Japanese look at the Dutch to shape their Schools’ Futures

The Japanese people from Core Plus posing for a group photo with the AUC students.

Last Thursday, a group of 20 Japanese people came walking into the Academic Building of Amsterdam University College (AUC). Armed with a range of Sony cameras and notebooks, the group, existing of people ranging in age from 20 to 40, was ready to meet with a group of AUC’s Dutch students to have a conversation about this country’s educative system. This and other meetings were set up by an Osakan non-profit organization called Core Plus. They had just spent the last 3 weeks touring through the Netherlands, visiting a primary school,  a Montessori school, high schools, and a university. Almost everyone being either a teacher or an aspiring one, their mission is to reshape Japan’s educative from the inside out by studying the approaches different countries take.

One of the people that stood out most among the group was Hayato Saito, a 34-year-old primary school teacher and part-time clown from the Southern part of Japan. Being used to the strict way of teaching in Japan, he was surprised at how the Dutch seem to have more room for input from their pupils. “In Japan, the teacher only tells you the information and you have to learn from that. The classes here seem to be more interactive,” Saito said. According to him, this makes it so that Japanese students don’t feel like they enjoy their time in school too much, a problem he tries to solve by cheering them up with his circus acts.

According to Mao Uno, an aspiring English teacher from Tokyo, this problem continues even at the university level. Whereas in the Netherlands you don’t always have to do an entrance exam before you are allowed start your degree, this is the standard for universities in Japan. “Most students in Japan study very hard for their entrance exam and really want to be accepted,” said Uno, “Because there is such a high barrier, however, this makes it so that they are less motivated to work hard as soon as they get in.” Uno also emphasized that this lack of motivation has made it so the students get barely-passing grades and mainly spend time looking on their phone during class. She believes this is a great problem, which is why she is now looking at the Dutch way of teaching for some answers to this problem.

When asked, most Dutch people said they enjoyed the cultural exchange. Even though there was a slight language gap between some of the people, most managed to get a very sensible discussion on a range of topics that ranged from primary school experiences to weed consumption. Afterwards, a group photo was taken and Facebook contacts were exchanged between the two groups. The Japanese certainly seemed ready for innovation in the field, and perhaps they found some inspiration in their visit here.

Portrayed from left to right are 大曽根彬, Jannah Sonnenschein, Mao Uno, Klaas Schoenmaker and Hayato Saito

 

2 gedachten over “Japanese look at the Dutch to shape their Schools’ Futures”

  1. – Interviews (partially mixed):
    Mao Uno:
    Good trip
    Tokyo
    Stayed in Den Haag
    Staying in Amsterdam
    Visited Montessori
    Cheese
    Student (english->teach)
    University
    Demotivated
    Entrance exams
    Study load
    – > Demotiv
    Distracted in class
    (phone ipad etc)
    Tight schedule
    (image from schedule ±3 hrs/day)
    No high grades
    Weed?
    Japan illegal
    want -> Medical use

    Hayato Saito:
    English not too good
    South (unintelligible)
    Teacher yng kids
    (34 yo)
    Dutch > free schedules, Japan
    Good(?)
    Jpn: School not fun
    Clown
    (Trick with face contracting)
    Make school more fun
    Engaging
    Weed should be illegal

    Jannah: Interesting group, fun people. Learned from culture

    Info about corporation from Henry Buckley:
    Organization Core+ from Osaka
    Non-profit
    Studying different educational institutions
    Studentes, teachers, researchers

  2. Japanese look at the Dutch to shape their Schools’ Futures [CLEAR AND INFORMATIVE HEADLINE, EFFECTIVELY CAPTURES THE STORY AND THE NEWS ANGLE. ONE STYLE NOTE: YOU SHOULD SPECIFY “JAPANESE” HERE. IT’S NOT OFFENSIVE OR IMPROPER TO USE “JAPANESE,” BUT IT HELPS THE READER TO KNOW WHO THEY WERE OTHER THAN JUST BEING JAPANESE. WERE THEY STUDENTS? GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES? TOURISTS? YOU GET THE IDEA]

    Last Thursday, a group of 20 Japanese people [LIKEWISE, “PEOPLE” IS PRETTY UNSPECIFIC] came walking into [WALKED INTO > CAME WALKING INTO; ALWAYS LOOK FOR WAYS TO BE MORE CONCISE] the Academic Building of Amsterdam University College (AUC). Armed with a range of Sony cameras and notebooks, the group, existing of people ranging in age from 20 to 40, was ready to meet with a group of AUC’s Dutch students to have a conversation about this country’s educative [EDUCATION] system. This and other meetings were set up by an Osakan non-profit organization called Core Plus. [BRIEFLY DESCRIBE WHAT THIS NON-PROFIT DOES] They [WHO IS “THEY”?] had just spent the last 3 [SPELL OUT NUMERALS LESS THAN 10] weeks touring through the Netherlands, visiting a primary school, a Montessori school, high schools, and a university. Almost everyone being either a teacher or an aspiring one [THIS INFO NEEDS TO GO EARLIER!], their mission is to reshape Japan’s educative [EDUCATION SYSTEM? OR JAPANESE EDUCATION?] from the inside out by studying the approaches different countries take. [YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS HERE, BUT I WOULD EXPECT TO FIND OUT HOW EXACTLY THEY WILL APPLY THEIR NEWFOUND KNOWLEDGE TO RESHAPE JAPAN’S EDUCATION SYSTEM; THIS LINE ALSO RELATES TO THE COMMENT ABOUT NEEDING TO EXPLAIN CORE PLUS’ MISSION]

    One of the people that stood out most [WH? IN WHAT WAY?] among the group was Hayato Saito, a 34-year-old primary school teacher and part-time clown from the Southern [NOT CAPITALIZED] part of Japan. Being used to the strict way of teaching in Japan, he was surprised at how the Dutch seem to have more room for input from their pupils. “In Japan, the teacher only tells you the information and you have to learn from that. [ATTRIBUTION GOES HERE] The classes here seem to be more interactive,” Saito said. According to him, this makes it so that Japanese students don’t feel like they enjoy their time in school too much, a problem he tries to solve by cheering them up with his circus acts. [DURING CLASS?]

    According to Mao Uno, an aspiring [KEEP THE BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL CONSISTENT; YOU INCLUDED SAITO’S AGE, SO INCLUDE UNO’S HERE] English teacher from Tokyo, this problem continues even at the university level. Whereas in the Netherlands you [“ONE” OR “STUDENTS”] don’t always have to do an entrance exam before you are allowed start your degree, this is the standard for universities in Japan. “Most students in Japan study very hard for their entrance exam and really want to be accepted,” said Uno, “Because there is such a high barrier, however, this makes it so that they are less motivated to work hard as soon as they get in.” [GOOD QUOTE] Uno also emphasized [AVOID USING THIS IN PLACE OF “SAID”] that this lack of motivation has made it so the students get barely-passing grades and mainly spend time looking on their phone during class [TO BE HONEST, IS THIS SO DIFFERENT AT AUC?]. She believes this is a great [GREAT AS IN IMPORTANT, OR AS IN GOOD?] problem, which is why she is now looking at the Dutch way of teaching for some answers to this problem.

    [OK, AT THIS POINT SOME OF THOSE QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE TOP OF THE STORY SHOULD BE ADDRESSED. FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT ANSWERS DID UNO FIND? WHAT ARE THESE EDUCATORS LEARNING THAT THEY WANT APPLY? MOST IMPORTANTLY, HOW DO THEY INTEND TO APPLY THEIR KNOWLEDGE? WHAT HOPES DO THEY HAVE TO REALLY CHANGE JAPANESE EDUCATION? LOTS OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS, BUT WHICH SHOULD BE POSED TO THESE VISITORS]

    When asked, most Dutch people [AGAIN, BE SPECIFIC. THE DUTCH AUC STUDENTS, RIGHT?] said they enjoyed the cultural exchange. Even though there was a slight language gap between some of the people, most managed to get a very sensible discussion on a range of topics that ranged from primary school experiences to weed consumption. [EXAMPLES WOULD BE NICE] Afterwards, a group photo was taken and Facebook contacts were exchanged between the two groups. [IF YOU NEED TO CUT LINES TO MAKE ROOM, THESE LAST TWO LINES ARE PRIME CANDIDATES. THERE MUST BE SOME QUOTE THAT YOU CAN USE IN PLACE OF THE KICKER] The Japanese certainly seemed ready for innovation in the field, and perhaps they found some inspiration in their visit here.

    KLAAS,
    NICE FIND FOR A STORY. TIMELY, NEWSWORTHY, AND WITH A CLEAR NEWS ANGLE. THIS ALLOWS YOUR PIECE TO HAVE A CLEAR FRAMEWORK AND COHERENT STRUCTURE. IT’S CLEAR THAT YOU HAD A GOOD SENSE OF WHAT YOUR STORY WAS ABOUT AND WHAT YOU NEEDED FOR IT. HOWEVER, AS YOU CAN SEE, THIS WASN’T FOLLOWED THROUGH COMPLETELY. THERE ARE SOME ISSUES AT THE SENTENCE LEVEL, PARTICULARLY WITH BEING MORE SPECIFIC. BUT THE MAIN ISSUES HAVE TO DO WITH THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS–SOME OF WHICH MIGHT REQUIRE SOME EXTRA REPORTING. THE LAST PART OF THE STORY IS ESPECIALLY PROBLEMMATIC. IT FEELS LIKE THERE’S A BIT OF A RUSH TO WRAP THINGS UP, WITHOUT ADDRESSING SOME KEY POINTS. OVERALL, THE STRENGTH OF THE ASSIGNMENT IS IN ITS CONCEPTION. THE WEAKNESS IS THE EXECUTION, BUT THE PATH FORWARD FOR A REVISION IS FAIRLY STRAIGHTFORWARD. GRADE: 75 (B+)

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