In Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology provides guidelines for teaching called the "Gakushu Shido Yoryo." This is a common standard for educational content, and textbooks from each publisher must first undergo examination by the government whether the content complies with this standard. Only those textbooks that have passed this examination and granted certification become candidates for adoption by the schools.
This system underlines what students should learn, so the teachers are set free from the problem of "What to teach." However, teachers must confront the problem of "How to teach." They must make a great effort to ensure that students understand what is written in textbooks.
We are now in the process of developing curriculums that comply with the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core, too, is about content or "What to teach," and does not offer methodology. It does not indicate "How to teach"; the problem must be pursued by the educators themselves.
We believe that teaching materials do not merely show what needs to be learned or taught. They serve a major role in presenting the best methodology for teaching. Good teaching materials are ones that cultivate and inspire not only students but also teachers. We hope that our products help many teachers to become even better at teaching.