After the terrorist attacks in Paris in November, Kazuya Takahashi, an English teacher at Kogakuin University Junior and Senior High School in western Tokyo, urged his students to discuss the Islamic State threat.

The junior high students were asked to share their thoughts on how the tragic event could affect the ongoing Syrian crisis and discuss the pros and cons of accepting refugees.

"I explained to them that the most important part of their education is not gaining knowledge itself but taking responsibility for what they learn," Takahashi, 35, said. "I want them to use their knowledge in real life and encourage them to contemplate the problems they might encounter."