was a Japanese mathematics educator, born in Kochi Prefecture, Japan. He graduated from the College of Science at Osaka University with a degree in mathematics and taught high school mathematics in his home town of Osaka. In 1954, Kumon began to teach his oldest son, who was doing poorly in mathematics in primary school, and developed what would later become known as the Kumon method.

This method involves repetition of key mathematics skills, such as

addition,

subtraction,

multiplication, and

division, until mastery is reached.
Students then progress to studying the next mathematical topic.
Kumon defined

*mastery* as being able to get an excellent
score on the material in the time given, which is intended to
benefit students in all their studies. Kumon strongly emphasised
the concepts of

*time* and

*accuracy*.

As a
result of the method, other parents became interested in Kumon's
ideas, and in 1956, the first Kumon Center was opened in Osaka, Japan. In
1958, Toru Kumon founded the Kumon Institute of Education, which
set the standards for the Kumon Centers that began to open around
the world. The Institute continues today to focus on individual
study to help each student reach his or her full potential. The
underlying belief behind the Kumon Method is that, given the right
kind of materials and the right support, any child is capable of
learning anything. At any time, there are more than 4 million Kumon
students worldwide, and since 1956, more than 19 million students
have enrolled in Kumon Centers worldwide. Toru Kumon died in Osaka
on July 25, 1995 at the age of 81, due to

pneumonia.

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