM

2. Scientific success needs inspiration, not worker-drones.

It needs people who can juggle several ideas at once and combine them into a new idea.

I can tell from personal experience that art, history, literature are important for the development of creativity because they force the brain to adapt to a chaotic mindset, a mindset of flexibility, a mindset of "impossible but imaginable".




I think, this reaction is isolationistic. Japan wants to focus, to specialize. But scientific specialization leads to a narrowing of your field of view. You become a world-class specialist in something, but you lose the ability to think outside of the box. And you can't have technological success without thinking outside of the box.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 10:27 AM

3. That's terrible news for Japan. nt

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 10:35 AM

4. Oh no!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 10:55 PM

5. no physics, no history, no nothing, just salutes and how to invade Liancourt?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2015, 09:06 PM

6. Response to Japan's changing policy

These are essential classes a person needs to be well-rounded student. Social science have been around since the 18th century. They were started by people like Adam Smith,Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, John Rawls(philosophy major) I guess no big deal. Max Weber was influential in Sociology based on his value-free system. They won't learn about the minds that made up the Social Sciences.

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