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The Tokyo Academics Debate and Critical Thinking Program

We here at Tokyo Academics are constantly seeking out and developing unique and challenging educational experiences to provide to our students. One area that we’ve identified is the preparation of middle school students for the increased academic rigors of high school. Starting from 9th grade, the core skills of reading and writing take on new complexities, and students are increasingly expected to be independent learners.

So that students can be better prepared when they become high school freshmen, Tokyo Academics has developed a curriculum that encourages students to tackle these challenges earlier on. Through a wide range of complex topics, students critically read, persuasively write, and creatively solve problems.

  • What happens in the class?
    • Each class meets weekly and is centered around a theme, for example:
      • What is Justice?
      • Ethics in Education
      • Entrepreneurship
    • Each week, students:
      • Arrive in class having reviewed new content
      • Engage with the new material through debate, presentation, and argument
      • Develop a new skill (persuasive analogies, stakeholder analysis, usage of quotes, etc.)
      • Work on a short homework assignment to practice new skills
  • What are the outcomes of the class?
    • Through small-group discussion, students will practice:
      • Reading
      • Writing
      • Public speaking
      • Debate
      • Creative problem solving
      • Vocabulary

All of these skills impact standardized testing, teamwork, leadership, and overall intellectual confidence – all of which are critical to the boarding school application process.

Message from the Instructor, Tyler: “The course is designed around providing a dynamic, student- and discussion-driven experience that improves student reading, writing, and thinking. It is a class that is perfect for students who enjoy discourse, learning, and challenge but need to further solidify the essential reading, writing, and analysis skills that will be expected of them in high school and beyond.”

For more information in regards to the class schedule and registration, please follow our programs page here.