In this post I will write about the Shichida Method Parent Education Conference that was conducted for newcomer parents.
The conference was held in the auditorium of the NTUC building, which was almost filled to the brim with eager parents! (my guess is that there were at least 400 parents there).. We arrived a little late but it had not started yet.
The parent education conference was more like a one-sided-lecture by the principal, Mrs Jocelyn Khoo.
She was very enthusiastic about her program (well, she ought to be) and filled up the entire lecture with examples of ‘success stories’ of children who have gone through the method. Some examples were from Japan and there were some local cases. She also described the basis behind the Shichida method. Overall, I felt it was more like a session to sell her idea to the parents.
She didn’t talk much about the components of the Shichida lessons, which we were actually more interested to hear about. I mean, I assume since all of the parents here have already signed up for lessons already they must be more or less convinced right (maybe she was out to convince people like me..)? We don’t need another 1 and a half hours of convincing that there are successful products of the Shichida method.
I didn’t like how she kept going on about her success stories due to this thing called the ‘Confirmation bias’. It is described by Wikipedia (the world’s largest peer-reviewed journal) as ‘Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way.’ You can read more about it at Wikipedia here.
There were also some parts of the lecture which I made the scientist in me snigger-she had cleverly inserted information that was not scientifically backed, between commonly known facts-resulting in a false impression that the whole statement was true. For example, she talked about how babies and toddlers like to touch everything (true), and this is how they learn about new things (true). They pick up ‘cellular vibrations’ from these objects (what is this? Not scientific fact).
She also said that Makoto Shichida is knighted. A quick search for ‘Sir Makoto Shichida’ on Google only turned up some local and overseas Shichida Method websites. Ok, maybe everyone is ignorant about his knighthood. Let’s look at these official Shichida method sites and see what they say…Hmm, he received in December 1997 ‘Order of Grand Knight for the Distinguished Service for World Peace from the World Intellectual Treasury Association ‘. There is even a picture of a big plaque (words on it are too small for me to make out). Another search for ‘World Intellectual Treasury Association’ turns up empty…..Oh, the official site says that ‘ The World Intellectual Treasury Association is an organization affiliated with the International Academy of Education University.’ A search for ‘International Academy of Education University’ turns up only the website for ‘International Academy of Education’, not a University..So the knighthood sounds pretty dubious to me.. (with all due respect to the late Professor Makoto Shichida).
Anyway after the course I spoke to my wife ans asked her what she thought about the course – she agreed that it was quite haphazardly presented and served no real purpose – except she did demonstrate how to use the orange card (this card with a blue dot in an orange background) and also had an on-stage demonstration of how to let the child guess what colour ball is in a bag (clairvoyance).
There was a course book provided that is as haphazard as the course – the content page looks pretty organized but the contents were in a mess – and like the course, there were ‘case studies’ of successful children taking up much of the book.
My own verdict? The course is compulsory (at least for one parent) so just have one parent go (probably the more cynical one). Don’t waste your money and have both parents go.