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Review of Theorizing Shadow Education and Academic Success in East Asia: Understanding the Meaning, Value, and Use of Shadow Education by East Asian Students

DOI: 10.4236/sm.2022.124009, PP. 134-138

Keywords: Education, Shadow Education, Supplemental Educational Tutoring, East Asia, Educational Administration, School Systems

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On international tests of academic knowledge, students in East Asian countries typically are among the best in the world. While the public school systems of these societies understandably deserve some recognition for these scholastic achievements, they are also partly the consequence of an extensive array of supplemental tutoring services that are widely used throughout these societies. These services form a thriving educational industry in the private sector that is not so well known to researchers and is thus commonly referred to as shadow education. This essay reviews Theorizing Shadow Education and Academic Success in East Asia which is a recent book that provides a highly informative overview of shadow education. Especially many Western social scientists and educational specialists have often overlooked or misunderstood shadow education in East Asia. The history, sociology, and public policy aspects of shadow education are discussed for several different East Asian societies including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Theorizing Shadow Education and Academic Success in East Asia is an important contribution not only for educational studies but also for the sociology of social stratification and inequality more broadly.


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