August 31, 2009

湊かなえ『告白』とエリート教育の不在:"Confession" by Kanae Minato - When Gifted Kids Lack Challenge

I read Kanae Minato's debut novel KOKUHAKU (Confession), the winner of this year's Honya Taisho (Booksellers Award) in Japan.

The story unfolds as a junior high school teacher and single mother, Yuko, announces to her whole class that it's her last day at school and the reason why she's leaving.

Following her shocking tale in the first chapter entitled The Clergyman (which alone received the New Writers award as a short story back in 2006) are six more first person accounts. -- Boy A is an exceptionally highly gifted child who feels nobody could recognize his talent in this remote countryside, while Boy B is above average student whose mom tries to help him build self-esteem by encouraging him but, the more she tries, the more he feels he cannot live up to his mother's expectation. -- ...I'd better leave out the rest, because guessing who comes next is one of the factors that make this a real page-turner.

It somehow reminds me of SMAP's "Sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana (A Flower Unlike Any Other in the World)" (Lyrics 1, 2) that's been selling like hotcakes since 2003 (when my son stayed there for weeks, it was a song of the month at school). The song is about diversity; each one of us has different talent and, as long as we do our best, we don't need to be the number one.  It's fine, but how about the gifted children?  Who teaches them the social responsibility, when national media focus on sensationalism?  The story sheds light on them.

Maybe Japan needs GATE program. No?




読んでて、なんとはなしにSMAPの2003年のヒット『世界に一つだけの花』の「ナンバーワンにならなくてもいい もともと特別なオンリーワン」を連想してしまった。息子が夏の体験入学でお邪魔した先の学校で毎日歌ってたので覚えてるんだけど、きっと執筆時期と重なるんじゃないかなーと。





例えばカリフォルニア州ほか一部の州では小学校の段階から生まれつき頭の良い子、才能のある子だけ選別し、能力に合うカリキュラムを提供する「GATE(Gifted and Talented Education)プログラム」なんてものがある(解説)。






mantis said...


satomi said...


Post a Comment