Miwako Sensei takes a holistic approach in teaching her students. She is not only concerned with teaching abacus and mental calculation skills, but also with how she can help her students develop their potential as young people. She continuously innovates her teaching methods to best suit her students’ needs and helps students learn how to take responsibility for and ownership of their own development. It was a great experience to be able to reflect on how Miwako Sensei has taught me. I cannot even fit all of it into words, but I hope whomever reads it will understand my feeling.
Through studying Miwako Sensei’s curriculum, participating in competitions, and sitting for certification tests, I developed strong concentration skills, planning skills, and goal orientation skills, in addition to developing a high level of proficiency in abacus and mental calculation.
Now, as an adult, despite having ready access to electronic calculators on smartphones and computers, I find myself continuing to rely on my mental calculation skills in a variety of daily life situations. When shopping, traveling, or eating out at restaurants, I quickly manipulate invisible abacus beads with my fingers and mind to calculate discounts, sales tax, unit prices, currency conversions, and tip.
I don’t deny that learning and practicing (especially practicing) abacus and mental calculation is a lot of hard work. However, I do believe that studying abacus and mental calculation is a worthwhile endeavor that can afford one powerful and practical calculation abilities, in addition to a diverse range of skills and experiences.
— Clark, Former JAMS Student, 2007 – 2011