Category Archives: Janice Aurini

Janice Aurini, Sociology, Waterloo University

New Book on Supplementary Education Around the World

Janice Aurini, Scott Davies & Julian Dierkes (eds.)

Out of the Shadows: The Global Intensification of Supplementary Education

(International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 22)

Emerald Publishing, Bingley UK: 2013.

Vertical Banner: Out of the Shadows - The Global Intensification of Supplementary EducationTable of Contents

“Out of the shadows? An introduction to worldwide supplementary education”
Janice Aurini, Scott Davies, Julian Dierkes (pp. xv – xxiv)

Part 1: Countries With High Intensity Forms of Supplementary Education

“The Insecurity Industry: Supplementary Education in Japan”
Julian Dierkes (pp. 3 – 21)

“Supplementary Education in Turkey: Recent Developments and Future Prospects”
Aysit Tansel (pp. 23 – 66)

“Researching Supplementary Education: Plans, Realities, and Lessons from Fieldwork in China”
Wei Zhang, Mark Bray (pp. 67 – 94)

“Private Tutoring in Vietnam: A Review of Current Issues and its Major Correlates”
Hai-Anh Dang (pp. 95 – 127)

“Supplementary Education in Brazil: Diversity and Paradoxes”
Alexandre Ventura, Candido Gomes (pp. 129 – 151)

Part 2: Countries With Low Intensity Forms of Supplementary Education

“Supplementary Education in a Changing Organizational Field: The Canadian Case”
Janice Aurini, Scott Davies (pp. 155 – 170)

“But did it Help you get to University? A Qualitative Study of Supplementary Education in Western Australia”
Martin Forsey (pp. 171 – 189)

“Supplementary Education in the United States: Policy Context, Characteristics, and Challenges”
Izumi Mori (pp. 191 – 207)

“Supplementary Education in Germany: History and Present Developments”
Thomas Koinzer (pp. 209 – 220)

Part 3: Comparing High and Low Intensity Forms of Supplementary Education

“Making Markets: Policy Construction of Supplementary Education in the United States and Korea”
Christopher Lubienski, Jin Lee (pp. 223 – 244)

“Family Capital: a Determinant of Supplementary Education in 17 Nations”
Darby E. Southgate (pp. 245 – 258)

Where to Meet Nice Supplementary Education Researchers

For the most part, supplementary education research is relatively underdeveloped as an academic specialty.

Supplementary Education on

A quick example: on, six researchers have joined me in stating their interest as “supplementary education“. I don’t know any of them and six of them list their status as “independent researcher” which doesn’t bode well for someone setting out in an academic career. Is it on-going squabbles about terminology? No, it doesn’t seem to be as neither “shadow education”, “hypereducation” nor “supplemental education” have an entry. There are a ton of entries with “tutoring” as a word, but they are relatively unfocused.

Why No Subdiscipline of Supplementary Education Research

So why has research on supplementary education not established itself? Another way of asking that question is, why are there not more researchers interested in this topic?

For the years that my previous SSHRC grant ran, I was able to recruit a single MA student as an RA. I sent feelers out towards sociology as we as Ed Studies, but found no interest.

One reason for the sparsity of research is the relatively recent recognition of supplementary education as a phenomenon worth of academic study. In places like Japan, pundits and commentators have written about juku since the 1970s, but this has not led to a research literature. In most OECD countries, the current tutoring/supplementary education boom is a relatively new phenomenon and thus hasn’t attracted a lot of attention yet.

Also, supplementary education sort of sits between all disciplinary chairs. The good thing is that this means it is establishing itself as a genuinely interdisciplinary enterprise which is terrific. This interdisciplinarity not only means a variety of perspectives on the phenomenon (most prominently, perhaps, sociological, but a significant presence of ed studies and pedagogy, coupled with a smaller presence of anthropologists, geographers, economists, etc.), but also means a relatively greater proximity to policy.

Take the example of most education schools: If you look at traditional divisions within the study of education, you will find divisions such as primary, secondary, higher education, or life-long learning, but these examples already suggest that supplementary education doesn’t “fit”. For people focused on schools, juku seem to informal, for life-long learning types 塾生 are too young. That may be why research in this area seems to be coming from neigbouring disciplines rather than education itself in many cases.

CEIS as a Place to Meet

For some time then, the emerging community of supplementary education researchers has been struggling with setting up a centre to its activities or a regular place to meet. Following some discussions last year at the CIES meetings in Montreal, CIES seems to be emerging as a strong contender. Why? It is interdisciplinary, and highlights cross-regional and cross-national comparisons. While CIES is U.S.-based, it has regional and national equivalents throughout the world and a regular global meeting. It meets annually. It is of a nice size, i.e. big enough that participation always seems to yield new insights, but small enough that some lasting links can be built. And finally, it is a pretty friendly conference.

I am aware of several efforts to propose panels that will be focused on supplementary education in Puerto Rico next Spring. One proposal is anchored by Mark Bray of the Univ of HK who generally functions as the godfather to the emerging network of researchers, partly based on his long-standing work in this field, but also partly on his past role as past director of UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning which has given him a wonderful network of researchers around the world.

Hopefully I will be joining with Janice Aurini and Scott Davies – with whom I have collaborated in the past – on a panel proposal as well.

Further Institutionalization

Hopefully, regular meetings of some of the people in this emerging field at CIES will lead to further institutionalization in the form of a community of scholars to whom one can circulate work in progress and with whom one can collaborate on grant proposals and publications.

There is – as of yet – no journal or newsletter that focusses on supplementary education. Yet, there is a growing – albeit informal – network of researchers who focus at least some of their energy on research in this area.

Scenarios for a Global Supplementary Education Bust

I recently had long conversations with Janice Aurini (Waterloo Univ) and Scott Davies (McMaster Univ) with whom I had organized a workshop on the worldwide growth of supplementary education in June 2010.

One of the topics we focused some speculative conversation on was scenarios of a lack of world-wide growth of supplementary education. In other words, looking at the past 15 years, the trend has clearly been to ever more and more important supplementary education whether at a high level of intensity (e.g. Japan, Greece, etc.) or at a low level of intensity (e.g. Canada, Germany, etc.). Under what conditions could we imagine a departure from that trend?

Massive economic crises are obviously one scenario. Given the for-profit and for-fee nature of much of supplementary education, some kind of global crises – financial, military, environmental, demographic – would obviously put a squeeze on supplementary education.

Changes in education itself might also rob supplementary education of its basis. If we continue to see a transformation of education into human resource and skill acquisition (as opposed to erudition and high culture or less concrete and concretely measurable skills like critical analysis) that would suggest that supplementary education will have an important role to play. But it is not entirely unimaginable that that particular pendulum might also swing the other way. If innovation and technological inventions continue to drive a global economy that might be less organized around cheap, but rather around high quality and innovative, then different kinds of education might also come to the fore.

Likewise, if there is some kind of recognition of a particular harm that hypereducation does to children and thus to society, there may be a push back against testable knowledge. Demographic developments could hasten such a push. There are few general (empirical) laws in the social sciences, but more formal education seems to mean lower fertility among women (probably correlation not causality). If that suggests a globally declining fertility, I could imagine scenarios where childhood and child-rearing are reconsidered on a fundamental scale, though this is a distant scenario, obviously.

On the national level (pick any nation), the lack of regulation of supplementary education obviously holds some risks. There was a case of child abuse in Kyoto some years ago that prompted the installation of CCTV cameras in many juku. While this response seems to have calmed fears among Japanese parents, it does not seem far fetched that similar scandals might break out elsewhere and erode the confidence in unregulated supplementary education.

Supplementary education may also become a victim of its own success. Some of the scenarios talked about in Japan, most notably suggestions to allow juku to become alternative schools of some kind, replacing, rather than supplementing state-recognized schools, suggest the possibility of an incorporation or co-optation into the formal education sector.

Emerging practices of state-recognition of supplementary education through No-Child-Left-Behind in the U.S., the Hartz IV Bildungspaket in Germany, tax deductions in France, or the emergence of 校内塾 in Japan suggest that some version of incorporation is a very real possibility. While this could be viewed as a triumph or success of supplementary education, it would also spell the possible end of its supplementary character.

More scenarios for a halt to the global rise of supplementary education surely exist, I would be delighted to hear suggestions along these lines via comments.