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Home Up Tables 8 & 9

 

  Upper Secondary Education (Grades 10-12)

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Some characteristics of upper secondary education
School status and selection
Facilities and staff
School calendar
Daily schedule
Curriculum
Vocational programs
Reference to table 8
Clubs
University entrance
Suicide issue
Reference to table9
Student life
Student delinquency
What high school graduates do next

High school entrance is the critical juncture at which the Japanese education system begins to reflect major differences in ability and socioeconomic background. The hierarchical ranking of the high school that a student attends is closely related to future employment and career path. With high school entry, a student already has a fair idea of his or her likely future status. Thomas Rohlen summarizes the enormous significance of high school ranking and attendance:

Although the attention of Western scholars has focused primarily on the problem of college entrance in Japan, and particularly on the formation of future elites, the time of high school entrance represents an even more crucial juncture in the total process of educational stratification. Virtually the entire youth population is involved, and the educational tracks into which students are shunted at this stage are both more diverse and more fundamental than at the college stage to the overall structure of society. The ranking of high schools in a given locality is as clear--if not clearer--to all citizens as is the ranking of universities on a national scale. At the local level, which high school a person attends carries lifetime significance, and the finely etched stereotypes of student character associated with each high school become an indelible part of individual identity. [1]

For most students, the even more serious atmosphere of upper secondary school and the growing pressure of impending college entrance examinations makes high school a low point in the life of many Japanese youth. [2] On the other hand, the drive for good secondary school credentials and university admission provides most high school students with a clear sense of purpose and goal orientation during late adolescence.

Some characteristics of upper secondary education

All Japanese high school students are enrolled in either an academic or vocational program, but the course work in the first year is the same for all students. The academic program is the college preparatory track. In 1984, approximately 70 percent of all Japanese high school students were enrolled in this track. In the second and third years, students in academic programs have the choice of specializing either in literature or science. Within each specialization, students are sometimes further separated by ability levels. In the second and third years of the vocational program, about one-third of the student's time is devoted to vocational education. The rest is spent on the standard academic subjects.

One objective of the Occupation's education reform was to promote comprehensive secondary schools, yet the comprehensive model did not become dominant. Today, about 49 percent of the upper secondary schools provide the academic program, 23 percent are vocational high schools, and only 28 percent are comprehensive--offering both types of programs. [3]

The Occupation had better success with its coeducation objective. Four out of five Japanese high schools are coeducational. About 90 percent of the public schools, but only 37 percent of the private schools, are coeducational.

Although private schools are rare at the elementary and lower secondary levels, 24 percent of upper secondary schools are private. These schools enroll 28 percent of all Japanese upper secondary school students. [4]

Both public and private high schools charge tuition. A family with a child in public high school can expect to spend about 5 percent of its income for school expenses. The average cost for a family with a child in private high school would be 10 percent or more [5] In addition, there are other education expenses incurred by many families, such as supplementary books, juku tuition, or private tutoring costs. Juku tuition would require another 3 to 5 percent of family income per child.

School status and selection

Established public high schools have long enjoyed the most prestige. However, over the past decade, redistricting and other attempts to discourage one or two high schools in an area from enrolling a disproportionate number of the best students have been made, but reform is often not a simple matter. Some reform efforts to reduce the preoccupation of public schools with preparation for university examinations have backfired, as parents with university aspirations for their children have shifted their patronage to private schools. There are natural ripple effects in juku. Currently, depending on the educational situation in a given locality, the "best" high school in the area may be either public or private.

On a national basis, between 50 and 100 of the 1,300 private secondary schools have developed fine reputations because of the success of their graduates in gaining entry to the most prestigious universities. Some of the most prestigious private institutions are 6-year schools that encompass grades 7-12. They structure the 5-year program so that the regular secondary school curriculum is covered in 5 years, leaving the final year for full-time preparation for university entrance examinations. [6]

In some cities, elite private high schools send the highest number of graduates to elite universities. Ikuo Amano, a professor at the University of Tokyo, summarizes the dominance of private high schools in the battle for admission to his institution:

Currently 351 high schools, including 74 private schools, send graduates to the University of Tokyo, which is the most selective university in Japan. But the top 20 high schools, those sending the largest number of entrants to the University of Tokyo, are private schools. Most of these private 'prep' schools are located in metropolitan areas, and in those areas the children who seek admission to them have to start preparing for the schools' entrance examinations when they are in the fourth or fifth grade of primary school. [7]

Although most students aspire to enter the best local high school, only the strongest students in each age group can achieve this distinction. The rest of the good and average students enter other academic high schools which correspond to their level of scholastic achievement. Students of lesser school achievement may have to choose between maintaining a future option on a possible university education by paying more to attend a private academic high school, or attending at lower cost a public vocational school.

Facilities and staff

Facilities. Japanese high schools resemble their lower secondary school counterparts. They are unadorned multi-story rectangular or U-shaped concrete structures, equipped with laboratories, libraries, and the like. Vocational schools have specialized classrooms which are equipped for practical training in mechanics, electronics, business, and other fields. Most schools have gymnasiums, athletic fields, and swimming pools. Upper secondary schools also have audio-visual equipment, including cassette tape recorders, and 90 percent have color television sets. Over half have personal computers, although in-class use of these devices is not widespread. [8]

Staff. As in lower secondary schools, each upper secondary school has a principal and head teacher, again almost always men. Indeed, 83 percent of Japanese high school teachers are men. Women teachers tend to teach such subjects as home economics and girls' physical education.

In addition to the principal and head teacher, there are grade level head teachers and department heads, vocational guidance counselors, and disciplinary officers who oversee general student conduct and provide liaison with police and other assistance for students who get in trouble. Teachers with reduced course loads carry out the vocational guidance and disciplinary functions on behalf of the entire school. While all teachers assist in helping students find a job or apply to higher education institutions, the homeroom advisor and the teacher responsible for vocational guidance have actual day-to-day responsibility in these areas.

As in lower secondary schools, the teaching staff is organized administratively both by grade level and subject. The teachers' room is arranged so that the desks of all homeroom advisors for a given grade adjoin those of the counselors and the head teacher responsible for that grade level.

Although students in the same grade are assigned to different class groups each year, the faculty remains largely the same and teachers move up with the age group until graduation. Thus, over the 3-year period teachers come to know most of their students well. This helps teachers provide instructional continuity, occupational guidance, and promote student character development. [9]

Within the academic department framework, a head teacher helps the faculty in that subject coordinate decisions about the content and pace of instruction, plans and conducts inservice training, and provides guidance and assistance to new or weaker teachers. Frequent citywide departmental seminars, study meetings and regular teacher transfers between schools create a strong, informal city or prefecture wide network of friendships between teachers of the same subject. [10]

In high school, teachers' regular teaching duties average about 15 hours per week. [11] About 40 percent of all teachers are assigned homeroom advisor responsibilities. [12] The homeroom advisor for each group of students plays an important role in providing individual guidance on the selection of higher education institutions and counseling students with personal, social, or delinquency problems.

School calendar

As in elementary and junior high schools, the yearly calendar is divided into 3 semesters. All-school celebrations such as Sports Day and Culture Festival continue to be important occasions for building school pride and unity. Second-year students go on a 3- or 4-day class field trip to a cultural or historical area of the country. The experience serves the same purposes as the school trip at the lower secondary level.

For students who plan to take university entrance examinations, the third year of high school is a time of self-imposed withdrawal from clubs, hobbies, and most leisure pursuit .Students study as much as possible, often focusing more attention on tutorial and juku-related assignments than on regular classroom instruction. As March examination season nears, there is a perceptible change in classroom atmosphere. Student attention is concentrated totally on the impending exams. Once the examinations are over and the next year's course has been determined, the last few weeks of high school are casual and relaxed.

Daily schedule

In a typical high school, teachers gather each morning at 8:30 a.m. for a brief meeting. Students meet at 8:35 a.m. for a 5-minute homeroom period. Regular classes begin at 8:45 a.m. and there are four 50-minute classes before lunch. High school students eat in their homeroom. Two afternoon periods are followed by school clean-up and a 5-minute homeroom meeting, after which students are dismissed at 3:30 p.m. On Saturday the day ends after four periods, at 1 p.m. Club activities are held after school and run until 5 or 6 p.m. One hour per week is devoted to mandatory club activity. Other club activity is voluntary.

An hour-long homeroom period occurs once a week. This provides an opportunity for teachers to concentrate on student guidance. Typical activities include helping students develop greater awareness of themselves as high school students, encouraging them to reflect on their summer vacations, or perhaps asking them to contemplate the forthcoming advancement from one grade to another. These discussion topics are planned by teachers and scheduled in advance for the entire school year.

Instruction

Although fewer than 1 in 5 high school students actually continue their education at a 4-year university, the entrance examinations exert a strong influence on everyone's instruction. Most strong academic high schools are more a downward extension of higher education concerns than an upward extension of compulsory school philosophy. In both academic and vocational programs, the tenor and pace of instruction are geared to covering large quantities of factual information likely to be tested on entrance examinations. Students in the university-bound academic track feel the pressure and understand the importance of studying hard for examinations long before they enter their senior year.

Both vocational and college preparatory programs are primarily academic in nature and designed to maintain a challenging pace of advancement through new material. Even in the vocational schools, instruction in academic subjects rarely deviates from straightforward lectures. Good teachers are considered those who carefully and conscientiously cover the material outlined in the course of study. Enriching the required information with audio-visual materials or commentary on the facts presented in the textbooks is permitted, but given little priority by most teachers. There is scant time for such supplementary attention anyway. Student questions or challenges are uncommon and not encouraged. Some teachers, however, not only exhibit an exceptional command of the factual material, but also are talented in stimulating student imagination.

Curriculum

During the 10th grade, the program is virtually identical for all students, whether they are in the academic or the vocational program. The Japanese student faces a demanding course of study in the required core subjects of Japanese language, mathematics, science, English, and social studies.

All first year students study "Japanese Language I" "Contemporary Society," "Mathematics I," "Science I," "Art," "Physical Education," and "Health." [13] They also take a course in the arts (painting, music, calligraphy, etc.) and English as an "elective."

"Japanese I" provides continued practice in reading contemporary literature and composition. Students study some classical Japanese and Chinese literature, as well as archaic language and literary forms.

"Contemporary Society" is a survey of contemporary national and international issues and problems, with an emphasis on politics, economics, and personal ethics.

"Mathematics I" includes further work with the quadratic formula and higher order equations, graphing of quadratic equations, introductory trigonometry, complex numbers, sets, and algebraic proofs.

"Science I" covers laws of transformation and conservation of energy, basic chemistry and computation of chemical formulas, embryonic development, evolution, and Mendelian laws.

Many students have difficulty with the content and pace of the curriculum. Some fall far behind and lose interest. In one recent survey students were asked what kind of school they would like to attend. The overwhelming majority selected the response "0ne with lessons which are easier to understand." [14]

FIRST YEAR

All Students

Weekly Hours

Japanese I
Contemporary Society
Mathematics I
Science I
English I
Physical Education and
    Home economics*
Health
Music or Calligraphy
Homeroom
Club activities
 
Total class hours per week

5
4
6
4
6
 
4
1
2
1
1
 
34

 

*Boys take 4 hours of physical education and girls take 2 hours and 2 hours of home economics.

SECOND YEAR

Literature Majors

Weekly
Hours

Weekly
Hours

Science Majors

Japanese II
Classical Literature
Japanese History
World History
Basic Mathematical
    Analysis
Biology or Chemistry
English
 
Physical Education &   Home economics*
Health
Music or Calligraphy
Homeroom
Club activities
 
Total class hours per week

5
2
2
3
 
3
3
7
 
 
4
1
2
1
1
 
 
34

4
 
3
3
 
3
4
4
5
 
4
1
1
1
1
 
 
34

Japanese II
Japanese History
    or World History
Algebra & Geometry
Basic Mathematical Analysis
Physics
Chemistry
English
Physical Education &   Home economics*
Health
Music or Calligraphy
Homeroom
Club activities
 
Total class hours per week

 

*Boys take 4 hours of physical education and girls take 2 hours and 2 hours of home economics.

THIRD YEAR

Literature Majors

Weekly
Hours

Weekly
Hours

Science Majors

Modern Literature
Classical Literature
Japanese History
World History
Ethics or Politics
 
Basic Mathematical
  Analysis
Biology or Chemistry
English
Physical Education
Homeroom
Club activities
 
Total class hours per week

4
4
3
3
3
 
 
2
2
8
3
1
1
 
34

3
 
2
 
5
 
5
4
4
6
3
1
1
 
34

Modern Literature
Japanese History
  or World History
Integral and Differential
  Calculus
Probability and
  Statistics
Physics
Chemistry
English
Physical Education
Homeroom
Club activities
 
Total class hours per week

The Japanese high school student does not assemble an individual class schedule from a large menu of possible electives. Extras such as driver education, drama, or psychology are not offered.

Except for two courses per year in which students are allowed to choose between options to fulfill a specific requirement (such as selecting music, fine arts, or calligraphy to fulfill the arts requirement), each class takes the same courses and remains a unit for the entire day. For students in the academic curriculum, the choice among these options is frequently based on the characteristics of the university entrance examination for which one is preparing. Students whose interests or educational objectives are not satisfied by the established curriculum turn to after school clubs, out of school enrichment classes, or academic juku.

Although moral education as a formal subject in the curriculum disappears at the upper secondary level, student guidance and character development continue to receive attention. The emphasis shifts, however, from the training in fundamental living habits and classroom behavior of the lower grades to the further development of a disciplined attitude toward work and study.

In the academic program, only 9 class hours per week are devoted to nonacademic subjects. During this time, boys receive 4 hours of physical education and girls receive 2 hours of physical education and 2 of home economics. Both boys and girls take 1 hour of health and 2 hours of fine arts. The weekly schedule also includes an hour each of homeroom and faculty-led club activities.

Vocational programs  

Almost 30 percent of all full-time Japanese high school students are enrolled in a vocational program. The vocational curriculum is career oriented, but not job specific. The occupational areas include commerce, industry technology, agriculture, home economics, fisheries, and health. Enrollments in vocational programs are shown in
  table 8.

Within each vocational major the curriculum follows a predetermined sequence. In comparison to regular academic programs, less class time is spent in studying academic subjects and the textbooks are less difficult. However, students are still required to spend 16 to 18 hours a week in each of the 3 years studying Japanese, mathematics, social studies, and English as well as science during 2 of the years. As in the academic program, 9 hours per week are devoted to physical education, home economics, health, music or art, homeroom, and club activities. Only 9 to 11 hours per week are actually devoted to vocational education. The incentive to study is not as great in vocational schools because for most students, there are no university entrance examinations to prepare for and the academic record may not be given as much weight by the employers likely to hire from these schools. [15]

Clubs

 Clubs are an important part of Japanese high school life. Activities after school are strongly encouraged and over half of Japanese students are active in one or more clubs. As in lower secondary school, sports clubs are the most popular. Most are organized and run by the students themselves.

Meetings are held from 3 to 5 or 6 p.m. There is interscholastic club competition in some sports, particularly soccer and baseball. Japan's largest amateur sporting event is the annual National High School Baseball Summer Tournament. Club activities provide recreation opportunities for students, while fostering social relations and group solidarity.

University entrance

Importance of a university education. In Japan, university graduates have a lifetime advantage over those without a university degree. The education credential, not the individual talent, determines initial employment with the more prestigious companies and remains a major consideration in any advancement. It is uncommon for a non-university graduate to move ahead of a university graduate in such firms. With little chance to return to formal education, the adolescent depends on doing well in school, first to enter a good high school and then a good university. More than any other single event, the university entrance examinations influence the orientation and life of most Japanese high school students, even for the many who do not go on to postsecondary education. For university aspirants, it is literally the last major hurdle to be successfully negotiated on the way to adulthood and preferred employment.

In Japan, one's university largely determines one's prospects for the best careers and jobs. Career patterns of the graduates of various universities are widely known, and institutions are informally ranked according to the success of their graduates in securing prestigious employment. It is very difficult to secure high status, white collar employment with the government or a major firm unless one has graduated from a top ranking university.

It is not primarily the specific coursework or other academic preparation which students receive at these institutions which is so highly valued by employers. Rather, it is the ability to learn what is taught, work hard, and persevere, all demonstrated by success on the rigorous university entrance examinations, which indicate to the prospective employer that the student will be a good risk as a career employee. Thus, the competition to enter the best institutions is especially severe. The number of applications to openings for institutions as well as constituent academic units are published annually, and students take these into account in deciding where to apply.

Preparation for entrance examinations. For students aspiring to enter the more prestigious universities, exam preparation is an arduous and painful task which often begins in earnest in lower secondary school. In its most extreme form, the long, intense period of study followed by the stress of the examination itself is referred to as "examination hell." A common slogan is "4 hours pass, 5 hours fail," referring to the presumed relationship between the amount of time a student sleeps each night and the prospect for success or failure on the examination. Apocryphal or not, the catch phrase dramatizes the rigor of the regimen in which the student is caught.

Scores on entrance examinations to the better universities have been increasing. Students, therefore, have had to work harder to gain admission, especially to the top schools. Many students who fail the examination to the university of their choice will spend a year or more in intensive study and then try again. Monbusho data show that in 1984, 36 percent of all entrants to 4-year universities had spent at least 1 year in extra study. [16] For entrance to the most prestigious facilities of the best universities, this percentage is even higher, and it is not uncommon that almost half of the students who are admitted are taking the examination for the second (or third) time. [17]

Even mastery of the high school curriculum may not be sufficient to pass the very difficult examinations of the better institutions or more specialized faculties. Helping fill the gap between what students learn in school and what they must know to pass the examinations of a specific institution or constituent academic unit is a sizeable private sector cram school industry, yobiko.

Yobiko. These are a specialized extension of the juku system. There are local yobiko in each prefecture as well as some regional and national chains of schools. These sophisticated cram schools offer intense training for the entrance examinations, often tailored specifically to the requirements and examinations of individual institutions or groups of universities with common characteristics.

Although there is a nationally administered standardized entrance examination available in Japan, many universities depend instead upon one of their own design. Some institutions use the results of the national examination as a general screening device and consider only those applicants whose scores are above a certain cut-off point. The institution's own examination is then used to select students for admission. Whatever the nature of the exams, the yobiko aim to prepare students to pass them.

Each year, there are about 200,000 ronin, (literally, "masterless samurai")-- students who have failed the exams for admission to the school of their first choice and who have elected to spend a full year preparing to take the examinations again. Many of the ronin enroll in a full-time examination preparation program at a yobiko. There are over 200 yobiko in Japan. [18] The number of students enrolled in them very nearly approximates the number of ronin. In addition, there are high school students who attend yobiko-sponsored programs after regular school hours and on weekends. Although some yobiko have programs geared to high school students, the hallmark of yobiko is the fulltime, year-long examination preparation programs for ronin. Given the fact that so many university entrants have had the ronin experience, secondary education in Japan is often called a 3-3-1 or -X system to reflect the extra year or more of study that many students engage in after high school graduation.

Not many female high school students attend yobiko, and male ronin outnumber female ronin more than 10 to 1. These participation patterns again reflect the different institutional objectives of girls in postsecondary education. [19] Female students account for less than 25 percent of university enrollments. Their professional career opportunities are limited.

The yobiko develop and administer model examinations against which students can chart their progress and estimate their chances of gaining admission to a particular institution. These practice exams are given several times during the year and are also open periodically to the general public for a fee. The latter event is often a means by which students first come to a particular yobiko. Many of the large yobiko also maintain sophisticated information gathering operations to collect data on the content and results of the most recent university examinations.

Yobiko also publish a wide variety of books and study aids, which they sell commercially. Texts they create exclusively for their own students are a big drawing card for the school, since they are often prepared by professors and teachers intimately familiar with the entrance examinations, and they are not usually available in the bookstores. Faculty of these yobiko include both full-time and part-time teachers, with many of the part-timers drawn from various university faculties and other educational institutions. Yobiko often have their own entrance examinations, but like those of the juku discussed earlier, these exams are often used for class organization and ranking as much as for entrance.

The cost of yobiko for a year's full-time study approximates that of tuition and fees for some private universities, although most private universities cost more. The average cost is about one-third higher than tuition and fees at a national university.

Suicide issue

 Worry about examinations is a continuing reality for most Japanese high school students and their families, but--dramatic media coverage notwithstanding--it is not true that large numbers of disappointed youth are driven to take their own lives because of their failure to pass the entrance examination to elite universities. While school related factors are clearly among the important causes of adolescent suicide, examinations per se are not the dominant factor: "...maladjustment to school . . . lack of motivation, dislike of school, and trouble with homework--are more prominent than failure in exams or the pain of exam preparations. " [20]

The suicide rate for Japan for the 15 to 19 age group dropped 43 percent during the 1975 to 1984 decade while that for the United States increased 17 percent and surpassed Japan's. A comparison of youth suicide rates in Japan and the United States in three age brackets over the past 20 years is presented in table 9.

Student life

Although the classroom and study out of school occupy the main portion of high school students' days, recent data show that Japanese students still enjoy leisure activities. High school students watch TV, listen to the radio or read newspapers and magazines an average of about 2 hours per day, engage in sports for almost 1 hour per day (more on the weekends), and find another hour a day for some other form of relaxation.

Teenage social life in Japan is focused on school, clubs, and school-sponsored activities. Although most high school classrooms are coeducational, boys and girls display shyness in public social relationships. While each sex is interested in the other, close opposite-sex friendships and dating are rare. Most students do not begin dating until after high school.

Japanese high school students are not encouraged to experiment with adult fashions, pastimes, and responsibilities. Students are not allowed to drive automobiles until they are 18 years of age. Although 16-year-olds may obtain a license to drive small motorbikes, three-quarters of all high schools prohibit or severely restrict their use. Many students must commute as much as 45 minutes or more to school, and most students use public transportation or a standard three-speed bicycle.

Part-time jobs are also discouraged or prohibited by most high schools. A large scale comparative study of high school students in Japan and the United States found that only 21 percent of Japanese high school students worked part-time during the school term, compared with 63 percent in the United States. Schools and parents discourage students from working on the grounds that it distracts them from study and exposes them to dubious influences in the adult community. [21]

Students are often further restricted by school regulations regarding inappropriate activities, regulations which remain operative even after students leave the school grounds. Curfews, dress codes for after school hours, and prohibitions regarding the frequenting of game parlors, coffee shops, and other undesirable neighborhood attractions are common. In some schools, parents cooperate with the teacher in charge of student behavior in patrolling the neighborhood after school and on weekends to monitor student behavior and encourage observance of school rules.

Student delinquency

Juvenile delinquency in Japan has increased over the past decade. It is widely publicized in the mass media and is a growing source of national concern clearly reflected in the current reform movement. Yet, by comparison with various other industrialized nations, including the United States, delinquency in Japan is mild and infrequent. This is not just because Japan is a homogeneous, highly disciplined society. It is also partly because Japanese youth are more closely supervised. They spend a greater proportion of their time at home or in school. Further, many major factors commonly associated with juvenile delinquency and crime, such as poverty, divorce, and adult crime, occur less commonly in Japan than in many other major nations. [22]

In explaining the apparent reasons for the relative confinement of adolescent experience to home and school and some basic differences between Japanese and American values and priorities concerning adolescent sexuality, Thomas Rohlen writes:

. . . Americans have found a new morality to suit our increasingly precocious individualism, whereas in Japan, urbanization, industrialization, and prosperity have drawn nearly the entire population into a middle-class pursuit of educational achievement. The postponement of independence and adult sexuality appears to be a by-product. Japan is not puritanical about sex, but it is very middle-class about getting ahead and very aware of propriety and status. Adolescent romance and sex are still improper. [23]

Adolescent rebellion commonly takes the form of small but significant alterations in school uniforms and regulation hair style. Boys express delinquent tendencies through widening the trouser legs of their school uniforms, or wearing sandals rather than regulation footwear. Girls lengthen their skirts beyond the regulated norm or have their hair dyed brown or set in a permanent wave.

Cigarette smoking is considered a serious form of delinquency among high school students. Although smoking on school premises is rare, some teenagers smoke on the streets or in private. When caught in the act, they are taken to the station and admonished by police. Repeated offenses are grounds for expulsion from school.

Substance abuse takes the form of sniffing glue or paint thinner and ranks as a relatively serious manifestation of adolescent anti-social behavior. Although the subject of considerable media attention, the problem remains small in statistical terms. Nationwide in 1984 there were only 15,000 lower and upper secondary school students who were admonished by the police for this act. [24]

There is little adolescent drinking, and marijuana and hard drugs are virtually unavailable. Coupled with the fact that car ownership or regular use by high school students is virtually nonexistent, Japan is spared some very serious, often interrelated problems that are common in some other industrialized nations.

Serious forms of delinquent activity that do occur include shoplifting or theft, usually of bicycles and motorcycles. While there are some motorcycle and automobile hot rodding gangs, the total number of these is relatively small. [25]

Schools of good academic standing typically are less plagued by problems of delinquency and find it easier to require students to conform to the rules. As noted earlier, vocational and other schools near the bottom of the hierarchy enroll more disaffected and disadvantaged youth. In these schools, teachers typically are more tolerant in enforcing the letter of the school's regulation. When student delinquency occurs, schools are usually involved along with the parents and police.

When delinquent students are apprehended by neighborhood police for such offenses as smoking, shoplifting, or motorcycle hot rodding, both the school disciplinary counselor and the students' parents are commonly required to come to the police station and take subsequent disciplinary action. In some cases the school's response is so predictably prompt and severe that the police may attempt to protect a contrite first offender caught smoking by notifying only the parents and not the school. [26]

What high school graduates do next

In Japan. In 1984, 1,482,312 students graduated from upper secondary schools. More than 29 percent of these went on to university undergraduate and regular junior college programs (18 percent to university and 11 percent to junior college programs). In addition, almost 12 percent went on to postsecondary courses in special training colleges. Thus, approximately 41 percent of the graduates proceeded to one or another of these types of postsecondary education.

Another group of the graduates, almost 14 percent of the total, went on to other kinds of vocational courses, primarily those in that category of institutions known as "miscellaneous schools."

Approximately 41 percent of the total number of graduates (including 1 percent working and studying) found employment. Details of the total distribution of students after graduation are presented in table 5.

In the United States. In 1985, 2,666,000 students graduated from high school. [27] About 58 percent went on to full-time or part-time study in 4-year and 2-year colleges. (This was a record; the proportion had been in the range of 50 to 55 percent for most of the 1970's and early 1980's.) Of the 1,539,000 who went to college, 593,000 were also working. (Information on the number going on to various vocational programs other than in junior colleges is unavailable.)

Of the 42 percent of all graduates who did not go to college, 26 percent were working, 8.5 percent were unemployed, and the remaining 7.5 percent were not in the labor force. The total number of 1985 graduates employed, including those who were also attending college, was 1,292,000 or 48.5 percent.

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