Teachers in Japan work longer hours compared to teachers in other OECD countries. On average In 2013, public school teachers in primary to upper secondary education in Japan had a total statutory working time of 1 899 hours, compared to the OECD average of around 1 600 hours. In contrast, teachers’ net teaching hours are considerably shorter than the OECD average may reflect the time teachers spend working outside of the classroom.
In Japanese, both Kyoin and Kyoshi refer to teachers. While Kyoin is used to identify those in a teaching position, Kyoshi refers to those in the teaching profession. Kyoshi is therefore often intentionally used to underscore the professional caliber needed in the teaching profession
In Japan, Open System was conceived after World War II in an effort to train teachers in universities and university departments rather than in schools. As a result, 65% of universities in Japan offer teacher education. Studying in the Open System means that students who are not specialising in teacher education can still earn credits to obtain a teaching certificate. Besides, 14 universities and 34 faculties of education in Japan specialise in teacher education (i.e. not Open system), some of which were established in 2008 by MEXT as Professional Graduate Schools for Teacher Education.
Japan’s renowned “lesson study” involves teachers setting goals and carefully planning lessons together based on evidence and experience of student learning. One team member teachers the lesson while other teachers observe and collect data on student responses. This is followed by a detailed post-lesson discussion and reflection when the lesson may be revised and re-taught with key learnings captured for future iterations of the cycle.
There are 3 steps to becoming a fully-qualified teacher in Japan:
Cramming Schools were established by Boards of Education in some prefectures to provide private coaching on instructional practices and classroom management to both certified teachers and others who aspire to become teachers. Courses, which are typically held over several weekends, are are seen as a means to motivate and prepare teachers for the profession.