Thesis Title

Comparison of Motivational Factors Between Japanese and United States High School Students

Graduation Date

Summer 2009

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madelienne Peters, EdD


Spanning multiple subjects and age groups, U.S. students rate poorly while Japanese students rate highly when subject to international testing. Japanese children complete twice as much homework as their U.S. counterparts and sometimes attend school on Saturdays. The literature review looks at motivation in both U.S. American and Japanese students and considers what methods in the Japanese culture and system of education might support motivation of high school students in the U.S.

A subject matter expert in both Japanese and U.S. education was interviewed and supported the notion of high academic motivation amongst Japanese students. Their main focus is on education since it is the precursor to flourishing career prospects. U.S. students’ main focus is not on education, as evident in their internationally ranked low scholastic merits. U.S. students are often content with minimal effort while Japanese students’ content relies on earning the highest scholastic objectives attainable.

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