ABSTRACT

Regarding stereotypes of schooling, contrary to the common reputation of Japanese schools as tightly regimented, some American scholars have

observed that the Japanese preschool and elementary school classrooms are usually noisy; not only that, but that the teachers seem, strangely enough, unbothered. The classroom observations of researchers such as Catherine Lewis (1984, 1988) and Joseph Tobin and his colleagues (1989) suggest that Japanese children, at least in their preschool and primary school years, are treated more leniently than their American counterparts despite the fact that the opposite would be predicted from Japan's reputation in the West.