Prodigious growth in out-of-school, private educational activities meant to supplement formal schooling is observed worldwide. Why has shadow education expanded, and what does it mean for the future of education in postmodern society? Illustrated by the historical development and recent changes in the Japanese shadow education industry, it is suggested that shadow education follows the institutional logic of formal education. And as this logic has become more homogenized and expansive globally, so have the forms and goals of shadow education. Because of its focus on learning and achievement, which are central to formal education, it is predicted that shadow education will be increasingly incorporated into the broader culture of education.
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