🌜海外研修🌛 🌜Professional Development Training🌛

突然ですが、OECD(経済協力開発機構)のPISA(学習到達度調査)をご存知ですか?
これは、世界の15歳児を対象に読解力、数学的リテラシー、科学的リテラシーの三分野について、3年ごとに調査を実施するものです。世界中の義務教育修了段階の子どもたちの学力を図ろうというわけです。

日本はこの調査において、2015年の結果がそれぞれ以下の通りでした。

科学的リテラシー:2位
読解力:8位
数学的リテラシー:5位

72カ国中の結果なので、決して悪いわけではありません。しかし、この3分野全てで1位(!)をとった国があります。どこの国だかわかりますか?

…答えはシンガポールです!

そんなシンガポールに、3月中旬に研修にいってきました。この慌ただしいときにわざわざ研修に行ってきたのには理由があり、本園で申請を検討中の国際教育プログラムの導入に必要な研修だったからです。

こちらを出発するときには厚手の上着を着ていましたが、向こうに着くとそこは常夏の暑さ💦半袖短パンの人ばかりです!

研修の舞台となったのはカナディアンインターナショナルスクールという学校です。幼稚園から高校までの一貫教育校です。教育内容だけでなく、施設も大変素晴らしかったです。

研修は3日間、連日朝8時頃から夕方17時頃までぶっ続けです。主にアジア太平洋地域の国々の先生方や教育関係者の方々が参加していました。もちろん、全てが英語で行われます。英語が得意ではない人はごくわずかでしたが、それでもその方々も一生懸命自分の考えを話します。全体で恐らく300人以上は参加していたかと思いますが、日本人は私ともう1人(東京のインターナショナルスクールの方)だけでした。

日本でもこういった研修はありますが、海外で行われる研修にこのように足を運ぶのは確実に価値があると感じました。世界各地の教育事情を生の声で聞くことができるのと、貴重なコネクションができるからです。いくつかの学校と、将来的にスカイプやインターネットを通じた子どもたち同士の交流も約束させていただきました。

観光の「か」の字もする時間はありませんでしたが、夕食には地元の人が行くホーカーと呼ばれる屋台が並ぶところで食事を楽しむことができました。

こちらはリーズナブルなお値段でしたが、シンガポールは総じてどこにいっても値段が高いです!近年急速に経済が発展し、世界屈指の物価の高さになりました。でもどこもきれいで、とても魅力的な街並みが広がっています。日本、負けてられません💦

滞在中にシンガポールに駐在中の親友と夕食をともにすることができました。彼はアメリカ在住時代の小学校5年生からの親友で、私が最も尊敬する1人です。今も世界を股にかけて活躍しており、まさに本園が育てたいような世界で輝く人物です。彼と話していて印象的だったのが、世界で戦うためには英語はメリットではなくデフォルト(初期値)だということ。英語ができて当たり前で、その上でビジネスにおけるスキルなどその他の総合力がものをいうわけです。そして、以前は日本人が独占していた市場を、他国の日本語を含めた多言語を使いこなす大変優秀な人材が席巻しているそうです…。このような世界で、ますます激変していく世の中を子どもたちは生きていかなければいけません。「危機感を持たないといけない」と、正に今世界を肌で感じている彼が言う言葉はとても説得力がありました。

いろいろと考えながら歩くホテルへの帰り道、ふと見上げると月が輝いていました。

日本と変わらず、同じように輝いていました。「つきのひかり国際保育園」と名付けた理由の一つが、月は世界中どこからでも肉眼で見られるからです。なんだか園が恋しくなりました😁

研修が終わった翌日朝には飛行機に乗って成田に帰ってきました💦慌ただしい中でしたが、非常に意義深い海外研修となりました。学んできたことをしっかりと保育の現場で生かしていきたいと思います!

Do you know what OECD and PISA stand for?

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a unique forum where the governments of 34 democracies with market economies work with each other, as well as with more than 70 non-member economies to promote economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable development. The Organization provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and coordinate domestic and international policies.

PISA is an abbreviation for Programme For International Student Assessment which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students who are nearing the end of their compulsory education in science, reading, and mathematics. PISA assesses how well they can apply what they learn in school to real-life situations. Over 90 countries have participated in the assessment so far which began in 2000.

On the assessment chart, Japan’s result is as follows.

Science:2nd
Reading:8th
Mathematics:5th

The above result is out of 72 countries that were assessed, so it is not bad. However, a particular country took first place in all 3 subjects! Can you guess the country?

…The answer is Singapore!

I had the chance to visit Singapore in mid-May for professional development training. The reason for attending this training was because we were interested in the international education program that the training focused on.

In Japan, I wore a thick jacket, but on arrival in Singapore, the weather was summer hot. Everyone was wearing shorts and t-shirts.

The training was at the Canadian International School. This is a school that starts from kindergarten all the way up to high school. Both the educational curriculum and the school facility were great!

The training was for 3 days, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The sessions were mainly for Asia-Pacific region schools. Of course, the training was conducted in English. There were only a few teachers who were not so fluent in English, but they all spoke a lot about themselves. There were probably around 300 participants in all, but there were only two of us who attended from Japan.

There are training sessions like these in Japan, but I definitely recommend taking one abroad. I was able to learn about different educational approaches and also can make connections with representatives from schools in other countries. I was fortunate to make contacts with several schools and we currently keep in touch and collaborate in some ways via Skype and on the Internet with the aim of learning together.

There was literally no time for me to go sightseeing, but I had the chance to enjoy some local food for dinner.

This one was not that expensive, but the prices of goods generally are more expensive than in Japan. Recently, the economy in Singapore has risen rapidly and the view of the city was amazing. Japan needs to work harder.💦

I had a chance to eat out with my best friend, who happened to live in Singapore now. We have been friends since fifth grade and he is one of the few people I have great respect for. He travels around the world for his work and he is just the kind of person we would like to nurture children at my preschool into becoming. It was impressive to hear from him that for a Japanese like him to be working abroad, English is not an advantage but a default. Being fluent in English is the least thing that one needs to work on among other skills in order to outsmart other business persons from other countries. The spot that the Japanese market occupied in the past is no longer the case, and there are many people from other countries that speak multiple languages, including Japanese and they are taking over the trade. The rapidly changing world is the place where our children will live in the future. My best friend mentioned that Japanese nationals need to recognize and feel a sense of crisis and start thinking of ways to deal with it. His words were persuasive and thought-provoking.

On the way back to the hotel, I saw the moon brightly shining.

It was beaming just as it would in Japan. The reason we named our preschool, Moonlight International Preschool was because the moon can be seen the same way with the naked eye all around the world. I suddenly felt I wanted to go home.😁

The very next morning, the training ended, and I had to return to Japan.💦 It was a very busy trip, but it was a fruitful one. I would like to utilize what I have learned from the training, now that the preschool is opened.