The American School in Japan (ASIJ)

Tokyo, 2013-2015

NoTosh Team

Ewan McIntosh, Peter Ford, Hamish Curry, Tom Barrett

Creating a climate for positive learning

Education Programme Redesign

ASIJ wanted to promote a climate where students could grow and develop as individuals by creating a deeper and more meaningful relationship with their education. To achieve this, the school was keen to challenge existing and long-held preconceptions around the culture of learning and teaching.

In order to develop a shared understanding across the whole school community, the school identified a need for the teachers and students to be recognised as equals, moving round the school buildings and learning together. Working closely with the leaders at ASIJ, Ewan introduced the NoTosh Design Thinking process and over the course of two years the process was implemented both in and out of the classroom, to teachers and students alike.

Students were encouraged to adopt a feedback loop, allowing them to develop effective self-evaluation skills and provide constructive comment to each other while teachers were challenged to create meaningful projects, connected to real life. The school also adopted a trial and error approach where failure was recognised as an essential component of success.

As a result, students were happier and more fulfilled and, along with their teachers, more engaged with their work, bringing forward suggestions for further learning and showing a marked improvement in their grades.

ASIJ continues to actively encourage change through NoTosh Design Thinking, creating new opportunities for their students to learn and grow each day.

“I’m really a strong advocate for NoTosh, and I believe that they could help any schools that are open to change… we’re a very different school today to the one we were before NoTosh came along… and I think that’s in the most positive way for students and their learning.”

Ed Ladd, Head Teacher, ASIJ (2010-2016)
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