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Does the Comprehensive curriculum prevent high school dropout in Japan? (in Japanese)


  • Hiroko ARAKI


In 1994, a new academic track combining both vocational and academic courses was introduced to Japanese high schools. The system, termed Sogo-Gakka, has since been expanded to schools nationwide as the centerpiece of current secondary school educational reforms. Before its introduction, Japanese high school applicants had to select either an academic or a vocational track, which would set the course for their future career and life. In contrast to traditional academic and vocational tracks, the sogo-gakka curriculum covers a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects and is designed to provide an education that meets the individual needs of contemporary students and it is expected to improve students' achievement. The adoption of sogo-gakka has created a situation in Japanese high school education where both traditional academic/vocation tracking and comprehensive school tracks coexist. For this reason, contemporary Japanese high schools offer an excellent opportunity to study the impact of a tracking versus a comprehensive education on student achievement. In this study, I estimate the comprehensive curriculum's preventative effect on dropout using school-track level (academic, vocational or sogo-gakka) panel data covering all high schools in northern Japan, controlling for initial academic ability of students entering the schools and unobservable school-track effects. The results suggest that the adoption of sogo-gakka comprehensive tracks is particularly effective in preventing dropout among public high school students.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroko ARAKI, 2011. "Does the Comprehensive curriculum prevent high school dropout in Japan? (in Japanese)," Economic Analysis, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 185, pages 24-42, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:esj:esriea:185b

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