On October 5, 2017, Japanese-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. By 2014, 20 Japanese have won the Nobel Prize (not including two Japanese-American Nobel Prize winners), including the Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, the Peace Prize and Literary prize. When travel to Japan, you will be amazed by how organize, clean, efficiency the city is. The people are generally extremely courteous and humble. You may have read the paper or the cartoon to get the sense about how the Japanese people sort the garbage and how the kindergarten is run by the Japanese, and amazed how civilized Japanese people are. If the former can represent Japan’s top scientific research ability, the latter can reflect the popularity and success of basic quality education in Japan, we have to admit that Japan’s education has its excels. This paper would try to find out the nature of education by looking into how Japanese view education.
Education is to guide the children to explore the unknown, to develop their ability to acquire knowledge and cherish the heart. When the Nobel Prize winner Osamu Shimomura in 2008 went talked about why he decided to pursue science, he said: “I do not study for any application or any other benefit, just want to figure out why the jellyfish glow.”(Duke 2008). Compared to the spoon-fed Test-oriented education and teach knowledge directly , experiential education would spontaneously to make children more curious, looking for the answer of “why”, but also allow them to learn how to deal with setbacks and failures in practice. To know that personal experience is much more important than learning from the book and paper. Japanese elementary school students are asked to participate in vegetable cultivation, take care for small animals kept by the school and often go outdoors to participate in activities. Have you heard about “food” education? This is Japan’s education concept for children. The so-called “food” is not only a simple table etiquette and nutrition collocation, it will also to strengthen the child’s love and care to the environment, thereby reducing the waste of food and resources. In order to let the children know the plants, animals, cultivate the spirit of cherishing food, the general kindergarten will have a small vegetable garden, raising a few rabbits or chicks. From turning the soil to the harvest, the children will be involved in the whole process. The children will understand their food of every day can only be harvest with hard work and care over more than half year, they will less likely to waste the food. It is the same in the case of animal, by taking care of the small animals, observing the animals, they will have a loving heart to life. It is a very important science enlightenment education to let the children get in touch of the nature, ignite the original pure desire and interest for the exploration to life at the time of childhood. because once you start really want to do something, you will find your childhood instinct and motivation is the most important one to push you forward ( Beauchamp 1994) .
The Japanese have given their children the right to choose, of course, they also let the children know they should be responsible for the results of the choice. Once you choose the wrong one, you may regret it, so choose is not a simple matter. From childhood, Japanese children know how to use limited resources to get the most benefit, Japan’s parenting books also teach the guardian about this. This way of education believes that if there is no room for children to choose, then the child will not know what they want, what is necessary for them, and what is their interest.
Education is to let everyone work hard with pride. In 1920, Japan’s primary school enrollment rate reached 99%. This is amazing data, thanks to the strong push of the Japanese government, “education is the cheapest defense”. This is not false. Today, Japan’s reading rate is still very high, it correlates to the extremely popular basic education and the formation of high literacy rate. It may not be that everyone has the opportunity or is suitable for higher education, which as a prerequisite, it is very important for a country to embrace basic compulsory education and perfect vocational education. At this point, Japan has done a very good job. Teach the basic knowledge necessary to survive in society, cultivate the ability to work as a stepping stone, and teach people to respect the importance of each profession.
As the Japanese TV series, “Hanzawa Naoki ” mentioned that “Japan is supported by every small screw.” Our society is also running by the support of every job, what education should do is to let everyone hard work in their own positions with a proud heart.
Education is to cultivate civilized people. The formation of perspectives and establishment of three views of the people are largely depends on the degree of education. Some education may be struggling to cope with exams, and forgetting that impart knowledge is important, but it is more important to educate and cultivate people. The successful of education lies in that the people keeps doing the very basic things that been taught when they are very young, like have requirements to self not on others, express appreciation regularly, avoid bring troubles to others and line up in the queue.
For the promotion of the spirit of education, the media has the highest transmission capacity, influential media also shoulder a very important role. If you watch closely, you will find that in Japan’s film and television works, the “education” scene occupies a large proportion of it and campus theme is always one of the mainstream theme. These external factors, campus, family as well as the reflected changes in the way young people think during growth have been scarcely shown in some country. Whether it is the positive description, or negative portray of some significant figures, whether it is trying to persuade , or provide guidance in an unexpected way, they are actively discussing a topic – what is education? how to educate people?
Education is a “co-education”. First of all, parents and children should be honest with each other and grow together. Parents’ growth can bring the child’s growth. Second, the awareness of education of the school and the teacher as well as the quality of them should be enhanced, they should not only to impart knowledge, it is more important to know how to convey the essence of being a human to students. Teacher’s growth can also bring the child’s growth.
I personally agree with the nature of education in Japanese view. Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. The purpose of the Japanese education is also to ignite children’s passion at first, to develop their ability to acquire knowledge and cherish the heart, then let them acknowledge their own value, at last teach them to be a civilized part of the society. These basic idea in education constitutes their success.