Last week, I was invited to present in an international education conference in Mongolia (albeit small scale).
The theme of the conference was “issue and solution of pre/primary education.”
I thought that would be a great chance to present the current project I am in charge of (project to support 1st grader’s school transition). But I was asked to talk something about Japan, mainly because I would be presenting as a Guest from Japan (although I am based in Mongolia!). ←Probably the conference did not have enough budget to invite many people from Japan (there was one college professorーREAL guest from Japan).
♪Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred (525,600) minutes,
♪How do you measure, measure a year?
―“seasons of Love” from the musical Rent―
With just one day to go to finish this year, this song came to my mind, which got me thinking “How do I measure year 2015?”.
Then I came to pick up travelling, job, people and books.
By nature, children have a playful mind.
However, as I pointed out in the previous post (Forgotten Play), kids tend to forget that mind as they grow up. Unfortunately, education system and teachers can be the ones which take it away.
Therefore, educators themselves should have playful mind first in order to enhance kids’ play and learning, instead of destroying it.
And I think the key to that lies in ART, the “non-core subject” which tends to be underestimated.
Recently, I had a great encounter. I didn’t expect to meet this person in Mongolia, the person who I would say is well-known to the majority of Japanese: Mr. Hirotada Ototake, the author of “No one’s perfect” (in Japanese, Gotai Humanzoku which literally means without limbs). He came to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to an event for opening new bookstore branch and introduce his book translated into Mongolian.
Furthermore, at this event, Mongolian national iconic person, Asa Shoryu (previous sumo wrestling Champion in Japan) was also present, so it was double unexpected encounter for me.
Recently I happened to watch a movie “Ma Vie en Rose (My Life in pink)”, a French movie made in 1997, nearly 20 years ago, and this movie got me thinking several things.
And later on, I watched one TED-Ed video about biology of several species including us human beings.
From those two sources, I realized how mysterious the system of X and Y is, about which I will talk about in this blog.
Last Sunday, I joined a marathon. But it was not just a regular one as other big cities usually offer: it was a Grassland Marathon which I think is very unique to Mongolia (and the 1st prize is a horse!).
It was indeed a nice experience, especially as a person who lives in a city, appreciation for seeing colored nature (mainly green) was beyond words.
Speaking of appreciation of seeing color, there is other point of view in relation to those who have color blindness, and I just came across a wonderful technology which can fundamentally change the world of color blind people.
This is my 200th blog post. Looking back over the last 5 years (initial point of this blog in November 2009) I wrote whatever which came to mind and did not care about the content, let alone continuing it. But I think this is something I would like to keep doing in my own pace, and I hope to improve such that I become very good at.
Speaking of which, are you good at what you really like?
When I was a early primary school teacher, I had several opportunities to talk about this kind of thing, since there are many materials on it, such as self-introduction card. And some kids had hard time filling them out and asked me some help, to which I used to say the following:
It is really hard to find something you are passionate about not only for you young generation but also for adults, so those who already found it, please keep cultivating it. If you don’t have it yet, don’t worry, you will find it eventually, maybe you can start whatever you might think of, because sometimes what you are good at can turn into be what you really like. What’s important is constantly looking for and taking action.
Nodding their heads, some students came to think of something to fill out with. But kids, it was actually a message for all of us, including me.