In the last class, I asked why most of students in class were quiet without asking any questions at all. These are the answers: "Because I feel sleepy." "Because I am shy." "Because other students would be angry with me if I ask questions. so, I will ask questions to the teacher after the class."
These are only some opinions and there might be hundreds more reasons, however, their comments give me a starting point to investigate the absolute passiveness in students in some of Japanese schools.
Such attitudes can be identified in way too many classrooms and I suspect that is the main culprit for the decline in academic standards which educators moan about.
Now it is time to ask educators including myself;
What makes you sleepy? Simply the lack of sleep? But would you feel sleepy when you do something exciting or fun, regardless of the depth or length of your sleep? Why does this student feel shy in class? Simply he is self-conscious? Would he feel so shy with his family? How about with his friends? Why would other students get angry at this student if she asks questions? Who facilitates such unfair setting?
And what if we try to learn from the successful school system? What are the differences between the system and our system? Would that be nice if we can facilitate a space where learner's autonomy is respected and everyone shares the fruit of it?
I would love to see such a change at schools in my own country without relying heavily on tests to force students to work hard.