MEXT report: Japanese high school students say they enjoy high school life, but appear to have low self-esteem compared to their counterparts in the US, China and S. Korea

Only 36% of Japanese High School Students Feel They “Have Worth as a Person”, MEXT Survey Says

MEXT data via Rocketnews Aug 23, 2012

According to a report published by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Japanese high school students have markedly lower self-esteem and self-confidence than students in America and other Asian countries.

The report was published on August 10 and compares the attitudes and emotional well-being of high school students from Japan, America, China and South Korea.

The results are based on data compiled from three different MEXT studies conducted over the past three years. While the sample size varies slightly for each study, an average of around 1000 – 1200 high school students from each of the four countries were surveyed each year from 2009-2011.

We’ve translated a few of the results and posted them below. The report can be found in full here.

■ “I believe I have worth as a person” (Agree + Somewhat Agree)

South Korea – 75.1%
China – 87.7%
America – 89.1%
Japan – 36.1%

■ “I tend to give myself positive feedback” (Agree + Somewhat Agree)

South Korea – 70.5%
China – 82.6%
America – 76.2%
Japan – 37%

■ “I am satisfied with myself” (Agree + Somewhat Agree)

South Korea – 63.3%
China – 68.5%
America – 78.2%
Japan – 24.7%

■ ”I believe I am a capable person” (Agree + Somewhat Agree)

South Korea – 46.8%
China – 67%
America – 84.5%
Japan – 15.4%

A few of the more striking survey findings are:

■ ”I think I am a good person” (Agree + Somewhat Agree)

South Korea – 70.2%
China – 81.5%
America – 90.6%
Japan – 43.7%

■ ”I think I can do most things if I make an effort” (Agree + Somewhat Agree)

South Korea – 83.7%
China – 88.8%
America – 89.2%
Japan – 44.4%

On the other hand, 80.4% of Japanese high school students claimed that they “enjoy school life”, compared to 77.4, 77.5 and 75.4% for America, China and Korea.

The report is chock-full of other interesting statistics and should be an interesting read for anyone interested in education, assuming you can read Japanese.

Source: MEXT

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