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Kumon: A learning method for the future

“The only safe prediction is that the future will be different to the present”, wrote Australian economist Ross Gittins in The Sydney Morning Herald, March 2017. He’s right. We don’t know for certain what our future will look like.

How do we prepare children for the future? Where does Kumon fit?

Learning how to learn

Kumon, at its core, prepares learners for ‘the unknown.’

In Kumon, ‘the unknown’ are topics students encounter for the first time in our worksheets when they progress beyond their school grade level. Outside of Kumon, ‘the unknown’ could be new industries, new technologies, new organisational structures, anything.

Our Instructors help students to learn in a very unique way. Kumon Instructors don’t explain to students how to solve problems, rather Instructors guide students to find the answer on their own. They first let students attempt the worksheets by themselves, and focus on developing in students the mindset, and skills, for self-learning. This prepares students for the future.

The skills and mindset for self-learning

Working independently and with new concepts is an important part of Kumon. Through this, students develop critical thinking skills. Critical thinking requires the systematic deconstruction of problems. This is followed by the production of a logical solution. Kumon worksheets allow this through examples, introductory problems and other design features that facilitate this process.

Through the process of correcting their worksheets, Kumon students are trained to think critically even when they make an error. Before making their corrections, students review their work on their own, locate errors and only erase parts of the answer where they see an error. This process trains the student to verify their own understanding and compare it with the example provided in the worksheet.

Kumon also prepares students for the future by developing their resilience and determination. Through the process of persevering in study, children develop a sense of their own capabilities and feel positive when they get the answer right. This develops our students’ enthusiasm for challenging themselves.

As summarised by Toru Kumon, the late founder of Kumon, “We hope [our students] will then continue learning by themselves even after going out into the real world, and grow up into people who are proactive in everything they do”.

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