Course Model (1) Education
Simply put, the basic premise of the subject is to carefully read English and Japanese literature chosen by professors based on different themes of interest. “Reading” refers not only to understanding the content, as in high school, but also examining the background and purpose of the literature, and scrutinizing its validity. Students also learn the process of examining the contexts of papers using existing knowledge and creative thinking. For example, if a text contains the word “liberation,” it is important for students to understand that its meaning is contextual, depending on whether it was written for Americans, for the Japanese, or for other audiences in a developing country.
Students in the School of Education are required to write a thesis in order to graduate. However, it is impossible to write a graduation thesis unless one has the skills to thoroughly read research papers. Therefore, Pedagogical Literature Review is a mandatory course where students can acquire the “basic skills” required for the degree.
Pedagogical Literature Review will be taught in a “seminar” format, with a small number of students (less than 10) per instructor. The style varies depending on the instructor; for example, two or three students could be assigned one paper, and be asked to write down interpretations and questions. Based on this, the paper will undergo discussion and criticism in class. The instructor and students will work together to create this class based on the specific tastes and interests of students, such that the classes will encourage productive and fruitful discussions.
I believe that studying pedagogy is a way to understand, act, and live in society by examining social events that we take for granted from the new perspective of pedagogy. We welcome those who want to experience the joy of such discoveries together.
Course Model (2) Educational Psychology
After understanding the basic contents of psychology, the next step is to learn how to conduct research. The discipline of psychology contains both knowledge and theoretical aspects, as well as different methodological approaches. Psychology Research Methods will handle the methodological aspects: how to actually collect data, and how the information we have today was created. Students will learn theories in Statistical Methods in Psychology and methodology in Research Methods in Psychology. Then, they will spend half a year in Psychology Experiments, using one specific methodology to gather data, analyze it, and present it. After this stage, students will write their final thesis, building upon the knowledge of methods that they have acquired. This class is rigorously designed to help students conduct experiments and research well. I hope that students will take this class seriously.
The class will take place over two periods each Wednesday. Each methodological approach will be covered over the two classes: The first class will be a lecture on the methodology, and the second class will be a practical class where students will actually discuss and analyze certain data. Then, after submitting a report, the class will move on to the next methodology. The teachers that are specialized in a specific research method will be in charge of the two periods on that methodology, such that the class will be taught by a different teacher each week.
There is nothing in particular to prepare, but please make sure to review the Statistical Methods in Psychology class that you took prior to this one. You may wonder why you are being forced to do all this math, but it is worth remembering that statistics will form the basis of your research. Statistics has its own prototypes, so if you learn to flexibly use it, you will be able to clearly identify the appropriate design for your research.
People may have a literary or even religious image of psychology. However, psychology is inherently scientific. You have to come up with hypotheses, collect data, and make objective observations based on them. Please do some research and study in advance to find out what psychology is all about, so that you do not feel overwhelmed when your image of psychology is different from what you find at university.
Writing the Graduation Thesis and Final Examination
In the first and second semesters of the fourth year, students will write a graduation thesis, which is a requirement for graduation. The graduation thesis represents the culmination of four years of studying at the School of Education. Students are expected to emphasize their original ideas and awareness of issues while writing their thesis, and work proactively and independently without becoming passive. The Education department’s assessment will include a 20-minute oral examination, and the Educational Psychology course will require presentation of a poster.