Parents’ perceptions on previous and current science education system in Japan

Kseniya Fomichova, Taku Misonou


Parents’ views, beliefs, and experiences greatly affect children’s attitudes toward education. The research aimed to identify the parents’ perception in the past, present, and their desired priorities in science education as well as investigated the adolescents’ perceptions based on gender and academic performance on science. As a survey study, this research relied on a questionnaire as the primary method of data collection which the data gained then was analysed by using statistical descriptive (percentage). The results showed that the priorities in education have shifted toward physics and chemistry in recent decades. Moreover, biology and earth science were found to be perceived as ‘easy’ and ‘secondary’ areas in comparison to the ‘superior’ ones (physics and chemistry). This has been strengthened by the critical situation for earth science, as the education system of Japan often does not al low the students to select it. Thus, the parents wished for a more balanced system. There was a difference in adolescents’ perceptions of science areas based on gender and academic performance. Physics and chemistry were associated with boys and top performers, while biology and earth science were supposed to ‘fit’ girls and low performers.


Adolescents’ perceptions; parents’ perceptions; science education

Full Text:



Barrington, B. L. & Hendriks, B. (1988). Attitudes towards science and science knowledge of intellectually gifted and average students in third, seventh and eleventh grades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 25, 8, 679-687.

Carnevale A.P., Cheah B. & Strohl J. (2012). Hard times, college majors, unemployment and earnings: Not all college degrees are created equal. Center on Education and the Workforce. Georgetown University, Washington

Chang, S., Yeung, Y. & Cheng, M. (2009). Ninth graders’ learning interests, life experiences and attitudes towards science & technology. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 18, 447-457.

Durant, J. R., Evans, G. A., & Thomas, G. P. (1989). The public understanding of science. Nature, 340(6228), 11-14.

Ecklund, E. H., Lincoln, A. E., & Tansey, C. (2012). Gender segregation in elite academic science. Gender & Society, 26(5), 693-717.

Fomichova, K., & Misonou, T. (2015). Teachers’ assessment of biology education in comparison to other areas of science in lower secondary schools of Japan - A case study. Asian Journal of Biology Education, 8.

Hadden, R. A., & Johnstone, A. H. (1982). Primary school pupils’ attitudes to science: The years of formation. European Journal of Science Education, 4(4), 397-407.

Hadden, R. A., & Johnstone, A. H. (1983). Secondary school pupils’ attitudes to science: The year of erosion. European Journal of Science Education, 5(3), 309-318.

Hu, E. (April 15, 2015). The all-work, no-play culture of South Korean Education. Retrieved from: http://www.npr. org/sections/parallels/2015/04/15/393939759/the-all-work-no-play-culture-of-south-korean-education

Holbrook, J., Mukherjee, A., & Varma, V. S. (2000). Scientific and technological literacy for all. Materials from the UNESCO-ICASE-CSEC Workshops. Centre for Science Education and Communication, University of Delhi.

Mann, A., & DiPrete, T. A. (2013). Trends in gender segregation in the choice of science and engineering majors. Social science research, 42(6), 1519-1541.

Martin, M. O., Mullis, I. V., Foy, P., & Stanco, G. M. (2012). TIMSS 2011 International Results in Science. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. The Netherlands.

Meyers-Levy, J., & Loken, B. (2015). Revisiting gender differences: What we know and what lies ahead. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 25(1), 129-149.

Miller, J. D. (2004). Public understanding of, and attitudes toward, scientific research: What we know and what we need to know. Public Understanding of Science, 13(3), 273-294.

Moss-Racusin, C. A., Dovidio, J. F., Brescoll, V. L., Graham, M. J., & Handelsman, J. (2012). Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(41), 16474-16479.

Ogawa, M. (2001). Reform Japanese style: Voyage into an unknown and chaotic future. Science Education, 85(5), 586-606.

Ontong, K., & Le Grange, L. (2015). The reconceptualisation of sustainability after the decade of education for sustainable development. Tydskrif vir Geestesweten skappe, 55(1), 50-61.

Osborne, J., Simon, S. & Collins, S. (2003) 'Attitudes towards science: a review of the literature and its implications', International Journal of Science Education, 25, 9, 1049 – 1079.

Oscarsson, M., Jidesjö, A., Strömdahl, H. & Karlsson, K-G. (2009). Science in society or science in school: Swedish secondary school science teachers’ beliefs about science and science lessons in comparison with what their students want to learn. NorDiNa, 5(1), 18-34.

Paton, G. (May 16, 2012). Schools 'shun traditional values in race for exam results. Retrieved from:

Piburn, M. D., & Baker, D. R. (1993). If I were the teacher… qualitative study of attitude toward science. Science Education, 77(4), 393-406.

Reid, N., & Skryabina, E. A. (2003). Gender and physics. International journal of science education, 25(4), 509-536.

Simpson, R. D., & Oliver, J. S. (1985). Attitude toward science and achievement motivation profiles of male and female science students in grades six through ten. Science Education, 69(4), 511-525.

Sjøberg, S., & Schreiner, C. (2010). The ROSE project: An overview and key findings. Oslo: University of Oslo, 1-31.

Sturgis, P., & Allum, N. (2004). Science in society: re-evaluating the deficit model of public attitudes. Public understanding of science, 13(1), 55-74.

Wals, A. (2013). Sustainability in higher education in the context of the UN DESD: a review of learning and institutionalization processes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 62.

Weinburgh, M. (1995). Gender differences in student attitudes toward science: A meta‐analysis of the literature from 1970 to 1991. Journal of Research in science Teaching, 32(4), 387-398.

DOI: | Abstract views : 565 | PDF views : 565 |


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 JPBI (Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi Indonesia)

License URL:

View JPBI Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.