Japanese schools feature among the best educational establishments in the world. The reasons are simple, but not always obvious… So when are we going to take example from them?
Japan is the most highly educated country in the world. It all starts in primary school, when pupils are seen more as adults than as children. Although Japanese schools can tend to be elitist, they are also extremely high quality educational environments, which teach children respect for the environment, how to clean their personal areas and how to master their emotions.
1/ The students learn respect for the environment, generosity and self-mastery ahead of academic subjects
As well as teaching, infant classes are mainly focused on good morals and pro-social behaviour. Academics come later.
2/ The school year starts on the 1st April, when the cherry blossoms flower
This could be to help stimulate inspiration and learning.
3/ It isn’t the teachers who clean the classrooms, but the students themselves
Japanese schools teach children from a very young age how to take care of their own living spaces. After the lunch break, it is also the students that clean up.
4/ There are no canteens, but the children eat lunch in their classrooms
Japanese schools make a point of serving healthy balanced meals to their pupils. There is no canteen, and the children and teachers eat together in the classroom, which they clean up afterwards. The children generally bring their lunchboxes with lunches prepared by their parents, and they serve themselves. If they have forgotten their “bentos”, they can choose a meal made by qualified chefs and health professionals. It’s a far cry from steak and chips on a Friday!
5/ The children remember their numbers by drawing and playing, not by learning them off by heart
Would it take you a few minutes to multiply 318 by 74 in your head? Apparently Japanese children can give you the answer in just a few seconds! There is no better way than learning through play.
6/ There are no substitute teachers – if a teacher is absent for a while, the students stay in the classroom and learn by themselves
If a teacher is absent for a few hours or even a few days, there is no substitute teacher put in place. The older students take out their books and study on their own. Hard to imagine in this country….