11 June 2008

Changing attitudes in Japan?

Anyone who has visited Japan and, like me, been deeply impressed by the sense of tradition and respect and self-discipline, will have been shocked by a new book by Professor Yoshihiko Morotomi of Meiji University describing the unruly behaviour of parents of school children across Japan. Teachers tell of a major change in the attitude of parents. Instead of respectfully supporting teachers, they are now far more likely to plot together to sack a teacher who has complained about their child.

Apparently, the parents think of themselves as consumers, standing up for their rights...

I think of them somewhat differently. Never mind the academic success they so clearly seek for their offspring. What values and attitudes, exactly, are they passing on to their children?