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.