Blog post

Tomorrow, May 30, marks the first day of Boot Camp 2013.  This is my attempt to develop critical thinking and communication skills for my students at KMD.  We meet at 7:00 a.m. for two hours at Hiyoshi to work on these two skills.  During the month of June, we meet some 10 times as the Phase I of BC2013.  (We will continue Phase II in  July…)

We began this initiative last year, as I realized that most of the Japanese students have NOT been trained for critical thinking and many Japanese students lack basic communication skills in English, current de facto language in the world.  I was also surprised at the big gap between those with enough training and those with little or no training at schools or at home.   It was a big headache for me,  as there was no foundation for students to collaborate on the project or any joint activities. (Most projects require at least these two basic skills.)    I struggled during the first year after I came to KMD because of this, and tried Boot Camp last year for the first time.

Last year, I conducted many sessions myself as it was the first attempt,  but this year, students will take over and design  the sessions.  We have enough number of second year students who went through BC 2012 (thus know what they are doing) and non-Japanese students who joined in September last year.  They tend to be much better trained with these skills.

On Monday this week,  I asked for ideas to engage all the students throughout the session, instead of one person (me or any student)  does the talking and explaining.  Some good ideas came up and  we will try some tomorrow.

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