By contrast, many other advanced countries have institutionalized critical commentary by peers and also provide intellectual support to improve skills and learning as part of teachers’ professional practice. Japanese teachers even have a separate word for this process, jugyokenkyu , which is built into their weekly routines. All teachers have designated periods to observe each other’s classes, study curriculum, and otherwise hone their craft. But they also learn a great deal in their pre-service training, which is both more rigorous and more demanding concerning particular subject matter than anything American teacher-education students are likely to encounter.
Student-centric approach to learning is a much more recent development, placing emphasis on students’ participation in the educational process. This approach considers students to be not just objects but subjects of education as well, and teacher’s role is viewed as not as that of instructor but facilitator and delegator. To simplify it a bit, a teacher doesn’t provide one or another method of doing things that is already set in stone, but offers guidance and support so that students are capable to figure things out on their own, thus making them active participants of the process.