The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research

Redefining the Teacher as a High-Level Professional: With a View to Ensuring Both Quantity and Quality(-2024)

Public school education in Japan confronts serious teaching staff shortfalls in several ways. First, there is a shortage in the number of teachers, with schools being unable to attract enough classroom instructors. Reasons cited for this include a compensation system that does not provide overtime pay and working hours so long as to cause karoshi deaths. The issue of compensation is difficult to resolve, since it is closely tied to Japan’s fiscal woes at both the national and local levels. Higher pay, moreover, may not be enough solve the teacher shortage.

Another shortfall concerns the quality and abilities of teaching personnel. Various reforms have been implemented over the years, but their effectiveness remains in doubt.

Classroom learning is also being heavily impacted by the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence. Will the full-fledged advent of the AI era compel changes in the skills required of schoolchildren? How will this affect the role of schools and teachers? Japan’s postwar recovery and growth were supported in large part by teachers at public schools. But existing institutions are increasingly unable to cope with the changing times. Our research program will reexamine the institutional design of the teaching profession from the perspective of ensuring both quantity and quality.

Principal Investigator





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