EDEV_505 Week 2_3

Thanks for the broad outline of how your educational values developed. I’d like to ask you about your assertion that “A good learning experience influences positively educational values” and vice versa (Alexandrou, 2016). At first sight, this statement seems self-explanatory, but on reflection, I think that there are some issues that need to be clarified.

What is, to you, a “good learning experience” as opposed to a bad one? In module 2, each cohort member had to describe six learning vignettes that we had experienced as learners, three each for positive and negative experiences. One of the biggest learning outcomes for the activities that followed on from there was the realisation that the same vignette could be understood from multiple perspectives. Looking back on these stories through the lens of educational values, I can reframe some of the negative experiences as differences in educational objectives between my own learning goals and the teachers’. I seriously wonder now if the teacher in each negative vignette would assess the situation as I had. Reflecting on the epistemological aspects of how I arrived at the good or bad judgement would be a useful move, i.e. how does a student know that the educational experience is good or not?

I have in mind a common situation as I see it in the Japanese education system. English language education is sequenced on a strict grammar syllabus. Tests are common and follow a “one-question-one-answer” routine where even slight deviances in expression are marked wrong (Sasaki, 2008). (For example, recently my bilingual English-speaking child was marked wrong for using UK spelling where only the US variant was deemed to be correct.) Success in this kind of education ratifies a particular value, however, claiming that the value of correctness is positive may be too far of a stretch. In other words, attaining a positive academic outcome will be a positive experience for students, but the type of value inculcation is likely to be negative. McVeigh (2002) goes as far as to label Japanese higher education in English, which is predicated on these values, as a myth.

These issues speak to the related issues of assessment, setting of educational objectives and the creation of curricula to deliver such desired outcomes. All of these, it can be shown, are highly infused with values.

Jim

Alexandrou, P. (2016, April 18). Re: Case study: Clarification of educational values. Message posted to https://my.ohecampus.com/lens/home?locale=en_us#.

McVeigh, B. J. (2002). Japanese Higher Education as Myth. The Journal of Japanese Studies (Vol. 30). Armonk: East Gate. doi:10.1353/jjs.2004.0010

Sasaki, M. (2008). The 150-year history of English language assessment in Japanese education. Language Testing,25(1), 63–83. doi:10.1177/0265532207083745

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About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a private university.
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