In Japanese classrooms, teachers consciously design tasks that are slightly beyond the capabilities of the students they teach, so the students can actually experience struggling with something just outside their reach.
We see struggle as an indicator that you’re just not very smart, it’s a sign of low ability — people who are smart don’t struggle, we think, they just naturally get it, that’s our theory. Whereas in Asian cultures they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity.
In Eastern cultures, it’s just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle.
See on blogs.kqed.org