By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

April 30, 2020

Education Reform Chance

Japan’s lawmakers are debating changing the start of the school year from April to September. They really should be talking about how to move their educational system into the 21st Century rather than trying to go backwards and repeat the 20th Century.

Learning can be carried out for all grades entirely online. For example, the Internet Academy in Washington State offers kindergarten through high school online and is fully accredited.

For those who feel they need to use the schools as babysitters, there is the more expensive and cumbersome “blended learning” wherein children can attend the physical schools and do some of their learning online. For more on the subject, you might want to take a look at my blog article, “Online Learning: K-12“.

The real question that needs to be asked here though is, “What are schools for and how will they prepare children to succeed in the new world that will replace what we had before the pandemic?”

The pandemic has taught us the importance of online communication and the irrelevance of many offices where people sit and work. Becoming an effective communicator online and knowing how to create a virtual presence are far more important now than sitting at a desk shuffling papers and stamping them. It’s a hint of the world that’s unfolding for the children of today.

Parents like the physical schools because they function as day care and lunch centers for their kids. However, they’re outdated and rate pretty low when it comes to teaching because the kids all learn the same curriculum at the same pace. Online learning would allow children to move through the required curriculum at their own speed and to graduate high school at fourteen if they’re smart enough.

As for clubs, PE classes and other extraneous things, each should be evaluated for what they actually provide. How many soccer kids become pro players? How many band members go on to become professional musicians? How much value does running around a gym or a field have educationally? I think that if each was honestly evaluated, they’d be ranked as “keep the kids busy” activities.

How valuable is having been a tuba player going to be in the child’s life in the future. Will having been a junior high soccer star help the child get a job?

Having the child work through modular courses at his own pace would be far more valuable. If the child is a quick learner, let him go through the educational process through grad school as fast as possible. For slow learners, online learning would provide as many repeated chances to learn a topic as necessary.

It’s time to start thinking about the world we live in and to stop trying to copy failing systems from overseas. Japan needs to innovate and come out on top again!



2020年なら全学年の教育は全てオンラインでできる。ワシントン州のInternet AcademyK-12(幼稚園~高3)の教育を全てオンラインで提供しているし、国・州に認可されている。(オンラインK-12教育について以前書いたブログ記事参照)


パンデミックがオンライン コミュニケーションの重要性を教えてくれた。今までの事務所の不要性も明らかになった。机の前に座って書類をめくったり、印鑑を押したりするよりもオンラインで会議で上手に自分のアイデアなどを伝えることやオンラインで印象に残るプレゼンス作りの方が大事だと分かった。今の子供達が働く明日の世界の前ぶりだ。



子供がオンライン モジュールを自分のペースで学ぶ方が現在の教育方法よりもよほど良い。覚えの速い子なら大学院まで進めばいいし、ゆっくりの子なら何回も同じことを覚えるチャンスを得る。



English novels by Billy Hammond published by AELS



I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers