A one-hour documentary that compares education in the United States and Japan will appear on the Public Broadcasting Service this month.
"A Quest for Education," narrated by the actor Edward James Olmos, will air on March 31 at 10 P.M. on most PBS stations.
The documentary focuses on the day-to-day experiences of two junior-high-school students, Kelly Jackson of Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Michiyo Takahara of Machida City, a Tokyo suburb.
The documentary contrasts the importance of the Japanese high-school examination for Michiyo's future with Kelly's ambivalence about the value of her school experience.
The program is something of joint U.S.-Japanese venture. It was produced by the public-television station KCET in Los Angeles, but received its major funding from three Japanese concerns: Hitachi, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, and Matsushita.
The nation's public-television stations staged an exhibit on Capitol Hill last week to showcase for members of the Congress the latest in public-television technology and programming for education.
The exhibit, "Learning Solutions: The Educational Power of Public Television," was held March 5 and 6 in a Senate office building.
It was sponsored by the Association of America's Public Television Stations.
Representative Edward J. Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, lauded the important role that public television has played in providing educational programming and other innovations for the classroom.
The exhibits included a "Sesame Street" interactive videodisk from the Children's Television Workshop; an interactive disk of the acclaimed documentary series "The Civil War"; a live interactive class with a Japanese school by the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium; and Kentucky Educational Television's keypad system, which allows students to respond to teachers in distance-learning environments.
A new magazine has been launched to help teachers learn about educational programming on cable television.
Cable in the Classroom lists programs by subject area and includes feature articles and study guides.
Some local cable providers are distributing the magazine free to schools.
A year's subscription for $22 can be obtained by writing the International Data Group/Peterborough, 80 Elm St., Peterborough, N.H. 03458, or by calling (603) 924-0100.--mw