Monday, April 5, 2010

Won't Miss #150 - one correct answer

One of my students took an ethics course at an American college and she told me that she really hated the class. The reason she hated it was that the class required a person to think through all sides of an issue and choose a particular viewpoint. She said she was uncomfortable with this because she liked the answers to be concrete and for there to be one "right" reply that she could offer. This was nowhere near the first time that I'd been told this during my time in Japan, not by a long shot. This mindset occurs because the Japanese education system emphasizes that there is one right answer for every question and no alternate opinions are necessary or welcome. It is a way of discouraging differences among individuals and dissent when dealing with authority figures.

I won't miss the thinking bred by this "one correct answer for every question" nor the narrow perspective it leads people to have.