Message from the President《2》
President Yasunobu Hashimoto
I believe there are many parents who wish for their children to become globally successful adults. There are many institutions that provide the skills and knowledge for such purpose. Through my own experience of leading a company abroad, where the rest of the staff members were non-Japanese, I came to understand that there is a set of extraordinary strengths commonly seen among people who are successful in the global environment. “Challenge Spirit”, “concentration”, and “mathematical thinking”. When I became a father, I thought about my daughter’s education. I have noticed that “arithmetic” is commonly the least favorite subject among elementary school students in Japan. In the PISA（Programme for International Student Assessment) research on middle school students, Japan’s average mathematics score is not so low in the world, however, students considered mathematics as their weakest point. Nowadays, the importance of education in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, so called the “STEM education”, is rising. I strongly felt that I cannot allow my child to dislike arithmetic and do poorly in mathematics! This issue became my personal agenda. The root cause of disliking arithmetic in elementary school is that students are not used to doing calculations. The foundation of mathematics is arithmetic, and calculations open the door to arithmetic. I believe developing children’s ability to calculate in an enjoyable and efficient manner at an early stage will play a large role in the future society and is essential to the STEM education.
TThe final goal of STEM education is to develop creativity. In order to explain this, I use Bloom’s Taxonomy as you can see in Figure below. However, it cannot be denied that Japan is focusing too much on the “Remember” and “Understand” layers. I am not exaggerating when I say that entrance exams for Japanese universities necessitate these two layers. Once you are out in the society, you will be expected to apply what you have remembered and understood. It is important to note that without the layers of “Remember” and “Understand”, it is impossible to achieve a good “Apply”. Children’s time, the most valuable thing, will not change. In order to develop the ability to “apply," it is necessary to find a way to give students high quality learning opportunities in a short amount of time. SoroTouch, the new mental calculation learning method, offers the solution to this problem.
Acquisition of abacus-method mental calculation skill was, so to speak, a “special ability” that only some talented people can obtain. SoroTouch has now come to the level where we can bring out such ability from all children. This is the “update of capacity development” in which this special ability our generations do not have are spreading in a short period of time. It is not just the calculation ability that the students can acquire from SoroTouch. It is also the abacus method, with more than 2000 years of history, which also teaches students to face themselves and concentrate. The “spirit of challenge” and the “concentration” that I referred to as the common feature of globally successful people, can also be acquired with SoroTouch. Our company’s mission is to realize the maximum potential of the children of the world through “improvement of calculation ability” which is the foundation of STEAM education, and through “gaining confidence and interest towards mathematics” in their early childhood.