The Overworked Japanese Teacher

Posted Posted in Education, Japan, News

It is with regularity that news articles appear that discuss the issue of the overworked Japanese school teacher. An article in The Asahi Shimbun reveals that Japanese teachers have the worst ratio across the OECD of hours spent at work to hours spent actually teaching. A article in The Yomiuri Shimbun explains that a special committee of the […]

Robots Passing University Entrance Exams

Posted Posted in Education, News

The artificial intelligence of a robot developed at one of Japan’s most prestigious universities – Tokyo University – was good enough to best 80% of students taking the same test. While the robot’s results wouldn’t have got it accepted into Tokyo University, who have the bar to entry set particularly high, the results would have been adequate […]

Photo by Nicolas Rénac

Happy Birthday JET

Posted Posted in Education, Japan, News

Probably half the expats I know here in Japan were JETS early in their formative teaching years. The Japan English and Teaching Program (JET) turned 30 years old earlier this month, serving as a conduit for Japanese culture, as well as fostering language education throughout schools and government organizations the length and breadth of Japan. […]

University Exam Revisions: Implications for English Teaching

Posted Posted in Education, News

The Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has announced reforms to the means of admission into Japan’s public and private universities. This includes revising its own entrance exam format as well as creating a more transparent and thorough recommendation and selection pathway for students to enter university based on high school […]

CONTENT and SYSTEMS (America’s “Common Core” Experience)

Posted Posted in Education, Japan, Longform, The Workplace

When you talk with Americans about how our education reforms are going, you will hear about something called The Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Usually, the words “Common Core” are uttered disparagingly.  Advocates for teachers resist the idea of education being reduced to something graduated and quantified.  Advocates for local control see The Common Core as a power grab […]