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Women in Saudi....
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12378
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:17 am    Post subject: Far East meets Middle East Reply with quote

Dear guest of Japan,

" Education in Saudi must truly be horrendous."

Well, I DID leave there last July. Who'd have thought it'd go downhill so rapidly, though?

The "passive and accepting of those in power" would be attractive selling points, I'd say. Moreover, as Cleopatra already pointed out, there's Japan's "non-Western-ness" as well. And also, perhaps there's the fact of Japan's fairly recent history - how the nation hauled itself so rapidly into the "industrial age" after it's opening to the West in 1853, plus its
extraordinary economic reconstruction after total defeat in the Second World War. Moreover, there's the perceived prominance that "tradition" has in Japanese life, despite the transformations, largely involving imported techniques and ideas, that were necessary to make it such a world-leading industrial/economic power. I can see why Japan would be an attractive model to the Saudis; I suspect they see it as pointing to a way the Kingdom can, more or less, eat its cake yet have it, too.
Regards,
John
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guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I agree that the points you mention are attractive, I am basing my criticism off what was said in the article.

Japan's education system functioned so well for so long because the Japanese always believed that there were to be possibilities in their futures if they embraced education to its fullest. But now as Japan endures its decade long slump the motivation for the students is gone. What's left is an education system that cannot adapt to modern Japan.

From what little I know about Saudi, I know that the people are not likely to embrace a Japanese education model because Saudi's are smart enough to know that there is little gold at the other end of the rainbow.

Saudi Arabia would have to undergo dramatic social and economic change to make the current Japanese model of education work.
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest of Japan and John

There is every reason for the Saudis to look east rather than west.

Whatever people think of the Japanese educational system the incontrovertible fact is that countries like Japan, Korea, Singapore and former communist states like Czech Republic and Hungary consistently OUTPERFORM Western countries like Britain and the United States

According to the last annual report on international achievement in education published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Britain ranked an abysmal 21st out of the top 30 industrialised countries of the world. Korea and Japan were way ahead at the top of the table.

These are by no means isolated instances. According to the TIMSS study conducted in 1997, which also included developing countries, out of the 41 countries that participated, England came 25th and Scotland 29th for the performance of 13 year olds in maths. (Source: The Economist, 29th March, 1997). America and Canada also performed apallingly. And as always the far Eastern countries were way ahead at the top.

QED!

Spin it any way you like, guys; Western education is not what it is always made out to be. We just happen to have the economic and political clout to tell the world we know best.

TH
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with these statistics is that English and American students don't ever repeat a year, so you are comparing like with unlike. The English 13 year olds tested for Math will be 13 year olds, but the worse 13 year olds from many other countries won't be in the sample, whilst there will be a fair proportion of 14 year olds.
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guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The study you selected is from 1997, a time which no longer reflects Japan. In 1997 students still believed that if they studied hard and got good grades then life would be secured for them. That is no longer the case now.

Also during that time competition for university entrance was much more fierce than it is now. Students know they will definitely get accepted into a university no matter how poorly they do. The motivation is gone.

Also you fail to mention that Japan while outperforming Western countries in the maths and sciences the students come to hate math and science. What you then get is a country that has only 4% of college graduates with degrees in these fields compared to about 10% in western countries.

My personal theory, although I can't find evidence to support it, is that Japan hides or lies about the facts which cause it damage. I don't believe that the sampling of students is equal. Stephen Jones makes a valid point, but not many students fail grades in Japan. Japan does however, like to hide students from the general population. Contrary to Western countries, public schools mean good schools in Japan. If a student can't get in, thier parents have to pay through the nose to get them into a private school. Private schools have varying reputations in Japan. I happen to work at a very poor one.

An example from a report I just read (I believe it was from the OED.) cites that Japan has student teacher ratios of 16 to 1. While the US was 18 to one. Having taught in both countries I can vouch for the US ratio, but the Japanese ratio is way off. I would put the figure closer to 35 to 1 for high schools and jr. high schools.

On a final note. Cram Schools. This is where students actually get the skills to get these high scores. It isn't happening in the regular schools. If students in western countries put in the same hours as Japanese students, and if parents were as commited to their children's education as in Japan then I'm quite confident you would see statistics saying the exact opposite.

Statistics by themselves are quite deceiving,
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G of J

The OECD report was for 2003 and was administered by a European group. If there were any bias, it is more likely to have come from the Europeans. The sampling/ratio issue is completely irrelevant because the pattern that emerges is consistent over time. And there are also a number of alternative studies like the OECD that corroborate the results, which explains why education ministries in the West shy away from the findings.

And I'm not sure how you measure "hatred of science and math" at Japanese schools. It's not unlike my experience of school kids in the US and UK.

I'm sure there are problems in the Japanese educational system but on comparison with systems in other indiustrialized countries, it doesn't come out too badly.

Anyway they make fantastic cars!! Laughing No deceipt here.

TH
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15965
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Ignoring how different all these educational systems are (western vs Japanese vs Middle East), I think that two of the main reasons that results are so different is student work ethic and parental support or pressure / or lack thereof.

I suspect that even if all three systems used the same methods and student ratios starting tomorrow - you would likely have about the same results.

How that for pessimism concerning educational systems!! Smile

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12378
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:39 pm    Post subject: From those wonderful folks who brought you Pearl Harbor Reply with quote

Dear Truth Hurts,

"Anyway they make fantastic cars!! "

Let me seize upon this rare occasion to express unqualified agreement with you. I've been driving a Toyota Corolla for the last 6 months while my Significant Other has a Honda Accord. It goes way beyond: "No complaints"; "unpatriotic" though it may be, both of us are completely satisfied customers.
Regards,
John
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John

Laughing

Corolla's used to be good value for money some years ago but the price has gradually crept up. But I agree you can't go wrong with a Corolla!

TH
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guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree on the car issue as well.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12378
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:06 pm    Post subject: Working hard and hardly working Reply with quote

Hmm, am I posting in the right place? This is beginning to look like the Japan Forum. However, let's talk about "work ethic". Here's an interesting article that attempts to analyse the Japanese work ethic:

http://static.ncss.org/workethic.html

Well, if the piece is correct and the work ethic is a big contributor to Japan's educational and economic success (and personally, I think work ethic IS a large factor), then I'd say the Saudis have got a ways to go to inculcate into their society one that resembles the Japanese variety.
Regards,
John
P.S. I'm not, by the way, suggesting that Japan's work ethic, as described in this article, is all that desirable. Almost all work and nearly no play would make Abdullah a dull boy. But too much play and too little work (or punctuality) aren't going to bring forth any educational and/or economic miracles, either.
Regards,
John
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, John, looking back through this thread I've found something we DO disagree on!

Personally, I thought the Time cover story on KSA was a pile of jingoistic rubbish. Both it and the National Geographic were "unavailable" in Saudi Arabia, needless to say! Starting with the cover pic of all those shady looking ragheads: as bad a stereotype of "Arabs" as I have seen, and I've seen quite a few. The article itself was also overly negative, and what annoyed me the most was the "with us or against us" tone "Saudi Arabia: is it a friend or foe in the War on Terror?" - as though Saudi Arabia existed merely to fall in with America's whims. Can't see how such writing will contribuite much to anyone's understanding of the realities of the Kingdom.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12378
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:45 pm    Post subject: Time to disagree Reply with quote

Dear Cleopatra,
Those "shady-looking ragheads" on the cover??? You mean Prince (Vice-Regent) Abdullah, and (my guesses) Princes Sultan and Naif? Why do you call them "shady-looking""? I have the cover right in front of me now, and, quite honestly, they don't look that way to me. As for "ragheads", well, they ARE dressed in the "national dress", but hey - would you have preferred business suits? As for the article itself, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think it gives a fairly balanced view of the Kingdom, one that presents the good, the hopeful, the bad and the silly.
I especially like the ending:
" . . . President Bush is hearing a singular line from his most important foreign policy advisors: that he must engage with the Saudis, work with them to bring about change and not alienate them."
As for the "with us or against us" tone, well, Time magazine IS aimed primarily at the American public and I'd say that the question of whether the Saudis are "with us or against us" is one that is in a lot of people's minds here (exacerbated by the facts that so many of the WTC terrorists were Saudis and that Osama is from Saudi Arabia - although stripped of his citizenship). And the conclusion that I got from the article was that - Yes, the Saudis ARE with us in the "fight against terrorism".
Yup, we've definitely found something to disagree about.
Regards,
John
P.S. I don't know whether you're aware of just how MUCH wrong information, stereotyping, ignorance and bad feeling there actually is in the USA towards the Saudis. If you want a sampling of just how stupid people can be, the next time there's a Saudi story on Yahoo, go to the message boards and you'll be appalled - though perhaps not surprised - at the vitriol, hatred and witlessness you'll see displayed there. The Time magazine article wasn't perfect, by any means - but it did, I think, go a long way towards creating a better understanding, especially among those who've never known a Saudi, who've never been to the Kingdom and often - thanks in large part to TV and the movies - automatically associate Saudis with terrorists.
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Brooks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dear Ohman,

there is some sleeping at Japanese schools. I don`t tolerate it. I wake up my students with a rousing good morning, whether it is 9:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m.

the two periods after lunch are the toughest for teachers. That is when some students get sleepy. And the first class of the day is when students are sleepy. And the class before lunch is when students get hungry.

In Taiwan, students get a siesta after lunch. I wish we had that in Japan.
Perhaps the worry is the students wouldn`t wake up.
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ohman



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 239
Location: B' Um Fouk, Egypt

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 9:12 am    Post subject: T cubed Reply with quote

Teach to the test.

Rote learning. Private tutors. Envelopes with gifts for the teacher.

Saudis looking towards Japan makes sense to me.
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