Friday, November 12, 2004
The Education Ministry adopted what it calls yutori kyoiku, or "loose education," a U.S.-inspired overhaul of its education system that reduced workloads. The aim was to make Japanese children more independent-minded and assertive like their American counterparts by cutting the number of facts they had to memorize and freeing up more time for critical thinking. The ministry slashed class workloads, cut the length of textbooks by 30% and gave kids Saturdays off. Educators also replaced traditional lecture-style instruction with out-of-class projects that emphasize analytical skills, such as visiting local merchants to write reports about business.Richer parents are moving their kids to private schools, and some schools are going back to basics.
Constructivism falls in another place.
(Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs.)