Message from the Deangreeting
The Kyushu University School of Education was established in 1949, founded on the Faculty of Law and Letters Education Course, which began in 1925 at Kyushu Imperial University. It has produced over 2800 graduates who are active both in Japan and abroad, working in business, as civil servants at local and national levels, as journalists, and as officials of international organizations such as the United Nations. Some graduates have gone on to teach at high schools via the teacher-training course attached to the undergraduate professional education program. Many have gone on to graduate school, at Kyushu University and elsewhere, to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees, and they work as teachers and researchers at universities and research institutions worldwide, or practice as clinical professionals.
Education is very much a human activity. Accumulated knowledge and skills, as well as innovative changes in those skills, are passed from individual to individual over time, from individual to group, and from group to group, all with an inherent sense of history. The systematization of these activities is also education. At the same time, despite the best intentions, this system may also have a degree of ‘violence’, forcing others to assimilate and conform, and depriving them of spontaneity and diversity. To be consciously involved in education means to keep in mind both its possibilities and dangers, to be prepared to connect ‘history’ with faith in its possibilities.
For more than seven decades, the School of Education at Kyushu University has been challenging this mission, with pedagogy and psychology as complementary tools, by studying various domains which surround individuals, such as the family and school; by addressing various issues in contemporary society; and by investigating their structure from a historical perspective. At the core of such endeavors are reflections on World War II and the mission to realize a democratic society that we inherited from the school’s founders who tried to reform the educational system in the various prefectures of Kyushu and to spread democratic educational ideas.
Researching and studying issues concerning education and the mind from a broad perspective and with a clinical and practical attitude is essentially an interdisciplinary activity, which is not possible without the cooperation of the people involved in the research and educational activities of the faculty, including the neighboring municipalities, schools, and communities. We hope to be both an academic and practical faculty that can contribute to the development of education and psychology. To do so requires the collaboration of students, staff and faculty in sincerely addressing actual issues, escaping the outdated divisive concept of ‘ri-kei /bun-kei (science/humanities)’, and having a global view of the ever-changing world, aware of both the diversity and universality of individuals and cultures. I would like to believe that this pursuit will help to solve social problems directly connected to education and the mind, such as poverty, discrimination, injustice and division, and to help anyone who is in distress.