I think this is rather oversimplified perspectives. Yes, the parents make a huge difference. But, that's beyond the teacher's control, in most cases. While they are teaching the classroom full of students, the teachers' job seems to be to help those students learn math. Changing their parents can't be a major part of the teachers' responsibilities, if it is their responsibility at all.
Furthermore, there are many Japanese classrooms with students coming from this same "homogeneous" and "ambitious" culture which fails mathematics miserably. So, it's not just students. It's not just parents. And, it's not just teachers. I think having kids from "ideal" homes will create a nice orderly, safe and well behaved school. It is an "easy" school to manage from administrators/teachers' perspectives. It is a nice condition to teach/learn, but it is neither sufficient nor necessary condition of learning to me.
Tad Watanabe Towson State University Towson, Maryland
On Tue, 10 Oct 1995 Lutemann@aol.com wrote:
> > I don't think it's the teachers, it's the students. The Japanese culture is > very homogeneous and VERY ambitious. I'm sure there are fewer discipline > problems in a Japanese class of 50 than in a typical U.S. class of 25. In > Utah they spend very little money on education, have large classes, but get > good results for the same reasons as the Japanese (let's hear from the > teachers in Utah). There are really only three aspects to having a good > educational system: > > 1) the parents 2) the parents 3) the parents > > Do you know any teacher who wouldn't burn their copy of the Standards to have > a class full of kids who each had two caring and parents interested in their > education? > > Kent >