American vs. Japanese Education Systems
As part of Adz Group’s Future Global Leaders Program (FGLP), participants have the opportunity to sit in and observe a university class lecture, or visit a local high school and shadow their students. In addition to interacting with students their age, this is a wonderful opportunity to view a different style of learning. This experience is often cited as one of the highlights of the trip. Why? While many things are similar in the United State and Japan, one thing we just about always hear after these visits is the striking differences in the classroom environment.
Blogger Yumi Nakata from Gaijinpost.com, helps explain some of these differences. She writes that in American classrooms it’s really important to raise your hand. She was shocked when students in her American classroom would even interrupt the professor to contribute and show they are engaged in the lecture. Japanese classrooms are the complete opposite, she writes, and students are expected to stay quiet while the teacher writes on the blackboard. She was similarly surprised to learn that presentations were a large part of the American teaching method whereas in Japan they are not emphasized as much. Finally she writes that attendance in American classes is much stricter and you can’t afford to miss a class.
In summary she found the biggest differences between the American and Japanese education systems is that “students in America are expected to actively participate in their own learning.”
Before participating in FGLP, did you have a preferred way of learning? What about after? What are the advantages and disadvantages to these different methods?
Read more on Yumi Nakata’s article on Differences between the U.S. and Japanese Education Systems.