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Academic Leadership Journal

Abstract

Current Japanese schools have maintained the homogeneous discourse, based on the majority, ethnic Japanese, embedded in the national curriculum. In addition to the homogeneous discourse, Tsuneyoshi (2003) argues that Japanese schools have an educational philosophy of egalitarianism, asserting that “all children are treated the same.” Egalitarianism in schools refers to working to provide the same materials for all students, teaching all at the same pace, and, frequently not offering additional support for particular students (Gordon, 2006). In other words, students need to share a high level of commonalities, such as a common language, a shared belief system and behavioral norms, family stability, and a sense of belonging (Tsuneyoshi, 2001). Shimizu, Sakai, Shimizu, and Dotera (1999, cited in Gordon, 2006) also mention that the belief of egalitarianism makes it difficult for teachers to recognize the unique qualities and needs of each student.

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