Catherine C. Lewis
How do children become eager, motivated learners and caring, responsible citizens? Educating Hearts and Minds, first published in 1995, is a portrait of Japanese preschool and early elementary education which examines these questions. Its thesis - which will surprise many Americans - is that Japanese schools are successful because they meet children's needs for friendship, belonging, and contribution. This book brings to life what actually happens inside Japanese classrooms. What do children learn? How do they learn? What values are emphasised, and how are they taught? In a sharp departure from most previous accounts, this book suggests that Japanese education succeeds because all children - not just the brightest or best-behaved - somehow come to feel like valued members of the school community. Ironically, Japanese teachers credit John Dewey and other progressive Western educators for many of the techniques that make Japanese schools both caring and challenging. This book brings to a wider readership the voices of Japanese classroom teachers - voices that are at once deeply consonant with Western aspirations and deeply provocative.