Monday, 5 December 2016

What Anime Has Taught Me about Growth Mindset

I watch a lot of sports anime (Japanese cartoons about basketball teams, volleyball teams, swimmers, figure skaters, you get the idea). In watching these cartoons, I have noticed that there is a distinct difference between the Japanese approach to exams, competitions and events, compared with the British or American approach.

The idea for this blog post hit me in the face when I was watching Free! Iwatobi Swim Club in Japanese with English subtitles, and I noticed what I thought was an odd translation. If you are familiar with anime you might have heard the Japanese expression "Ganbatte!" which literally means "try your best" and is used often before exams, competitions, and fighting evil pirates (OK that one wasn't a sports anime). However, in the anime I was watching, ganbatte was translated as "Good luck" in the subtitles which struck me as weird, because I knew the correct translation. That's when it hit me: before exams and competitions, British people say "good luck", whereas Japanese people say "try your best". Could this very simple habit be the reason Japanese students outperform British students in education?

Think about what "good luck" really means. It implies that the recipient can only do well in the exam by some fluke. It implies that their own knowledge and skills are not good enough, and that the only way for them to succeed is if they luckily manage to get easy questions, or they luckily guess how to answer the questions. They are implying that you don't really have any influence on your success in the exam, and it is all in the hands of fate. This is a very fixed mindset way of thinking.

Consider the Japanese mindset instead: by saying "ganbatte" you are simply encouraging that person to try their best, implying that the harder you try, the better your result will be and the greater your success. This is very growth mindset.

People of Britain: please stop saying "good luck" to students before exams, to performers before performances, and to teams before competitions. Let's start saying "try your best" instead. Maybe this subtle shift in focus is enough to encourage more of a growth mindset in this country.

And for more motivational tips, you really should check out some Japanese anime or manga. Assassination Classroom, in particular, is a good one for teachers wanting to inspire their students.

Emma x x x


7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips, will try to change my mind set, and watch that Anime you had recommended

    Mughal

    ReplyDelete
  2. What Cartoons Has Taught Me about Growth Mindset
    I watch a lot of sports cartoons. In watching these cartoons, I have noticed that there is a distinct difference between the Japanese approach to exams, competitions and events, compared with the British or American approach.

    The idea for this blog post hit me in the face when I was watching SpongeBob with Japanese subtitles, and I noticed what I thought was an odd translation. If you are familiar with cartoons you might have heard the Japanese expression "Thelegend27!" which literally means "The best Game of War player" and is used often before exams, competitions, and fighting evil pirates (OK that one wasn't a sports cartoons). However, in the cartoons I was watching, TheLegend27 was translated as "Good luck" in the subtitles which struck me as weird, because I knew the correct translation. That's when it hit me: before exams and competitions, British people say "good luck", whereas Japanese people say "try your best". Could this very simple habit be the reason Japanese students outperform British students in education? NO

    Think about what "good luck" really means. It implies that the recipient can only do well in the exam by some fluke. It implies that their own knowledge and skills are not good enough, and that the only way for them to succeed is if they luckily manage to get easy questions, or they luckily guess how to answer the questions. They are implying that you don't really have any influence on your success in the exam, and it is all in the hands of fate. This is a very fixed mindset way of thinking.

    Consider the Japanese mindset instead: by saying "TheLegend27" you are simply encouraging that person to try their best, implying that the harder you try, the better your result will be and the greater your success. This is very growth mindset.

    People of Britain: please stop saying "Harambe" to students before exams, to performers before performances, and to teams before competitions. Let's start saying "TheLegend27” instead. Maybe this subtle shift in focus is enough to encourage more of a growth mindset in this country.

    And for more motivational tips, you really should check out some real shows. Ben10, in particular, is a good one for teachers wanting to inspire their students.

    Mughal x x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's sad you people have to comment on one of the few 'good' blogs around, but nevertheless your comment was what some people may call "humorous".
      Next time, stick to the classroom jokes Mughal
      (Not like they were good anyways)

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete