No one would argue it’s a good thing

This took me a while to understand. Initially I thought, “If students aren’t encouraged to think critically now, how will they be able to compete when they enter the workforce?” However, the academic culture made sense when I found out what happens in Japan when graduates enter the workforce. When a recent graduate in Japan begins their job search, what distinguishes them is not what they studied, but where they studied. In Japan, regardless of major, the more prestigious the university you graduate from, the easier it is to find a job. Part of the reason for this is thorough on-the-job-training for new hires. New hires often spend a few years doing menial tasks while monitored by supervisors. This serves to not only impart skills but also to reinforce hierarchy and company culture.

Culture (/ ˈ k ʌ l tʃ ər /) is the social behavior and norms found in human societies

What I took away from my experience is that an academic culture will reflect what is valued in the larger culture. I thought I was helping my Japanese students by creating interactive lessons that had them using the language in creative ways, but what I was actually doing was diverting them from their goals and taking them too far out of their comfort zone.


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