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How Japanese elementary schools differ from Western schools

"Children learn early on (beginning in preschool) to maintain cooperative relationships with their peers; to follow the set school routines; and to value punctuality (from their first year in elementary school). Classroom management emphasizes student responsibility and stewardship through emphasis on daily chores such as cleaning of desks and scrubbing of classroom floors. Students are encouraged to develop strong loyalties to their social groups, e.g. to their class, their sports-day teams, their after-school circles, e.g. baseball and soccer teams. Leadership as well as subordinate roles, as well as group organization skills are learnt through assigned roles for lunchtime (kyushoku touban), class monitor or class chairperson and other such duties.

The teaching culture in Japan differs greatly from that of schools in the west. Teachers are particularly concerned about developing the holistic child and regard it as their task to focus on matters such as personal hygiene, nutrition, sleep that are not ordinarily thought of as part of the teacher's duties in the west. Students are also taught proper manners, how to speak politely and how to address adults as well as how to relate to their peers in the appropriate manner. They also learn public speaking skills through the routine class meetings as well as many school events during the school year." see Education in Japan

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