1 March 2019 at 9:00 am

Japanese teachers tour Kiwi schools

Ten school teachers from across Japan experienced a five-day tour around New Zealand schools last month, led by ENZ and Air New Zealand.

Japan teachers
After the powhiri at Taupo College.

The 10 teacher participants were carefully selected from New Zealand education seminars in 2018. It was oversubscribed, showing strong interest among Japanese teachers wanting to learn about what makes New Zealand education special.

In partnership with SIEBA and regional education bodies, the group visited four schools and enjoyed tourism activities in Hamilton, Cambridge, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga and Auckland including Te Puia, Huka Falls and the Waitomo Caves to show what each city offers students outside of the classroom.

Misa Kitaoka, ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager for Japan, said the teachers were very interested to learn about Kiwi’s different approaches to teaching.

“A teacher from Tauranga Boys’ College showed us how Google Classroom was used in his class which was a great learning experience for the Japanese teachers as they transition from lecture style to more student-led learning,” said Misa.

“NCEA offering subjects like food technology, creative arts and performing arts was also seen as a real strength of New Zealand’s secondary school education, as it supports creativity as well as students’ wellbeing.

“The teachers were particularly impressed by the strong Māori influence in New Zealand schools.”

An English language teacher from Hiroshima Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School noted, “During this tour, I was so impressed with Māori culture and their spirituality. I would very much like my students to enjoy the lovely experience that I had there, to learn what well-being is, and to find a path they can follow.”

With Japan hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the Japanese government will be implementing education policies to promote English education, resulting in a strong interest from schools and universities across Japan to study abroad to learn English.

“Since 2015, school teacher famils have resulted in an increase of 735 students,” said Misa.

“These famils wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with Air New Zealand. We are very interested in replicating it in the future for the tertiary sector.”

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