Monday, August 26, 2013

The Suzuki Method

I noticed a little book from 1969 called Nurtured By Love by Shinichi Suzuki.   I have heard good and bad things about the Suzuki method, generally bad, and never thought to evaluate this teaching method until I saw it cited in a paper appearing in one of the GAT journals.  (I'm busy catching up on my reading.  I'm through about 1989).

I conclude that the Suzuki method is simple, effective, and applies to any topic of learning.  Here it is in short:
1.  There is no such thing as inborn or inherited talent or ability.  It is all learned.  (This officially makes 2 of us who think this way.)  A skill requires many hours of practice to develop.
2.  The parents play the role as teacher, coach, and practice partner and do most of the work early on.
3.  The curriculum has to be designed properly.

I am surprised to see a writer and teacher in 1969 who debunks the notion that cognitive skill is inherited, and how places the parents in such a prominent role in a child's life.  I blame western psychology for the unfounded and misguided belief that intelligence is inherited.

I think both Suzuki and Kumon have the same general philosophy.   Proper execution requires a patient, loving and wise teacher, and a totally committed parent.  Without these elements, the Suzuki method and Kumon are just torture methods.