Regarding the Sept. 14 editorial, “Test scores can’t tell all about kids“: It is true, of course, that disclosure of student scores is not the purpose of the annual nationwide achievement tests. The purpose is for educators to use the results wisely in improving children’s abilities. The education ministry is expected to apply the results toward real situations.
The editorial concludes with: “The education ministry should think whether the nationwide achievement tests assist teachers’ efforts to rouse children’s interest in learning and to improve their overall ability, including the ability to think and to cooperate with others, free from outside pressures.”
How, then, is it possible to rouse children’s interest in learning without disclosing test results to each child and to his or her teachers? I know this is a big political problem, but I can’t stop thinking about this question. I dream of a scenario in which teachers and pupils at each school have meaningful communication about the test results. Shouldn’t this be the normal aim of the nationwide achievement tests?
Furthermore, what actually is a student’s “overall ability” in this 21st-century world? Of course, it includes the “ability to think and cooperate with others.” But I believe what’s most important are flexibility and adaptability. So many different languages and cultures exist in the world. Each one of us, in fact, must learn how to live with differences.
So, I would say that a mind-set or an “education of coexistence” will contribute to making the most of Japan.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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