Our final school visit came today as we toured the Kanagawa Prefectural Seisho High School.
Our day was spent observing classes and sharing our views of education with the staff at the school.
It was during this discussion that I was able to ask about the cultural expectations of discipline at Japanese institutions of education, as they were so vastly different from that of my own experiences. From our observations, it was apparent that students were not as closely supervised in Japanese schools as they are in our schools in the United States, nor are overt demands for proper behavior made of these students.
My question was answered by the principal of Seisho, who explained that Japanese students were simply expected to discipline themselves, and that the teachers held little of the responsibility for making this happen. I know that among our group this aspect of education had become a topic of discussion, and that our cultural differences certainly undermined our ability to fully understand each other's vision on the topic.