What's new

My doubts on English teaching in Japan

Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
16
Hi all

I've recently learnt quite a deal about the eikaiwa and Assistant Language Teaching (ie. English as Second Language ESL) jobs in Japan and I am currently quite keen to pursue it as my main ambition from now, an student out of college equivalent to western countries. I have not decided what field of study I want to pursue in university yet, but at the moment, I'm not that interested or confident in other careers.

1. How important is English related degree in getting ESL jobs? I already intend to get the TESL as I understand that most employers in the ESL sector value it.

a. At the moment, I am currently deciding between whether to take a part time course or a full time course in my home country. The reason being that I feel that I should start working as soon as possible to make myself financially independent and not burden my family on the tuition fees, and attend night/weekend classes of study. I am also considering to take a full-time private course in Mass Communication or Marketing (as those are a few options that I have with my grades in high school).

The reason why I am considering the public vs private, full-time vs part-time course issue is because in Singapore, there are cases when employers may value part-time degrees less than full-time ones, or offer less starting pay to private degrees, which are generally seen less prestigious than local degrees. Will such a discrimination occur among employers in the ESL sector of Japan, or do they value interview performance and other teaching qualifications and experience.

b. To what extent do employers value the relevance of the degree of the application to English and teaching? Is it advisable for me to get a degree based on an alternative career choice in case I don't get or want to switch out of ESL?

2. What do you deem as some of the most important things one must learn about the work culture in Japan before embarkation to the country?

3. According to what I've read, there have been some negative reviews about ESL in Japan, such as labour abuse, bad working conditions and harassment of students. The trend is how some students join lessons for the wrong reasons - males sexually harass teachers, females seek for unhealthy student-teacher relationships.

What are some concrete methods of mitigating such issues, apart from joining a Union?

Are working conditions and the hours as bad as some describe it? I feel that I can handle as I have experience studying long hours and working longer than 8 hours a day so I feel that it is manageable by my standards. I feel that I am sufficiently interested in teaching and like the place and thus will carry it out with good ethic, so I don't think I'll run into brushes with attitude problems during the stint.

5. Bias against teachers not Western? I am actually a Singaporean-Chinese and I understand that Chinese is one of the majority races in the country behind the 98.5% Japanese. Most ads of ALTs and eikaiwa make their courses seem more appealing by showing pictures and ads of Westerners as teachers, but in reality, are Asians welcome as teachers? I currently have a mix of opinions on this.

6. How are future job advancements after initial teaching stint like?
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
I've recently learnt quite a deal about the eikaiwa and Assistant Language Teaching (ie. English as Second Language ESL) jobs in Japan and I am currently quite keen to pursue it as my main ambition from now
Your subsequent statements show that some clarification is still needed.

#1, teaching English in Japan is EFL, not ESL.

1. How important is English related degree in getting ESL jobs?
You need the degree to get a work visa. Period. Any major will do. If you want to be competitive, get one related to English.

Will such a discrimination occur among employers in the ESL sector of Japan, or do they value interview performance and other teaching qualifications and experience.
No.

b. To what extent do employers value the relevance of the degree of the application to English and teaching? Is it advisable for me to get a degree based on an alternative career choice in case I don't get or want to switch out of ESL?
For entry level eikaiwa and many ALT jobs, the major is not important.
Alternative career? I thought you said " I am currently quite keen to pursue it as my main ambition from now".


2. What do you deem as some of the most important things one must learn about the work culture in Japan before embarkation to the country?
Flexibility, since this culture will be different from your own.
Don't bring your own morals to Japan and expect others to follow them.
Realize that many employers have been burned by foreign teachers who didn't treat the job seriously.
Understand that many will see you as Asian with little ability to speak English. It's just a stereotype, but it can be deeply ingrained in some people to the point that they will avoid hiring Asians sometimes and go with a western face instead.


3. According to what I've read, there have been some negative reviews about ESL in Japan, such as labour abuse, bad working conditions and harassment of students. The trend is how some students join lessons for the wrong reasons - males sexually harass teachers, females seek for unhealthy student-teacher relationships. What are some concrete methods of mitigating such issues, apart from joining a Union?
Keep in mind the Labour Standards Office, too. Plus, see my earlier point about some employers being burned. Also, keep a copy of the Labour Laws at hand. And, make contacts like fellow teachers at ESL Cafe.

Are working conditions and the hours as bad as some describe it?
As some describe it, yes. It depends on what they said, of course. As for working more than 8 hours a day, see the Labour Laws.

5. Bias against teachers not Western?
See above, but realize that not all have problems. Ask at the ESL Cafe.

6. How are future job advancements after initial teaching stint like?Not stellar if you have only a bachelor's degree or equivalent. What were you considering? University jobs need a higher level degree, experience, Japanese ability, and publications, for example.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
16
Thanks for your detailed response. Few clarifications I'm seeking for:

1. I indeed said that I want this to be my main ambition but the backup is just a contingency, and something that my parents and school staff encourages me to plan for.
2. What do you mean exactly by being burned? As in getting bad press for having conflicts with employees?
3. As for career advancements, I am looking at more senior teaching positions or maybe CIR, if I can get N2 by then. I may not be able to ascertain whether I can teach in a public school in Singapore citing my former experience in Japan.
4. So more specifically, does the prestige or nature of the degree matter?
Your subsequent statements show that some clarification is still needed.

#1, teaching English in Japan is EFL, not ESL.

1. How important is English related degree in getting ESL jobs?
You need the degree to get a work visa. Period. Any major will do. If you want to be competitive, get one related to English.

Will such a discrimination occur among employers in the ESL sector of Japan, or do they value interview performance and other teaching qualifications and experience.
No.

b. To what extent do employers value the relevance of the degree of the application to English and teaching? Is it advisable for me to get a degree based on an alternative career choice in case I don't get or want to switch out of ESL?
For entry level eikaiwa and many ALT jobs, the major is not important.
Alternative career? I thought you said " I am currently quite keen to pursue it as my main ambition from now".


2. What do you deem as some of the most important things one must learn about the work culture in Japan before embarkation to the country?
Flexibility, since this culture will be different from your own.
Don't bring your own morals to Japan and expect others to follow them.
Realize that many employers have been burned by foreign teachers who didn't treat the job seriously.
Understand that many will see you as Asian with little ability to speak English. It's just a stereotype, but it can be deeply ingrained in some people to the point that they will avoid hiring Asians sometimes and go with a western face instead.


3. According to what I've read, there have been some negative reviews about ESL in Japan, such as labour abuse, bad working conditions and harassment of students. The trend is how some students join lessons for the wrong reasons - males sexually harass teachers, females seek for unhealthy student-teacher relationships. What are some concrete methods of mitigating such issues, apart from joining a Union?
Keep in mind the Labour Standards Office, too. Plus, see my earlier point about some employers being burned. Also, keep a copy of the Labour Laws at hand. And, make contacts like fellow teachers at ESL Cafe.

Are working conditions and the hours as bad as some describe it?
As some describe it, yes. It depends on what they said, of course. As for working more than 8 hours a day, see the Labour Laws.

5. Bias against teachers not Western?
See above, but realize that not all have problems. Ask at the ESL Cafe.

6. How are future job advancements after initial teaching stint like?Not stellar if you have only a bachelor's degree or equivalent. What were you considering? University jobs need a higher level degree, experience, Japanese ability, and publications, for example.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
When I wrote "Realize that many employers have been burned by foreign teachers who didn't treat the job seriously.", I meant that many people who are not serious about teaching have come here just to make money by showing up in a classroom and use their earnings and time outside class to party hearty. Showing up means not treat the job as a legitimate serious endeavor (because students are customers and pay fees and expect someone to teach them). That kind of attitude burns the employers -- makes them look bad, gives them a bad image (as well as the rest of us foreigners who actually do take teaching seriously. As a result, employers may insert a lot of legalese into the contracts, as well as make stipulations which can be very restrictive or outright illegal on the teacher.

As for career advancements, I am looking at more senior teaching positions or maybe CIR, if I can get N2 by then. I may not be able to ascertain whether I can teach in a public school in Singapore citing my former experience in Japan.
By mentioning CIR, I am going to assume you are interested only in the JET Programme. Is that correct? What did you mean by "more senior teaching positions"? Eikaiwas don't have them, really. ALTs are ALTs. Anything truly more "senior" in my mind would entail tenure (which is hard to get) and/or becoming a solo teacher (not ALT/AET), and/or landing a university job (FT not PT).

So more specifically, does the prestige or nature of the degree matter?
I don't know what you mean by the prestige. If you want to teach here, and you are interested in getting in on the ground floor, you get a job as ALT or eikaiwa instructor. Eikaiwas don't usually care what your degree is in (archaeology to zoology). ALTs in the JET programme, either. As for dispatch company ALTs, I don't have much experience with them, but I suspect they aren't that different than JET in their requirments. Of course, in either ALT situation, having a teaching-related degree might make you appear better suited, but keep in mind that personality and chemistry are equally important here, and that just having a degree with no work experience is not really saying one can teach.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
16
1. I'm not exclusively intrested in JET, because at my current stage of planning I'm giving equal value to ALT and CIR, and that's slightly above eikaiwa. I do know that the JET allows CIR and ALT positions for my countrymen are offered by JET.

2. If it helps, I'll rephrase "prestige" as "recognition of the university" because it is still a big thing people worry about here in Singapore, especially those who choose to enter university by taking national examminations. But I assume that you have made it clearer earlier on that a differentiation between public and private, full-time and part-time courses do not make a major difference when being considered for the job.

3. Would you be able to elaborate more on the common points as to why some regard EFL to have bad working conditions?

4. If I want to gain relevant work experience before applying for an EFL job, what kinds of jobs or volunteering stints in my country will be good?
 
Joined
May 12, 2013
Messages
1,333
Ratings
178
For question 2, if they don't care what field of study to which the degree pertains, why would they possibly care about the prestige of the university? That's like hiring an attorney to program computers because they went to Harvard law.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
1. I'm not exclusively intrested in JET, because at my current stage of planning I'm giving equal value to ALT and CIR, and that's slightly above eikaiwa. I do know that the JET allows CIR and ALT positions for my countrymen are offered by JET.
Ok, just be aware that you can't apply for both positions. You must choose either one.

2. If it helps, I'll rephrase "prestige" as "recognition of the university" because it is still a big thing people worry about here in Singapore, especially those who choose to enter university by taking national examminations. But I assume that you have made it clearer earlier on that a differentiation between public and private, full-time and part-time courses do not make a major difference when being considered for the job.
Thanks for the clarification. Prestige of the university or degree as you described it does not matter.

3. Would you be able to elaborate more on the common points as to why some regard EFL to have bad working conditions?
Keep in mind that these points do not apply to all situations.
  • Some employers are unscrupulous and will require workers to work illegal hours or duties. They may even have illegal clauses in their contracts, which don't make the contracts any more legitimate but which make workers think they are.
  • There is no regulation in the EFL industry. That means no set minimum wage (despite what some people will tell you is 250,000 yen/month "standard"), and furthermore the minimum that has been offered as a general standard has not changed in 2-3 decades despite changes in cost of living. No regulation also means you have no "EFL Council" to go to for appeals; the best you may have in times of trouble is the General Union (which usually requires membership) or a local Labour Standards Inspection Office to assist you in fighting any employment disputes. No regulation also means you only need to meet minimum requirements for a work visa in order to teach. For the Specialist in Humanities/International Relations work visa (for eikaiwa teachers), that means just a college degree in any major.
  • Some employers will actually troll the want ads to get someone in for what they ostensibly refer to as a "demo lesson" or two, meet you in some coffee shop to "interview" you, then convince you to do those "lessons" for free just so they can "test you out", but then never pay you or call you back.
  • Some employers will try to convince you to come to Japan without even beginning a visa application because they have some sort of "emergency situation" that requires a teacher to start immediately. Then, as the person works, they might get less than standard salary as the visa is ostensibly being processed, but the employer stalls by claiming "delays" or "mistakes" in the application. Result? After you have overstayed your tourist status, they let you go, with no visa in hand and a serious legal problem of overstaying. You can't even explain that you've been working because that was illegal.
  • Some employers will try bullying employees with regard to giving notice. They will put clauses in the contract stipulating 3-6 months needed (yet they themselves only need 3 days by law to notify you). Or they will argue that when you put in your notice earlier than that date, you must pay fines (illegal) or compensate them for legal fees and advertising/hiring of a replacement. See this link for more.
  • The Labour Laws clearly state how many hours you can work in a day, plus how much break time you are permitted. Some operations have employees working nearly continuously throughout the day with barely enough time to take toilet breaks, and the sometimes finagle that "break time" into meaning lesson prep time instead, in order to pay you less.
  • The Labour Laws also state how much paid vacation time you are obligated to (10 days after the first 6 months of FT employment). If an employer wants to give you this earlier, it's up to him. The problem comes when they don't even give it to you at the appropriate time, claiming scheduling problems.
  • Some employers will try farming out teachers to other places where their visa does not permit them to work. See this link and this link from the GU for more details.
  • Some employers will say you can't work for anyone else, whether at the same time or after you finish work for them. For example, you can't work (they say) in that part of the city for 1-2 years for a competitor. B.S.!
  • Some employers will claim you are a FT employee (because you work 3/4 to 100% of a 40-hour work week), but then they file tax paperwork which nitpicks your hours to make it look like you are part-time, thus relieving them of the obligation to offer you co-payments on health insurance.
  • There are many more issues. I suggest reading the General Union web site extensively and talk to people at the ESL Cafe web site.

4. If I want to gain relevant work experience before applying for an EFL job, what kinds of jobs or volunteering stints in my country will be good?
I would think that'd be obvious. Anything related to teaching a language, preferably the one you plan to teach, is considered "relevant". Full-time or part-time work in a school or company, private classes, community center or YMCA courses, etc. are all good as long as they have teaching/training of a language as their focus. Being an assistant (paid or volunteer) teacher at a school is also good. I don't know what's available where you live, but think of these things as you explore possibilities.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
16
Alright, for the time being I'll ask a bit more on (4) and for the remaining queries, after I study their labour law and the controversies.

Does work in the service sector, such as office administration and sales count as relevant experience? Considering those are also sub-components involved in eikaiwa? Will volunteer programmes involving youth and public speaking, but not langage-related, be relevant too?

Also, what is the value and importance of the TESL in boosting one's chance of entering? I can access one quite easily, but it's the price of the course that is holding me back.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Ratings
1,568
You have a gross misunderstanding of the nature of most eikaiwa "teaching" positions. Nobody will give a crap about offica administration or sales or any other past work history whatsoever. 90% of the field is entry-level employment and it never goes beyond that. All they want is youth, a pleasant smile, that you not dress like a slob, and try to refrain from ****** the students.

They're not real schools with real students and you won't be a real teacher. The job is pretending to teach English to people who are pretending to learn English. Your function is to help the generally unscrupulous owners rip off the students. Period. End of story.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
Agree with Mike about eikaiwa.

Does work in the service sector, such as office administration and sales count as relevant experience? Considering those are also sub-components involved in eikaiwa?
Not at all, and they are not things you will have to do anyway.

Will volunteer programmes involving youth and public speaking, but not langage-related, be relevant too?
A little.

Also, what is the value and importance of the TESL in boosting one's chance of entering?
Most people won't have one, so that gives you a slight edge by showing you were more serious.
The real value is that it gives you some foundation in the theory and an inkling of some of the practices in teaching.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
16
I've seen this comment elsewhere too and that's why I am more inclined towards public schools as opposed to eikaiwa as of late. In public schools then, how much would actual teaching ability matter?
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Ratings
1,568
I've seen this comment elsewhere too and that's why I am more inclined towards public schools as opposed to eikaiwa as of late. In public schools then, how much would actual teaching ability matter?
Do you mean the JET/ALT programs or are you talking about being an actual, trained, real, genuine, certified teacher?
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Ratings
1,568
In the former, from very little to not at all.

The latter would require you pass the national licensing exam in Japanese and be hired by one of the minority of prefectures which don't make Japanese citizenship a requirement.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2014
Messages
52
Ratings
5
The latter would require you pass the national licensing exam in Japanese and be hired by one of the minority of prefectures which don't make Japanese citizenship a requirement.
It's feasible. I passed the first examination (written exam) in my prefecture (Iwate). I got a job (same as a Japanese teacher's, with all the administrative work) at a private HS for next year so I didn't take the second exam. But it's feasible if you're motivated.

People should be aware that foreigners can't become 教諭 (same status as a Japanese national) but can have a permanent job (under the 常勤講師 status if I remember well). But I don't know if all the advantages of the 教諭 status would be the same under the 常勤講師 status for foreigners. You can become 教諭 at a private HS, though.

There are new guidelines from the MEXT too: http://www.mext.go.jp/component/a_m..._icsFiles/afieldfile/2014/06/23/1348574_3.pdf
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
Becoming a foreign full-time tenured teacher means you have to take the certification renewal courses on a regular basis, which means being able to attend courses in Japanese.

As for Mikeru's question:
how much would actual teaching ability matter?
...I'll disagree slightly with Mike. ALTs get students early in life. Whether they actually accomplish (or are allowed to accomplish) significant language training will vary with the institution and circumstances (including how well the ALT was trained). However, the attitude of students is affected by any experience they have, and the earlier, the more important it is later on. My research on student motivation shows this. As an example, student motivation rises in the year before a major exam, like entrance to HS or university, then wanes. It falls significantly in uni because students aren't aware that they will be taught all in English most of the time, and because they expect uni itself to be a free ride to coast to graduation. Many English teachers aren't of that mindset, so it shocks the students, and the all-English environment is a real slap in their faces if their HS has not prepared them. Most HS's don't, and students have complained that they don't like the exam prep in HS with its lack of any communicative practice. They want to know better how to chat with foreigners, because this seems to be the only true "globalized" view they have of English -- to learn how to interact with foreigners on a casual basis.

So, you get unprepared students in a communicative and hardcore environment, and it's very, very hard for uni teachers to shake students out of it. Get 'em early. My research on 20 unis show that previous classroom environment is key to motivation, and that includes the previous teachers' attitudes/styles in class.

You do what you can as an ALT, of course, but I wouldn't treat the situation lightly. You might get that defeatist view if you take Mike's comments a certain way.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
40
Ratings
3
I can't speak for the situation in an eikaiwa, but if you want to teach, even as an ALT yes, you need some actual teaching ability to get you through the day. If you are working in JHS or HS you might be able to coast along as a "human-CD-player", but I doubt it these days. When I first started as a high-school ALT with the JET program 15 odd years ago, I got stuck in quite a few classes where I'd just stand there and then say, "Listen and repeat after me." when the Japanese teacher told me to. Drove me crazy. As I got more experience and learned how to teach better, I slowly wormed my way into the lessons and made them more student centered. Back then, just getting the students working in pairs was an innovation.
These days I'm working in JHS mostly, sometimes elementary, and the whole lesson is pretty much my show. If you don't have a lot of experience or "teaching ability" at first, don't worry. You network, steal ideas from forums, your employer will have some training meetings of some sort, it all comes together.
Being a public school ALT is great in that you can do all the fun teacher stuff, and skip out on the heavy responsibility that the regular teachers have. You also skip out on the job security, benefits, bonuses, raises, etc. but hey, can't have everything, right? A buddy of mine says, "Great job, lousy career...."
I'd definitely go with JET if you can get it. Still the best pay and benefits anywhere. Interac or one of the other dispatch companies would be your second choice.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
16
Those views about experience are quite critical and interesting. What would your take then be, on the level of power and influence an ALT has on the education of a student in a public school?
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
84
Ratings
9
Hello just my two cents, most definitely follow through with your teaching career (it will be really good like anything in the world is if you put serious time and effort into it), but if I might suggest visit Japan at least once (ignore this comment if you already have) beforehand, you know, to take a look around, meet people relating to the ESL in person etc.

Scope out the place and form your own opinion about it, it will definitely help when you ultimately move there.

All the best.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
What would your take then be, on the level of power and influence an ALT has on the education of a student in a public school?
It depends on what they are asked to do and how much they participate. In the JET Programme, the motto of the ALTs is "ESID: every situation is different". My research on STEM students' motivation towards English clearly shows that teachers have a large role in the mental image students have about whether English is enjoyable, and classroom atmosphere is the largest influence. So do your best with whatever time you have.

Students enter university after a grueling exam hell, and they expect to coast through all courses. It's the Japanese way. Getting in in hard; getting out is easy. Their prime goal is to form new networks of friends and teachers for future careers. But they are shocked when they land in English class and have to work at it. Science students are used to sleeping through lectures, cramming for an exam, and then if they fail, they merely beg to do "a report" in order to pass. Most English teachers in uni that I know don't do that. They treat classes as a lab experience, building skills every week, so students need to stay awake and learn. Their attitude toward all that is formed in the first 2-4 months of uni life, and it's far easier if they had an interesting, enjoyable HS English experience.

Most Japanese students figure they'll never leave Japan (and they are probably right), so they automatically assume they'll never use English at work. Wrong. It may be minimal, or not. My research on companies shows that email and general conversation with client (in person or on the phone) are the most common uses for English, and although there are indeed companies that don't have any foreign clients, there are 2 concerns students should keep in mind:

1) Many companies DO have foreign clients, and
2) if they don't now, they are likely to in the future.
That could mean the clients are also in Japan, or they may visit Japan for business (or communicate by phone or email), or the Japanese company could send people abroad to branch offices for 6-12 months at a time, usually with little training in English or foreign culture. Damned inefficient, but it's the way they do it. Most people work for small to medium sized companies, and the companies are beginning to realize the need for English, especially after the Lehman's crash, but they don't have the resources to train people in house or pay for it outside of the office. So, workers are left to fend for themselves. Since most don't have a vision that they'll need it down the road, they stop studying after they are hired, and then it's hard to catch up again.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
974
Ratings
148
Students enter university after a grueling exam hell, and they expect to coast through all courses. It's the Japanese way. Getting in in hard; getting out is easy. Their prime goal is to form new networks of friends and teachers for future careers. But they are shocked when they land in English class and have to work at it. Science students are used to sleeping through lectures, cramming for an exam, and then if they fail, they merely beg to do "a report" in order to pass.
Except pharmacy students (and maybe some other fields where licensing is crucial). For them, getting into school is the easy part, passing that national exam (in their 4th year out of 6), also the OSCE trial, are much larger hurdles. Networking is unimportant, and teachers grade based on their assessment of how likely a student is to pass the exam--it's rather embarrassing or a teacher to pass too many students who then fail the exam! ;)
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
Yes, fields where licensing is required to work are a bit different. At my uni it's the veterinary majors. But, graduating is different from getting a license. Nobody has a 100 percent rate of graduating students AND passing their license exams. I have a friend or two teaching pharmacy majors who can corroborate that for them, too. It's a tough life to study in such fields, agreed. But the school still can't guarantee everyone will get their license first time around. Overall, though, my earlier statement holds.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
174
Ratings
59
Students enter university after a grueling exam hell, and they expect to coast through all courses. It's the Japanese way. Getting in in hard; getting out is easy. Their prime goal is to form new networks of friends and teachers for future careers. But they are shocked when they land in English class and have to work at it. Science students are used to sleeping through lectures, cramming for an exam, and then if they fail, they merely beg to do "a report" in order to pass. Most English teachers in uni that I know don't do that. They treat classes as a lab experience, building skills every week, so students need to stay awake and learn.
This made me chuckle a little bit. There always seems to be some tiny bit of "rivalry" between STEM and the arts.
In my experience (BS and MS at university in the top 25 for USA), the engineers have the toughest curriculum. On top of that, we are required to take many more liberal arts courses than most other universities require for STEM majors. Yet, most majors in the arts basically have writing assignments and then they have far more time to party or whatever, not stuck in a lab or computer library working into the wee hours. To earn my engineering degrees, and get certification/licensure, it took ridiculous amounts of work -- and especially at my institution, you can't slack off (like sleeping through class, and ask to do "a report").
But personally, I embrace the arts and apply them wherever I can to my technical field. No need for the insulting across the academic aisles :)
 
Joined
May 12, 2013
Messages
1,333
Ratings
178
I could be wrong, but I think that might have been focused on Japan's holistic culture around education as opposed to between arts and sciences.

I can say for an absolute fact, having been invited to observe and lecture Japanese professionals in my field at their work in hospitals, that they are excellently prepared, committed healthcare specialists. I've also lectured my sister allied health professionals (OTs and PTs) in their scholastic preparation in Japan and the students were attentive and focused. Similar to the students in the western universities at which I've lectured.

If I or a loved one were to need treatment, I would trust the average Japanese therapist to provide that treatment even though in Japan the minimum education is nowhere near as extensive as in the USA, where the minimum education is a masters degree. Granted, there are areas western trained therapists and pathologists are more capable (and are given much more freedom and power with regards to diagnosis, prescription of treatment, etc.), but there are also aspects which the Japanese therapists tend to do better. Both cultures would do well to learn from each other regarding healthcare.

Very limited observations, but I think reasonably valid in the narrow niche of the fields with which I'm most familiar.
 
Top