The Two Systems
"The Mainichi" recently ran an article comparing and contrasting international school and Japanese school. The article is well worth a read and can be found here. So many of the students we have at Lexis have similar experiences to the one described in said article. Her thesis is basically that there are differences between Japanese and international education systems, and both have their own merits and drawbacks. The effectiveness of either system may ultimately depend on an individual student's needs, capabilities, and preferences. She suggests that experiencing both systems can provide valuable insights and a broader understanding of education.
Active Learning in the Classroom
As a teacher, educator, administrator and representative of Lexis, I try to listen as much as possible to what students are saying. It is a critically important thing to keep in mind when working with students directly. Ms. Watson's quote about "active learning" struck me as so true. She noted how recently some progressive Japanese schools promoted themselves on this educational approach, which is based on students interacting with each other instead of learning from a textbook. Yet, to her, and myself, this was "old news" in international schools, where debates and class discussions are considered normal.
At Lexis "active learning" has always been at the core of our teaching methodology. Our classrooms are vibrant spaces, often much livelier than any of the high school or junior high school classrooms I worked at previously, before joining Lexis. Here, students don't just passively consume information, but actively engage in discussions, debates, and critical thinking projects. At the end of the day this makes learning more enjoyable. Not just because we hear from our own students, but it also fosters critical thinking, creativity, and effective communication - skills that are vital in today's global society.
At Lexis, we understand the importance of play and relaxation alongside rigorous study. We appreciate that every student is unique, and make our best efforts to tailor our teaching to meet individual needs. We're not a 'juku', cramming information into students. Instead, we try to be a window to the international community and give kids a chance to experience both international and Japanese classrooms. For many of our students, we are also a window into their past, reminding them of their years when they did live abroad.
I found the article insightful and reflective of my own observations as a teacher in both Japanese and international systems. It's a delicate balancing act, catering to the different needs of students, while also equipping them with the knowledge and skills required in the wider world. However, at Lexis, we're committed to doing just that. It's not always easy, but it's incredibly rewarding. Finally, I applaud the author of this article, Ms. Watson, for putting herself out there. I aspire for all students at Lexis to acquire the same level of confidence and fearlessness in expressing themselves as she has shown here.