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Diagram of the education system

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  • Diagram of education system in country language


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  • Education system in Japan

    Japan
    ECEC staff, leaders and their working conditions (Starting Strong Survey 2018)
  • Compared to other participating countries, Japan stands out as having a large percentage of highly educated staff (99% of the staff has received an education above secondary level), who received practical training, and training to work with children (94%). Among these staff, 92% received practical training.
  • Japan has the highest share of staff who covered contents related to working with a diversity of children in both their pre-service and recent in-service training at the pre-primary level (71%), but one of the lowest shares who covered contents related to pedagogy (24%).
  • In Japan more than in other countries participating in the survey, a larger percentage of staff report using practices that facilitate children's socio-emotional development rather than practices that facilitate children's numeracy development.
  • Staff work with large groups of children (on average 23 children per group).
  • Staff working hours are the highest among countries, with full-time staff working on average 50 hours per week. This is partly driven by the time that staff spend without children. At the same time, administrative work is one of the main sources of stress in Japan.
  • In Japan, staff are less likely than in other countries to agree or strongly agree that their centre leader encourages all staff to have a say in important decisions.
  • Most centres in Japan include a relatively low share of children from a diverse background, but 82% of staff report a high level of need for further professional development for working with a diversity of children.
  • Japan is one of the participating countries where a low percentage of staff are satisfied with their jobs (81%), with their salary (23%) and report feeling valued in society (31%). Staff shortages are a top barrier to their effectiveness, according to leaders.
  • Leaders are relatively older in Japan (81% aged 50 and above) and there are more male ECEC leaders than in most other participating countries. A relatively small percentage of leaders indicate having responsibilities for budget allocation (43%) and the appointment and recruitment of staff (45%) within the centre.
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Parental involvement

    In Japan, a small proportion of staff reported that ''parents or guardians are encouraged by ECEC staff to do play and learning activities with their children at home'' describes ''well'' or ''very well'' how they engage with parents/guardians at their ECEC centre. (53.5 %, rank 6/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Opportunities for children's participation in decisions in the centre

    In Japan, a low percentage of leaders agree or strongly agree that the centre provides opportunities for children to actively participate in decisions (12.2 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    Japan has one of the lowest percentage of ECEC centre leaders who reported receiving at least one source of private funding. (74.1 %, rank 6/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Who the ECEC leaders are

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, Japan has a low percentage of female ECEC centre principals. (64.2 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, Japan has a low percentage of ECEC centre leaders aged between 30 and 49. (16 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Japan has one of the largest share of ECEC centre leaders aged 50 or older, compared to other TALIS countries. (81.1 %, rank 1/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the leaders' experience in terms of number of years is relatively low. (10.3 Years, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Professional development of ECEC leaders

    In Japan, a small share of pre-primary leaders participated in peer and/or self-observation and coaching formal arrangements as part of their in-service training in the 12 months prior to the survey. (42 %, rank 7/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary leaders 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that not having enough staff to compensate for their absence represents a barrier to participation in professional development. (55.5 %, rank 2/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Education and initial preparation of ECEC staff

    The share of staff who have received training specifically to work with children is one of the largest among TALIS participating countries and economies. (94.4 %, rank 2/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of staff for whom practical training was included in the programme that prepared them to work with children is relatively high. (91.6 %, rank 1/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The proportion of staff whose formal education or training programme included facilating transitions to primary education is one of the smallest among TALIS participating countries and economies. (61.4 %, rank 6/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, a larger proportion of staff report that working with children with special needs was included in their formal training programme. (86.1 %, rank 1/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of pre-primary staff whose highest level of education is above secondary level is relatively high. (98.9 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, among pre-primary staff whose pre-service education or training prepared them specifically to work with children, the percentage of staff whose preparation programme included a practical module is high. (91.6 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the pre-service formation preparing the pre-primary staff specifically to work with children covered lot of thematic areas. (7.7 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of pre-primary novice teachers whose pre-service formation encompassed contents related to working with a diversity of children is relatively high. (97.4 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Professional development of ECEC staff

    In Japan, the percentage of staff whose professional development activities over the 12 months prior to the survey included working with parents or guardians/families is relatively high. (67.7 %, rank 2/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of staff whose professional development activities over the 12 months prior the survey included facilitating transitions to primary education is relatively high. (53 %, rank 1/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, in Japan a larger proportion of staff ''agree'' or ''strongly agree'' that professional development being too expensive is a barrier to their participation in professional development. (15.5 %, rank 2/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, a smaller proportion of staff whose professional development activities over the 12 months prior the survey included working dual language learners. (5.9 %, rank 7/7 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, a larger proportion of staff whose professional development activities over the 12 months prior the survey included working with children with special needs. (74.4 %, rank 1/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the in-service formation, followed by pre-primary staff within the 12 months prior to the survey, covered lot of thematic areas. (5.5 %, rank 2/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff participated in peer and/or self-observation and coaching formal arrangements as part of their in-service training in the 12 months prior to the survey. (45.7 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff participated in induction or mentoring activities as part of their in-service training in the 12 months prior to the survey. (53.4 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff have covered contents related to child development in both their pre-service and recent in-service training. (83.3 %, rank 2/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff have covered contents related to working with a diversity of children in both their pre-service and recent in-service training. (70.6 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small share of pre-primary staff have covered contents related to pedagogy in both their pre-service and recent in-service training. (24.4 %, rank 8/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that there is no relevant professional development offered. (33.4 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff reported a 'high' level of need for futher professional development for working with a diversity of children. (82.3 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    ECEC staff practices facilitating literacy, numeracy and language development

    In Japan, a relative low percentage of staff reported singing songs or rythmes with the children is a practice that applies a lot in the ECEC centre. (52.3 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a relative low proportion of staff reported that their ECEC centre use a lot books/pictures with children. (55.4 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Japan has a relative small share of staff who reported that their ECEC center encourage a lot children to talk to each other. (58.5 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    ECEC staff practices facilitating socio-emotional development

    Japan has a relative small share of staff who reported that their ECEC center encourage a lot children to help each other. (57.1 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    ECEC staff beliefs about skills and abilities that will prepare children for the future

    In Japan, a small percentage of ECEC staff believe that children's oral language skills is highly important in preparing children for the future. (56.4 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small percentage of ECEC staff believe that children's ability to think creatively is highly important in preparing children for the future. (53 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    ECEC staff beliefs about spending priorities

    In Japan, a small proportion of staff responded that reducing group size by recruiting more ECEC staff was “of high importance” if, the budget were to increase by 5%. (47.9 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small proportion of staff who responded that improving ECEC staff salaries was “of high importance” if, the budget were to increase by 5%. (68 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small proportion of staff who responded that supporting children with special needs was “of high importance” if, thinking about the ECEC sector as a whole, the budget were to increase by 5%. (46.7 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small proportion of staff who responded that offering high quality professional development for ECEC staff was “of high importance” if, the budget were to increase by 5%. (27.3 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teaching in multicultural settings

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, a smaller proportion of staff report that children playing with toys and artefacts from cultures other than the ethnic majority happens ''to some extent'' or ''a lot'' in their center. (32.1 %, rank 6/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a low percentage of leaders reported high levels of agreement among their staff that learning children as early as possible to respect other cultures emphasises the importance of multicultural and gender diversity. (71.7 %, rank 7/7 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Working conditions of ECEC staff

    In Japan, a relatively small percentage of staff reported that having too many children in their classroom is a source of stress. (9.4 %, rank 9/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of staff who ''agree'' or ''strongly agree'' with the statement ''all in all, I am satisfied with my job'' is comparatively low. (80.7 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of staff who ''agree'' or ''strongly agree'' that ECEC staff are valued in society is comparatively small. (31.4 %, rank 8/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of staff who ''agree'' or ''strongly agree'' with the statement ''I am satisfied with the salary I receive for my work'' is comparatively small. (22.6 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of staff with permanent contracts is comparatively small. (61.2 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    According to leaders, in Japan a relative large share of staff left their ECEC centre in the previous year. (22 %, rank 1/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of pre-primary staff providing feedback to other staff about their practice on a 'weekly' or 'daily' basis is low. (26.7 %, rank 9/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the average number of weekly hours spent on tasks related to the job at the ECEC centre is relatively high. (50.4 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the average number of weekly hours worked without children on tasks related to the job at the ECEC centre is relatively high. (16.9 %, rank 2/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of pre-primary staff reporting they engage 'weekly' or 'daily' in working with other ECEC staff to discuss the evaluation of children's development and well-being is high. (64 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff reported that 'accomodating children with special needs' is 'a lot' a source of stress. (14.7 %, rank 2/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff reported that having 'too much administrative work' is 'a lot' a source of stress. (21.3 %, rank 2/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of pre-primary staff reporting 'resolving health-related issues' as the most likely reason to leave the profession is more important when they feel high stress from 'having too many children in the classroom/playgroup/group'. (9.4 %, rank 2/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of pre-primary staff who reported feeling stressed by a lack of resources is less important in centres with a high concentration of children from socio-economically disadvantaged homes. (2.8 %, rank 6/7 , 2018) Download Indicator

    ECEC leaders' job satisfaction

    Japan has one of the smallest share of leaders believing that ECEC staff are valued in society. (36.4 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Japan has one of the smallest share of leaders who report being satisfied with their job. (94.8 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of pre-primary leaders who 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that they are dissatisfied with the influence they have over choosing the staff working in their centre is low. (14.3 %, rank 8/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary leaders reported that having too much administrative work is 'quite a bit' or 'a lot' a source of stress. (62.6 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small share of pre-primary leaders 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that they are satisfied with the salary they receive for their work. (33.9 %, rank 9/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary leaders 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that they need more support from their local, municipality/regionality, state or national/federal authorities. (89 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Leadership practices

    In Japan, a small share of pre-primary staff 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that their centre leader ensures that staff performance is managed effectively. (77.8 %, rank 9/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary staff 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that their centre leader ensures that staff take responsibility for improving their practices. (90.8 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small share of pre-primary staff 'agree or 'strongly agree' that their centre leader encourages co-operation among staff to develop new ideas in their practices. (86.4 %, rank 7/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary leaders reported that formal communication with parents or guardians takes place at the centre on a 'monthly', 'weekly' or 'daily' basis. (96.5 %, rank 1/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a large share of pre-primary leaders reported that the centre communicates with staff and/or leaders from other ECEC centres on a 'monthly', 'weekly' or 'daily' basis. (76.4 %, rank 3/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a small share of pre-primary staff 'agree' or 'strongly agree' that their centre leader encourages all staff to have a say in important decisions. (73.3 %, rank 9/9 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    The proportion of leaders reporting that their ECEC centre is co-located with a primary school is one of the smallest among TALIS participating countries. (4.4 %, rank 6/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Compared to most other TALIS countries, Japan has a low proportion of ECEC centre leaders who report that there is communication with primary school teachers in their centre. (10.5 %, rank 7/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Governance

    A small proportion of leaders reported that they or other centre staff have significant responsibility for appointing or hiring ECEC staff. (44.8 %, rank 6/8 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Japan has one of the lowest proportion of ECEC centre leaders who reported that their centre is publicly managed. (37.2 %, rank 6/8 , 2018) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    
                            
    • Across countries participating in the Starting Strong Survey, more than 90% of ECEC staff are female. Furthermore, more than 80% of leaders are female in all countries with the exception of Chile (77%), Japan(64%) and Turkey (25%).
    • The highest proportion of ECEC staff under 30 years old is found in Korea (43%) followed by Turkey and Japan where more than 30% of ECEC staff belongs to this age group. On the other hand, Germany, Israel and Iceland have more than one quarter of ECEC staff aged above 50. More than half of ECEC centre leaders are aged 50 or more in Iceland, Germany, Korea and Chile and in Japan the eight out of ten centre leaders are above 50.
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    • Staff in the ECEC field have typically completed education beyond secondary school. Training specifically to work with children is not universal, from 64% of ECEC staff in Iceland to 97% in Germany have pre-service training with a focus on working with children. Among these staff, from 45% in Chile to 92% in Japan completed some practical training during their initial preparation programmes. Staff whose programme included a practical module covered more areas in their pre-service training than staff whose programmes did not.
    • Staff with more education and training and more responsibility report that they adapt their practices in the classroom or playroom to individual children's development and interests.
    • In all countries, a majority of staff (more than 75%) report having participated in professional development activities within the 12 months prior to the Survey. However, this is more often the case for teachers than assistants, especially in Chile and Israel. Staff who are less educated tend to participate less in professional development activities.
    • In addition to broad participation in in-service training, the quality of training matters. The breadth (i.e. number of thematic areas) and the alignment of training (i.e. cumulative training in a given area in both pre-service and recent in-service training) are two dimensions of such quality.
    • On average across countries, less than 40% engaged in formal peer or self-observation activities and only 32% were involved in induction or mentoring activities.
    • In Chile and Japan, there is a high demand from pre-primary staff for formation including contents related to working with a diversity of children.
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    • Around 70% of staff report regular use of practices facilitating children's socio-emotional development (such as encouraging children to help each other) or practices facilitating children's language development (such as singing songs or rhymes). Specific practices emphasising literacy and numeracy (such as playing with letters or playing number games) are used to a lesser extent.
    • The ability to co-operate easily with others is at the top of the list of skills and abilities that ECEC staff regard as important for young children to develop.
    • Exchanging information with parents regarding daily activities and children's development is common. Smaller percentages of staff report encouraging parents to play and carry out learning activities at home with their children.
    • Staff across countries and levels of education concur that reducing group size, improving staff salaries and receiving support for children with special needs are important spending priorities.
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    • According to both leaders and staff, ECEC centres provide opportunities for staff to participate in decision making. However, this is not widespread in all countries and views of staff and leaders are not always aligned. In Chile, Japan and Norway, in particular, pre-primary staff agree to a lesser extent that staff can participate in the centre’s decision making.
    • At pre-primary level, leaders engage frequently with parents or guardians through informal communication, especially in Chile, Iceland, Japan, Norway and Denmark (with low response rates). In Chile and Japan, formal communication is also frequent.
    • While most leaders are satisfied overall with their jobs, they report relatively low levels of satisfaction with their salaries, in particular in Germany, Israel, Iceland and Japan, at pre-primary level.
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    • Staff in all countries report feeling more valued by the children they serve and their parents or guardians than by society in general. Although staff's satisfaction with their salaries is low, they report high levels of overall job satisfaction. In several countries, staff who feel that ECEC staff are more valued by society report more use of practices in the classroom or playroom adapted to individual children's development and interests.
    • Lack of resources and having too many children in the classroom or playroom are major sources of work-related stress among ECEC staff. For centre leaders, a primary source of work-related stress is having too much administrative work associated with their job. Leaders also report that inadequate resources for the centre and staff shortages are the main barriers to effectiveness.
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    • Nine of ten ECEC centre leaders report receiving funds from public sources in the last 12 months in all countries excepted for Turkey (71%). On the other hand, more than 70% report receiving private funding in all countries excepted for Chile and Iceland (37% and 33%, respectively).
    • Across all countries participating in the Starting Strong Survey, only in Turkey more than half of ECEC centres are co-located with a primary school. This is the case for only 30% of centres in Japan and for less than 10% of centres in Israel, Japan, Germany and Norway.
    • Public management of centres ranges from more than 90% in Israel to less than 30% in Germany.
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    • ECEC staff training profiles respond to the diversity of children in ECEC settings. In many participating countries, the share of staff with training for working with children from diverse backgrounds is greater in pre-primary centres with a higher proportion of children from socio-economically disadvantaged homes or of dual language learners.
    • Differences between centres in terms of the composition of children or availability of resources are only moderately associated with staff working conditions, which means that staff in more challenging centres are not systematically compensated with better working conditions. In Chile and Germany, staff in pre-primary centres with a more diverse population of children report more stress due to a lack of resources.
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    Key
    Country Reviews for Japan

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    Reference years displayed in the Education GPS correspond to the most common year of reference among countries for which data is available on each variable. Some countries may have provided data refering to another year, to know more about possible exceptions on data please click on the "Download Indicator" link on each variable. When a year of reference corresponds to a school year encompassing two years, the reference reads as follows: 2018 for school year 2017/2018.

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2019 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.