Quote of the Month 5
The quote for August:
As an educator it is my duty to empower you to think, so that you can go forth and think accurate thoughts about how the world is put together, inoculating you against the charlatans out there who will exploit your ignorance on anything they possibly can.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
A couple years ago, due to a research project we conducted at our school, (connecting critical reading with logical writing) I came to the conclusion that teaching thinking skills would be much more beneficial for the students than simply concentrating on obscure English grammar that they would see nowhere except some test. As we conducted our research, I realized that the students weren’t learning critical reading or writing skills in their Japanese classes. How were we supposed to teach them to think critically in a foreign language when they weren’t even capable of doing it in Japanese?
One of the hardest things about living in this culture is the extent to which they will go to not upset the people around them or in their “group.” (If you are interested, look up honne and tattemae) So imagine their reaction when you tell them to come up with an opposing opinion! Some of them never get it. They insist on the safe answer – the group response. It’s immensely frustrating. However, I get much more satisfaction when I get through to a few of my students while playing devil’s advocate than I ever did when they were simply writing grammatically correct sentences.