Projects give pupils life skills

18th July 2003 at 01:00

TWENTY-six eight-year-olds from Azabu primary in Tokyo have been visiting a nearby nursery school each week to do work unheard of before last year.

The pupils devise their own project, gather information, submit weekly progress reports and make a presentation to their own class at the end of six weeks.

Child-centred project work was introduced nationally last year after research showed Japanese children do not enjoy studying, despite their high standards.

After playing with the infants and interviewing their mothers, three Azabu boys decided to design and build a toy slide and car out of plywood and cardboard, said teacher Harue Tokuwaki. Two others kept journals on what they learned about infants and babies.

"I think they have learned how to empathise with and care for the weak," said Tokuwaki. "They became aware for the first time that what they learn in the classroom has application in real life."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today