University Rankings: When are they important?

Many places rank universities, but do these rankings matter? It depends.  Few people choose universities based on rank only, but sometimes, rankings are useful. Elmira College, taken by HckySo But first, where do the university rankings come from? The USA Today puts out a well-known ranking of US colleges and universities.  For international universities, probably…
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High school teaching

Education and Memorization meet the Information Revolution

These days, you can look up nearly anything.  You can learn by watching tutorials on You Tube.  You can take a class at Coursera.  You can walk the streets of most famous cities with Google Street View. And you can do it all in your hand, anywhere, with a smart phone or tablet. That's now.…
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International Students and Two Year Colleges

Two year colleges and international education Lately, many international students are choosing to study at two-year colleges, or community colleges.  I noticed this a few years ago when some of the Japanese students I taught began looking for colleges to attend.  Why? Cost.  The cost of college is not cheap, and international students end up…
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Hidden Curriculum–Cleaning the School

Students Cleaning the School? You have probably heard of “hidden curriculum.” What does this mean?  Hidden curriculum are things that students do in which they learn something important but are outside of classes or the normal educational course of study. One of the most interesting examples of hidden curriculum is cleaning the school. Everyday here in Japan, usually…
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Using Projects to Teach English as a Foreign Language

Learning another language is a path to another culture. It can also be a complete waste of time, or at worst, incredibly boring. Of course, you want your students to be in the first group.  How do you do that? My answer is projects. Project-Based-Learning is very effective, and I've been teaching with it for…
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Teaching in Japan, how to get students to think

Teaching in Japan, how to get students to think, part one I teach in Japan.  I teach English in Japan. To most people, this may bring up images of a person lecturing about when to use a pronoun versus a noun, the diagramming of sentences, the difference between who and whom, lie and lay, and…
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Education, learning, and teaching in Japan

Japanese college students don’t want to study overseas.

Fewer Japanese students are studying abroad than just 8 years ago, and the number has been slowly declining. According to Tokyo Times, The number of Japanese students studying overseas peaked at 82,945 in 2004 and fell to 58,060 in 2010, according to the Ministry of Education. Fewer than 20,000 Japanese students studied in the United…
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What do Colleges Gain from International Students?

Why do colleges want international students so much? Money.  That’s the biggest reason, but there are several others. Let’s take a look. We will start first with the money.  Since most international students pay full fees for college overseas, this comes to a huge amount in colleges that attract many international students.  One good place…
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Teaching in Japan–What are your goals?

I am teaching in Japan now at a high school.  The classroom is each teachers temple, and teachers here are often left to their own devices.  This can be great, but if you want to more than that "funny foreign person," you need to succeed.  To do that, you need to have goals and plans to achieve those goals.…
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Novelty–different and new ideas are good for you

Beyond classroom education Novelty is an important idea in education.  I've seen it here and there, but basically it means that learning should be fun and new.  We should challenge our students with novel ideas in novel ways. Against that background, my colleague brought up a depressing story in the paper today.  In the largest…
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