Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Fad in Japan

From the New York Times: Japanese Envy India's Schools.

Most annoying for many Japanese is that the aspects of Indian education they now praise are similar to those that once made Japan famous for its work ethic and discipline: learning more at an earlier age, an emphasis on memorization and cramming, and a focus on the basics, particularly in math and science.

I, on the other hand, argue for less focus on cramming and memorization so our kids can learn to think out-of-the-box. What do you think?

8 comments:

backpakker said...

Have you seen Taare Zameen Par ? Please do if you havent ..its a lovely movie with a nice take on education amongst other things

Zhu said...

I'm in-between. French still think school is a place to learn things from books, with a lot of formal tests (test you can actually fail!), lots of memorization etc.

I'm glad I got this education. Okay, sometimes it's too much... yet I find people a bit too relax here in Canada. I mean, school ends at 3 pm so that kids can go out and play!

Shantanu said...

@backpakker: I did see Taare Zameen Par; it's probably one of the best Bollywood movies of 2007. It does raise questions about the level of stress we put on children at early ages. However, this system has worked for many of us. :-)

@zhu: That's interesting. So the French system is rigorous too. In India, you have to pass tests too.

Kristie said...

Hey, Renny sent me! Have a wonderful 2008! Love, Kristie in Oslo, Norway

Vishal Pipraiya said...

Really my complete higher education has been held hostage to learning by heart. It's something I find terribly difficult to do.

Shantanu said...

@kristie: Hi, and thanks. Wish you a Very Happy New Year too!

@vishal: There are many others who would share your point of view.

indicaspecies said...

Even though Indian education system is, more or less, a success story, I am still of the opinion that we should let our children enjoy their childhood and not deprive them of it in our endeavour for a 'perfectionist' education system.

Is it right to push those tender minds to that extent? Isn't it in order to encourage them to do what they are good at, rather than forcefully try to breed geniuses?

Btw, I salute Aamir Khan for his fabulous creation, Taare Zameen Par. He has handled such a sensitive subject so well.

Shantanu said...

@indicaspecies: My own opinion is to be more flexible during the early years until the kids are in the 6th grade (or so) before we get into the really intense system currently prevalent. Ditto for home-work that is now pretty rough.