Comparison of the "Examination Hell" (JP) and "Testing Wars" (US)

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:45 PM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Akihiko HASHIMOTO , Nat Inst Educational Policy Research, Tokyo, Japan
Comparison of the Examination Hell and the Testing Wars is the comparison of Japanese school examination and American school testing, mainly in the late 19th century.

Specifically, for Japanese examination, I will explain how Japanese elementary school examination had been composed during the very short years of the beginning of Meiji Era; from 1868 to about 1879.  It seems to inherit the ethos of being official from the feudal ages when only some portions of the Samurai Class (ruling class) executed examinations for the sake of encouraging prudent students of the Samurai. However, it got the new “shape” or “form” from Western school examination information. Judging from the remaining foreign books of those ages, it is likely to say they came mainly from America.  After Western information, Japanese examination got many rule books as well as guide books.

For American testing, William Reese’s Testing Wars in the Public Schools: A Forgotten History,(2013), tells us many about how testing in 19 century American public schools had flourished under the influence of Europe. The years, from 1868 to about 1879, when the information about the testing of this country came to Japan and utilized much, were such era that standardized testing was almost conquering all States, regardless of the good will to improve teaching by using statistics and testing; days of testing’s side effects.

My comparison would be made on both examinations’ (testings’) procedure of implementation, process of execution, standards for scoring, logic and ways of its utilization, and some others.

By finding out the difference of Japanese examination and American testing, we may be able to see the difference of how it could work as a social organ, and then get to the reason of how people’s understanding of assessment and evaluation of both culture differ.