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NY1 Online: "Looking For Answers: Inside Tokyo Schools" [Full Program]: Education Reporter Lindsey Christ traveled to the Far East to produce the hour-long special report, Looking For Answers: Inside Tokyo Schools, a look at what New York City schools can learn from schools in Japan. [48 minutes]
An interesting (48 mins) documentary on Japanese schools from a NYC reporter. It is more about Japan but there's a bit about NYC, too. My notes:
Japanese schools have older kids interact with younger kids. Compulsory education actually ends with 9th grade even though 95% go on to senior high, which clearly shows how compulsory attendance is not the only driver of education policy. The Japanese also wants to shift their schools away from producing industrial workers and are questioning the factory model.
A fascinating part is a look at how Japan handles food. They give the kids very extensive information on the food across the board, every schgool has its own nutritionist and every meal is prepared from scratch at the school, and then the food is brought into classrooms and kids serve and learn portion sizes and try new flavors, and kids wash hands, brush their teeth and cleanup the classroom after food is served. Japan saves extensive money in healthcare with this it is noted. And the Japanese get kids moving, too with daily stretching and running. Ever school has a pool and every student learns to swim. And Japan has added traditional martial arts, archery, drumming, and dance to school requirements. Schools also do complete health checks.
An interesting look at Japanese school refusers. It is not considered truancy but an opt-out and there were over a 100,000 recently. Japanese parents want these kids to go (on the whole) and there is a new school that allows these _school refusers_ to attend something different, a bit of the "free school" movement, Japanese style. Homeschooling isn't on the radar according to this report. But the problem of hikikomori, those who will not leave their apartments, is also a factor in this very group-focused society. Bullying is a growing issue and the documentary examines what's happening with this as well.
A look at teachers concludes the documentary. And the overall emphasis on the group and complete equity among schools are base points for Japan schools.