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 However, they’re outdated and rate pretty low when it comes to teaching because the kids all learn the same curriculum at the same pace.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!

教育改革チャンス

日本の政治家は学年度を現在の4月開始から9月に変更する討論をしている。それよりも、古くなった20世紀の教育システムから21世紀への移行について話し合うべきだ。

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)

今の重要な質問は「学校は何のためにあるか?パンデミック後の世界にどのように生徒に役立つか?」

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。

現在の学校は託児所や昼食屋の役割を果たしているため、保護者には人気がある。しかし、教育の面では時代遅れの機関である。なぜならば、全ての子供は同じことを同じスピードで学ぶからだ。オンライン教育なら各生徒が必修科目を自分のペースで学べる。賢い子供なら高校は14歳ででも卒業できる。更に、スタートをその学年度開始日ではなく、その子供の誕生日から開始できるのでとても平等にはなれる。入学式は今まで通りにその年の子供に開催すれば良い。実際の子供の入学はバラバラで誕生日で開始できる。

体育、部活や他の勉強以外のことに関しては実際のメリットを測って見直すべきだ。サッカー部の子供の何人かがプロに進むか?吹奏楽部の何人かがプロになるか?教育に対して体育館やグラウンドを走りまくる価値はどれぐらいあるか?一つ一つ、冷静に評価されると『子供の時間つぶし活動』になるだと思う。その子の将来には余り役立つと思えない。

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。

他国の上手くいっていない制度を真似することを辞めて、日本には日本独自の新型システムを作り上げるべきだ!

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English novels by Billy Hammond published by AELS

(AELS出版英語書籍リスト)

 

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

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