Exploring “Parents’ Right to Educate” in Japan


  • Yuya Tanaka junior high school teacher


This paper provides an overview of education in postwar Japan, addressing the issue of “parents’ right to educate.” In the “debates on the right to educate” which took place from the 1950s on, the focus was on “teachers’ right to educate,” overlooking that of parents. Free schools began to draw attention in the 1980s, in the context of dissatisfaction with highly managed education, but the overall direction was toward neoliberal educational reform. In recent years, as these reforms have led to increased inequality, expectations of public schools are on the rise. However, as the school regulations issue demonstrates, public schools are still dominated by highly managed education. Therefore, hopes are rising with regard to respect for “parents’ right to educate” and to official recognition and support of citizens’ school-building premised thereupon.