日本教育的好處 ~ Japanese Education’s Strong Points

日本教育的好處
作者:史杰輝
編輯:周長楨

大學畢業後我在日本五所國立中小學校教了兩年的英文。我一共跟四十多位老師跟一千多個學生一起上課。根據我的觀點這種了解日本教育的機會真是鳳毛麟角。日本教育跟我國教育比起來,缺陷有倒是有,可是在原則方面也有很明顯的優點,以下我要擧一些例子。

許多美國朋友,尤其是男生表示他們小學的時候討厭上課因爲令他們悶得發慌。更可憐的是許多教育者以爲類似的坐立不安的學生有精神病,因此讓他們天天吃葯。不過孩子本來不適合坐著念書,而需要常常運動、體驗。雖然日本也有不少應升學主義而成爲「書呆子」的學生,但是學校都爲了培養四育起見,進行各種各樣的活動,尤其是小學。我的學生往往要參加似乎無限的活動,包括園藝、種田、每日運動、藝術、表演、工作經歷、拜訪療養院等等,這幫助學生同時明白和培養自己的興趣和擴大經驗的範圍。我認爲一般的學校之所以智育站首要地位就是因爲智育是最容易管理的方面而已。

美國老師的標準與地位都不如日本老師。日本用淘汰制度挑選老師,原因在於該工作的名聲、穩定性,而且薪水很高。老師也在教書生涯中受訓練、加班。因此我認識的日本老師大部分都不但聰明而且認真。

我最後要討論日本老師的責任感。如果學生受傷或是被逮捕,醫生跟警察一定給學生的「担任老師」打電話,老師無論如何都會到學生那裡去。開學的時候老師爲了了解學生的家庭情形起見要拜訪他所有學生的家。老師也每個星期都要看學生寫給他們的日記,然後老師給學生私人指導。我不要說美國老師應該像日本老師一樣當學生生活上最重要的人,原因之一是日本跟美國有不能調和的文化差異,不過我個人在日本教書的時候感到我跟自己中小學老師的距離是一個缺憾。

因爲受到時間的限制,我只能談到這三個現象,不過因爲我對這個話題相當有興趣,歡迎各位老師跟同學隨時跟我一起討論日本教育的情形。

Japanese Education’s Strong Points
Author: James Smyth
Editor: Zhou Chang-zhen

After graduating from college, I taught English in Japan for two years. I had class with over 40 teachers and 1000 students altogether; it was a precious opportunity to learn about Japanese education. Though Japanese schools don’t surpass my home country in every respect, it still has many good qualities, some of which I’ll describe here.

Many of my American friends, especially men, have told me that they hated going to elementary school because it bored them out of their minds. What’s worse is that many educators assumed restless students like them had mental problems and fed these children medicine day after day. But young people aren’t meant to sit and read all day: they need to exercise and try different things. Although Japan has more than a few bookworms, its schools, especially elementary schools, still offer several kinds of activities designed to provide a well-rounded training of the body, knowledge, teamwork, and morality. My students participated in a seemingly endless number of events, including gardening, rice-planting, daily exercise, art, work experiences, visiting nursing homes, and so forth. This helped them realize their own interests and abilities and expand their horizons. I think the majority of schools devote most of their time to the “knowledge” side of education simply because that’s the easiest to teach.

Japanese teachers have to meet higher standards than their American counterparts and also receive more respect. Teachers have to compete for positions in Japan because the occupation has so much esteem, stability, and remuneration. Teachers receive training and work overtime throughout their careers. Hence, most of the teachers I met there were not only intelligent but also hard-working.

Finally, I’d like to discuss Japanese teachers’ sense of responsibility to their students. If a student is injured or arrested, the doctor or policeman will call his homeroom teacher, and the teacher will drop everything and visit the student no matter what. At the beginning of the school year, teachers visit students’ homes to understand their families’ circumstances. Students also write diaries for their teachers, who after reading them give their students guidance. I’m not saying American teachers should become the most important people in their students’ lives, as Japanese teachers are – for one, there is a vast cultural differences between the two countries – but after teaching in Japan, I felt regret about the distance between me and my elementary and junior high school teachers.

Because of time constraints, I can only discuss these three phenomena, but because I’m very interested in this topic, I invite my teachers and classmates to discuss Japanese education with me any time.

Explore posts in the same categories: Education, Japan, Schoolwork, 中文

One Comment on “日本教育的好處 ~ Japanese Education’s Strong Points”

  1. james smyth Says:

    nicely written. i was also struck by the responsibility students have to clean the school, serve themselves, and clean up after lunch. the culture’s value for teachers seems key. thanks for writing about this!


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