In 1954, high school math teacher Toru Kumon pioneered the Kumon Method, inspired by his son Takeshi’s struggles with learning math. This marked the start of a revolutionary approach to self-learning. Kumon introduced handwritten math questions on loose-leaf paper, which has now grown into a worldwide phenomenon in education.
In 1955, the first Kumon Math Center opened its doors in Moriguchi City, Osaka, setting the stage for a decades-long legacy. The Osaka Institute of Mathematics was founded in 1958 in response to the growing demand for Kumon’s distinctive approach. Consequently, the first center opened its doors in Tokyo in 1962.
Kumon experienced exponential development and popularity in the 1970s after the release of “The Secret of Kumon Math,” a bestseller that thrust the approach into the forefront of education. Preschool workbooks were first released in 1977, which was a big move toward more extensive educational options.
Kumon’s dedication to quality resulted in the formation of the Kumon Institute of Education in 1983, with the iconic Kumon logo. Moreover, the Kumon Method thrived globally in the 1980s and 1990s, achieving milestones such as establishing the first overseas center in New York in 1974 and exceeding 1 million enrollments in Japan by 1981.
The new millennium brought innovation and international collaboration. In 2000, Kumon reorganized into a group management structure, fostering research and educational services for universities. The Kumon World Leaders’ Seminar in 2001 exemplified the commitment to sharing Kumon’s values globally.
In 2018, Kumon marked its 60th anniversary, impacting over 4 million enrollments globally. From the Miracle of Sumiton to global language programs, Kumon’s influence grew.
The Kumon story is not just about math; it’s about empowering learners globally. Kumon, in 50+ countries, symbolizes educational excellence and the transformative power of self-learning. Upon reflecting on this remarkable journey, Kumon’s legacy lies not just in numbers but in transforming countless lives through knowledge pursuit and belief in one’s potential.
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