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Hiroko Aspi

Founder & Executive Director


For Hiroko's profile, click here.

The Japanese math program, developed in the 1600s, has been proved to be so effective that it has and still is preparing countless young learners for success in exam schools in Japan. I am excited to be able to propagate the learning from this program and help young learners in the U.S.  

Japanese math program emphasizes not only problem-solving skills but also literacy and comprehension. Both problem-solving and comprehension involve finding meaning in the text and apply what has been read. Both skills are closely associated with each other. It's not necessarily the mathematical skills that are the core element of diminishing confidence in struggling students. But poor comprehension skills are often the cause for fear of learning a new concept.


JMA's approach is to learn how math is used in other subjects. Math is relevant to a wide variety of academic subjects, which means that a student who does poorly in math could end up struggling in other subjects. As in science, JMA program teaches converting observation into learning. In the preparation phase, students observe what happens. In the exploration phase, they try it by either applying the same process or finding a new way. In the discovery phase, students gain confidence from being able to independently find an answer. We do not grade because grading penalizes mistakes and is a tangible tool to hold students accountable for making the mistakes. Our collaborative approach encourages students to share their solutions with their peers and develop their own solutions.

Learning math does not necessarily bring joy to some students. JMA can help them see that math is a way of making sense of the world in real life. Math gives everyone the power to think and reason for themselves. 

Hope to see you soon!

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