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DPJ plans on 6-year teacher training program


Why do I sense the continued and dreaded practice of  too much “teacher-talking-time” in the classroom? When will Japanese education put more effort into letting the students brainstorm, discuss, debate and figure things out on their own? I think  students in Japan need less “talk ‘n chalk” from the teacher and instead more skills which will aid in improving critical thinking, discipline, mental / social health and other “practices” which will “nuture” them into being productive members of the global society. 

I guess the DPJ’s plan will not get rid of window-lickers (employees waiting for retirement / drawing a paycheck that barely contribute to accomplishing the mission at hand) but it could be a push for teachers in Japan to” force the powers that be to move away from certain practices used to achieve particular academic or test outcomes. Then again, I wonder if the DPJ plan will impact the JET and other “foreign” teacher programs?

The Democratic Party of Japan will extend the four-year training program to certify teachers to six years from the 2012 academic year if it takes power in Sunday’s House of Representatives election, in a bid to improve the quality of teachers, party sources said Thursday. At the same time, it will scrap the teacher license renewal system that began in April this year because it believes the system puts too much burden on schools and teachers, with the effects unknown, the sources said.

A DPJ-led administration will also oblige teacher trainees to intern at schools for one year during the six-year program—four years at an undergraduate level and two years at a graduate level, they said. The proposal to scrap the license renewal system contrasts with the policy of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which pledges in its election platform to secure highly qualified teachers by steadily implementing the new system.

The proposal came from the DPJ’s scrutiny of wasteful government spending, the results of which were released in July, and falls in line with the stance of the Japan Teachers’ Union—an affiliate of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, which supports the DPJ—and calls for a review of the system, which it says is confusing to schools and teachers. Click here for more.

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