Edev_501 Response wk1_6

You speak of the rise ‘in most countries towards non-formal education’. Perhaps this statement ought to be qualified somewhat. I suspect that you are referring to MOOCs and their usefulness in targeting particular needs in this age of rapid change in the workplace, but you may be referring to something else. Talking about tertiary eduction, I don’t see this trend in Japan which has seen around 2.8 million students enter higher education every year since 2005 (Japan Statistics Bureau, 2014). Of the 40 OECD countries charted in the ‘Enrolment rates of 20-29 year-olds’, only three had reduced rates since 2005 and all had higher enrolment as compared with 1995 (OECD, 2014). I feel that your statement is accurate, but that may only be a sense I get because of the degree of connectivity we are experiencing these days, and the push from MOOC creators. I’d like to see data that supports your view.

I fully agree with you about the need to be self-aware of ‘one’s own cultural predilections’. It’s all too easy to assume that, for example, our own held notions of the value of human and cultural capital are common agreements worldwide. Of course, they’re not.

In your final paragraph, you outline three theories of learning. I would characterise whole education systems as utilising one theory more than another rather than at the level of the individual. Japan’s primary teaching modality is the lecture approach. The ‘sage on the stage’ is firmly in front of the blackboard, and the learner is expected to rote memorise the information handed down. Here, the concept of individual learning styles has yet to catch on.

References
OECD (2014), Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing.http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2014-en

Accessed April 12 2015

Statistical Handbook of Japan 2014, Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan.

Accessed April 12 2015

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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