In this post, I want to highlight a fundamental feature of the Shichida Method, which is not always understood, which is that it is less concerned about gaining facts and knowledge. It is more concerned with drawing out and strengthening the child’s ability to learn and growing their mental capacity. Professor Shichida said, “You may think that it is quicker to teach a child actual subjects such as language or math. In fact, however, right brain training that has nothing to do with schoolwork can quickly develop the child’s talents and improve his marks”. He also said, “We are not aiming to give children mere knowledge but to give them the concentration power with which they can in later years learn things more easily.”

It calls to mind the proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Professor Shichida said that, “The objective of education should be the development of the brain instead of the cramming of knowledge.” He said that the more knowledge we have, the more difficult it is to activate the imaging power of the right brain.

So, the Shichida Method is not concerned with whether the child knows facts such as letters/numbers/shapes/colours/animals/etc or who composed this sonata or what is the population of that country. Yes, we do use facts when we play the Shichida games (some form of information has to be used), but the facts are used only as aids and props to carry out the mind training. The games change in every class and the previous facts used are not revised. It is the training of the mind that we are focussing on, not the learning of facts.

If you are a Shichida parent with the Singapore centre, you may note that in the parents’ handbook, there is a section that sets out 10 basic concepts that children should know (colour, shape, size, number, quantity, space recognition, comparison, order, time and money). This is just to give the parents some ideas on what they can use to train with. The children are not tested on any of these concepts - the Shichida Method is not concerned with that.

Personally, I think that the Shichida centre has a tough time trying to bring the method to Singapore parents. The Shichida Method is in many ways the opposite of existing methods and many parents criticise it because they measure it against what they are familiar with. While the Shichida Method emphasises character development, the parents want academic achievement. The Shichida Method believes in play-based approach but the parents want drills and worksheets because they want to measure “progress”. The Shichida Method tells us that parents should guide the child but the parents expect the teachers to do it. The Shichida Method tells us to start by showing our love to our children but the parents just want to get straight to the maths/reading/etc. It’s difficult to change the mindset of the Singaporean parent and perhaps the only way is to try to get the parents into the programme first and hope they change their outlook after they have seen firsthand how the method works.

So what does the training involve?

Shichida believes that the right brain has the following special abilities:
2. intuitive image memory
3. wave speed reading
4. computer-like calculation ability
5. perfect pitch
6. language acquisition ability
7. image healing ability

These abilities stem from the hidden functions of the right brain, which are:
1. resonance function
2. image visualisation function
3. high-speed mass memory function
4. high-speed automatic processing function

Shichida training targets and strengthens these functions of the right brain by playing games that exercise the abilities of the right brain. Basically, the more you use the right brain, the stronger it becomes. So we do ESP/HSP games, memory games, speed reading, etc. We also listen to songs and phrases in different languages, do pretend play, etc.

In my next instalment, I will start on the actual training.

[This post also appears in our Learning at Home section.]


Kamy said...

Hi Leona,
I'm a shichida parent and I somehow know the training of the right brain, and read 1 or 2 books of Prof shichida, but I never did fully understand the method until you put it so simply into words. Thank you so much for the postings.

I really look forward to more of the instalments of the notes on shichida! :)


Pinkie Pirate said...

Kamy, thanks for your comments! Will definitely be posting more nuggets on Shichida!

DV said...

Hi, Your post is really useful....I landed on your blog when googling on "shichida vs heguru" as i read somewhere that shichida teachers in SG are not well-qualified anymore as they are not being sent to Japan for learning or certification. Do you have anything to say in this regard? Hows the Shichida center in Bukit batok?

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi DV. It's true that the Shichida teachers are trained locally. To me, I don't see that as a negative factor. There is no independent body in Japan which is certifying these teachers, whether Heguru or Shichida. Heguru trains its own teachers and issues its own cert, Shichida does the same - so I don't agree that geography determines the quality of the teachers. Another thing to think about is that these teachers are trained to deliver the school's programme - how to flash cards, how present the material, etc. They are not undergoing a course in early childhood education. While there are some teachers who have teaching qualifications, some of the teachers are students on holiday waiting to enter university to pursue other courses. So when people talk about quality of teachers, I don't think that they truly understand the situation. Does flashing cards faster make you a teacher of higher quality? To me, nope. To me, there are other more important things. Hope that puts things in perspective.
I don't know anything about the centre in Bukit Batok. :)

Unknown said...

PPirate.. thankyou for your wife and i are looking to explore this method to enroll our 8mth old son into.. can i ask if you konw whether this training / classes continue even after kids enter pre-school.. ?

Pinkie Pirate said...

Ahmed - Yes it does.

julia said...

Hi, I came across your blog when I was looking up about shichida for my 7mths old son. I am very impressed how advanced Ryan is for his age. However, I am curious as to why he stopped attending the classes after all these years. Do you mind share the pros and cons of joining these classes? TIA

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