section10 - Elizabeth Sutka 7 November 2011 SOC 335 A...

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Elizabeth Sutka 7 November 2011 SOC 335 – A Section 10 Readings Rohlen, "Wider Contexts and Future Issues" (pp 512-517) 1. Demonstrate your knowledge of the sociological concept of culture by applying it to this article. Social customs vary from culture to culture. What is socially acceptable in Japan may not be socially acceptable here in the United States. We think of American public schools systems as extremely hierarchical, but as this article points out, it is nothing compared to the hierarchy structure in Japan. Rohlen talks about the certain degree of autonomy that the American teacher has in his or her classroom. In class, we’ve discussed that while they do have some autonomy, it really isn’t much. I think that teachers should have a lot more say in curriculum and day-to-day affairs at school, because after all, they are the ones with the students and performing the actual teaching. To hear that our schools are loosely structured compared to Japan’s was really surprising. Japanese teachers literally have to do everything by the book. They cannot decide which textbooks to use, which resources to use, etc. Many American teachers can. There is also only one type of school in Japan. This school has one type of learning method and the teachers need to stick to it. In the US, there are other different types of schools, such as charter schools, Montessori schools, Waldorf schools, and religious schools. All of these different schools vary in its classroom structure, teaching methods, and curriculum. “Such diversified, exuberant, and uncoordinated innovation is unimaginable in Japan.” (Rohlen, 516) By having one type of school in Japan, does this mean that all parents and students are happy with that one type? I do not know that much about Japan and their culture, but I have read that Asians, in general, are a very obedient
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group of people. Asian children are taught at a young age to never question their parents
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section10 - Elizabeth Sutka 7 November 2011 SOC 335 A...

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