Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Japanese Culture & Education

I have visited amazing places , met wonderful people from Japan and the U.S., and have had an intense experience of the rich and complex Japanese culture and education. I have so many experiences and vast amounts of information and photos ( more than a thousand photos!) still to add and share here.

Here's a little bit about one of the schools I visited:

Below are a few snapshots from Kunimi Junior High School in Unzen. The soccer team there is one of the best in Japan and known nationwide, leading some families to even to move there so their sons can compete for Unzen. The other photos show students in a calligraphy class and a Japanese class. Kids are under a lot of pressure to do well on high school entrance exams so many attend "cram schools" after school. Classrooms are very quiet and focused with as many as 4o students in one class. When students change classes, the hallways are pandemonium and teachers don't mind. It seems they recognize that kids need the time in between classes to relax, talk and kid around in order to handle to focused serious classroom environment. At the beginning of each class, students stand, bow and formally greet their teachers (sensei). During lessons, students do not often raise their hands to ask questions and the classroom is very quiet. Students listen intently and without interruption.

This is just one short snippet of the many insights I gained on Japanese schools and education system. More to come when I come home. I am leaving soon and will see everyone in no time at all. I miss Japan already!

No comments: