In a time of low academic achievement by children in the United States, many Americans are turning to Japan, a country of high academic achievement and economic success, for possible answers. However, the answers provided by Japanese preschools are not the ones Americans expected to find. In most Japanese preschools, surprisingly little emphasis is put on academic instruction. In one investigation, 300 Japanese and 210 American preschool teachers, child development specialists, and parents were asked about various aspects of early childhood education. Only 2 percent of the Japanese respondents listed “to give children a good start academically” as one of their top three reasons for a society to have preschools. In contrast, over half the American respondents chose this as one of their top three choices. To prepare children for successful careers in first grade and beyond, Japanese schools do not teach reading, writing, and mathematics, but rather skills such as persistence, concentration, and the ability to function as a member of a group. The vast majority of young Japanese children are taught to read at home by their parents.
In the recent comparison of Japanese and American preschool education, 91 percent of Japanese respondents chose providing children with a group experience as one of their top three reasons for a society to have preschools. Sixty-two percent of the more individually oriented Americans listed group experience as one of their top three choices. An emphasis on the importance of the group seen in Japanese early childhood education continues into elementary school education.
Like in America, there is diversity in Japanese early childhood education. Some Japanese kindergartens have specific aims, such as early musical training or potential development. In large cities, some kindergartens are attached to universities that have elementary and secondary schools.
Some Japanese parents believe that if their young children attend a university-based program, it will increase the children's chances of eventually being admitted to top-rated schools and universities. Several more progressive programs have introduced free play as a way out for the heavy intellectualizing in some Japanese kindergartens.
1. We learn from the first paragraph that many Americans believe _____.
A. Japanese parents pay more attention to preschool education than American parents
B. Japan’s economic success is a result of its scientific achievements
C. Japanese preschool education stresses academic instruction
D. Japan’s higher education is better than theirs
2. More than three fifths of the American respondents believe that preschools should also attach importance to _____.
A. problem solving B. group experience
C. parental guidance D. individually oriented development
3. In Japan’s preschool education, the focus is on _____.
A. preparing children academically B. developing children's artistic interests
C. developing children's potential D. improving children's personal qualities
4. Free play has been introduced in some Japanese kindergartens in order to _____.
A. broaden children’s horizon B. cultivate children’s creativity
C. lighten children’s study load D. enrich children’s knowledge
5. Why do some Japanese parents send their children to university-based kindergartens?
A. They can do better in their future studies.
B. They can gain more group experience there.
C. They can be individually oriented when they grow up.
D. They can have better chances of getting a first-rate education
3.【答案】D。解析：细节题。从第一段的To prepare children for successful careers … and the ability to function as a member of a group可知。
5.【答案】D。解析：考查细节理解题。从文章最后一段“Some Japanese parents believe that if their young children attend a university-based program, it will increase the children's chances of eventually being admitted to top-rated schools and universities.”可知D是正确选项。