About the Jukupedia • 塾ペディアについて

The name for this blog was suggested to me by members of the audience when I gave a talk about the sense of crisis that prevails in discussions of Japanese education and the extent to which the growth of juku are a response to that crisis. I gave this talk at ESSEC in France in February 2011. The audience had a great number of questions, all of which I attempted to answer leading to their suggestions that I am a walking “jukupedia”.

“Shadowing education” is a bit of a play on words, particularly “shadow education” and my role as a researcher who is interested in describing and understanding supplementary education.

For some years now, I have been conducting research on 学習塾 (gakushujuku) in Japan. These are for-profit, afternoon and weekend supplementary education institutions focused on primary and secondary school students, in common parlance, ‘cram schools’ (more on why I don’t use that term later).

Most of my posts will thus focus on juku and the shadow education system that they form a part of. Beyond Japan, I am also very interested in the global growth of supplementary education. From its long established presence in East Asia, but also in Greece, Egypt or Brazil, to more recent growth in developing countries and in Western Europe, supplemental education seems to be expanding in scale and scope.

Beyond the focus on shadow education, I will allow myself to get distracted with other topics on occasion.

I try to be consistent in tagging my posts to organize them for you to read. Please feel free to use the categories to explore earlier posts or the search bar. Also, comments are enabled throughout the blog, so please click on the comments link and leave me a comment or two on specific posts that you’ve enjoyed, disagreed with, are curious about.

3 responses to “About the Jukupedia • 塾ペディアについて

  1. Kozo Kitahara

    Your blog article on supplemental education in France is real eye-opener. Tax deduction on education fee leads me to think it may have some institutional value in France. Your article also makes it clear that supplemental education is not confined to East Asian, thus unrelated to ‘Asian values.’
    I have been juku teacher and yobiko lecturer for the past 25 years. I am sure the global development of supplemental education is on the go.

    • Dear Kitahara-sensei,


      Many thanks for your comment. The argument that juku is not an East Asian or Confucian “thing” is very important to me. While there are clearly some elements in pedagogy, organizational form, and role in the education system that are shared across East Asian, juku are growing all over the world and France happens to be a good example of that, but Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, and other cases would serve equally well.

  2. Melodie Cook

    Here is the link to my recently-published article! Again, many thanks for your help!



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