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Word Count: 688
Students are socialized smoothly into Japanese culture by han groups which are small companies of children that learn and play together They contribute to the childrens educational growth by letting the students develop the group-oriented skills they will need in their daily adult lives Han groups are important parts of the Japanese elementary school experience in many waysAcademically it is the han group that is rewarded for achievement or a correct answer not the individual student The reward itself is usually no more than a round of applause from fellow students but that is a strong validation for the members of that han When groups give a wrong answer the teacher doesnt disdain or overlook them but rather uses them as teaching opportunities The focus is on reasoning so even groups that offer wrong answers can contribute to the ongoing discussion of the class and no individual gets singled out for poor performance Often the group itself discovers a mistake and they then get public credit for doing so Benjamin 63 This illustrates how the group structure contributes to academic learning Japanese teachers also said that some of the shy children may be more inclined to suggest answers to their small group of peers rather than to the whole class Students also have more time to voice their opinions when they are only talking to a group of four or five others than they would if they had to wait for the whole class to get a word in They are placed in their hans by their teachers who have several methods of doing so Once accustomed to their classes teachers might assign students with leadership qualities to be the han leader Others might let the students without leadership qualities lead their han in order to level the playing field Sometimes the students themselves are responsible for arranging their own hans From a students perspective I think han groups are very enjoyable The students are
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