Teachers with specialised knowledge in their respective fields employ student-driven learning methods
a world beyond the traditional top-down classroom.
Interaction with professionals from around the world also naturally fosters an understanding of and respect for diversity.
Because they might be afraid of making a mistake, many Japanese students tend to not ask any questions at all. However, it is natural to make mistakes, especially when you don’t understand a subject. Making mistakes should not be embarrassing, but rather a good thing. By asking questions, students we be able to identify what they know and what they don’t, leading to progress in learning. There is a lot to learn from making mistakes. Also, asking questions is a form of communication. By interacting actively with the teachers and other classmates, students can gain the confidence to move forward on their own.
By making connections between what they are studying in class and society as a whole, students will be able to broaden their horizons. For example, students can apply what we study in biology class to what is happening in the news (climate change, pandemics, genetics, etc.). By doing so, they can start seeing all the relationships that surround us and develop a broader perspective about the world and the future. Students don’t know about all the possibilities that await them, and a part of the teacher’s role is to expose them to various ideas through classes. For example, many students may not be aware that studying biology can lead to careers not only in research, but also relating to horticulture or marine biology. I hope to create an educational experience that mixes learning concepts and openness to new ideas that will help students move towards their future goals.
There are many different ways of thinking and values in the world, and there is more than one right answer to most questions.
I believe that in order to become global citizens who can play an active role in the international community, it is important that our students acquire the skills to think objectively, without being influenced by emotions or subjectivity, and learn to accept diversity. In order to do this, I try to stimulate students' desire to actively learn a variety of things by presenting topics that interest them. For example, in the IB programme, students decide on their own themes, research them, and collate their thoughts into a paper, which I believe is difficult for high school students. In order to solve problems, it is necessary not only to learn facts, but also to have "thinking skills". Even if this process is difficult at first, students will gradually become adept and get used to thinking.
I believe that if students can read various types of information by themselves, think about it and act on it, their range of activities will expand.
Since English is not only a subject but also a tool that is used effectively in the world, our goal is for our students to be completely at ease with the English language. However, what is important is how they communicate using that English. They can achieve things by explaining their vision, inspiring others, and gaining cooperation. Successful leaders around the world have these capabilities and use such skills effectively.
One of the things that is essential for communication is the ability to learn independently.
I believe that it is easier to acquire knowledge and that such knowledge can be beneficially shared with others through having a positive attitude towards self-study, combined with curiosity rather than through compulsory learning. To this end, we value classes that stimulate students' curiosity.
I want our students to improve their communication skills to become leaders of the future.
I believe it is important to ask students questions that will arouse their curiosity in order to for them to want to learn. Merely listening to a teacher's explanation and writing it in a notebook is not learning. Being able to think independently is the key to reaching an answer even in unfamiliar situations. Even if it takes more time, I want students to make an effort to get closer to the answer by themselves.
Students will definitely need the ability to think for themselves in the future. I want them to become people who can think for themselves while listening to others’ opinions.
I think an important characteristic of this school is that there are many areas that teachers are responsible for other than just teaching facts. In my classes, I value the experience of discovery rather than just memorisation. Being able to solve a complex problem, prove a conjecture, or discover an unexpected connection between topics through one’s own effort is what math is truly about. I hope students get to appreciate this often ignored side of mathematics.
In our school, we provide a classroom environment that encourages students to take charge of their own learning rather than simply receive information from teachers. In order for this to happen, I integrate many presentations and debates into my classes. In my history lessons, I ask students answer complex questions with multiple possible answers, providing an opportunity for them to be exposed to opinions different from their own. Consequently, our discussions end up becoming philosophical at times. Through constantly thinking critically, as well as researching and communicating their opinions, students learn to express their thoughts more effectively. By their last years of high school, students’ presentations become much more advanced in terms of both design and knowledge conveyed. My hope for students is that they become adults capable of playing an active role in the world. They can do this through cultivating the abilities to identify and analyse problems as well as to express their thinking process about those problems clearly.
As students progress through high school, they gradually discover their interests and goals. However, they sometimes do not have a strong enough grasp of the specifics of those same interests and goals to realise them. For example, students may be interested in business, but lack an awareness of what type of business they may be most suitable for. So they can gain more specific knowledge related to their fields of interest, I encourage students to read relevant books and articles. At our school, we have a dedicated reading time before the first period of classes. During reading time, students record their thoughts in their reading journals. Through this activity, students have been able to identify what fields they wish to set up businesses in and what further knowledge they need to obtain to do so successfully. As a result, they have gotten a step closer to realising their dreams.
A highlight of the education our school offers is that students can enjoy interacting with teachers from around the world in a truly borderless environment in which a diversity of perspectives and outlooks are accepted. Our teachers are active learners themselves, continuously taking on the challenge of introducing the latest developments in their fields to their classes. As a result, students have countless opportunities for engaged learning.
Through my music classes, I wish to teach not only musical knowledge, but also transmit the joy that music can bring and how fun it can be to contribute to society as an adult. I hope that students can enjoy learning at our truly open and diverse school, always looking forward to their futures.
In addition to teaching music, I serve as a CAS coordinator for the IB programme. CAS, which stands for Creativity, Activity, and Service, is a programme that encourages students to identify, explore and continuously engage in activities covering all 3 letters. As the staff member in charge, I feel it is important to help students discover their topics of interest and develop projects autonomously. To do so, I am careful to encourage students in brainstorming their own ideas and to guide their planning process by asking key questions. Even if the activities and projects they come up with seem challenging at first, I do my best to help students realise their goals. I believe it is our role as teachers to help students succeed in their activities, developing students' self-confidence.
I always try to have classes where the students can explore concepts of history from various perspectives. When studying history, it is very important not to look at things from one side, but from a multitude of viewpoints. For example, examining the causes or consequences of specific historical events such as wars can give us insight into the nature of human history. I feel it is essential that, rather than just memorising historical facts, we explore and discuss significant and controversial topics.
In order to stimulate students' curiosity, deepen their understanding, and develop their critical thinking skills, I use a variety of tools including a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, video, and the Internet. Students also learn to summarise their findings and present them.
Since our school team consists of teachers from such diverse backgrounds, students have opportunities to experience the cultures and norms of many world regions. In other words, we provide an environment where people can naturally gain an understanding of multiculturalism. There are also many opportunities for students to experience Japanese culture as well as to study abroad, broadening their perspectives. In order to take full advantage of such offerings, students will need to analyse information critically, be inquisitive, and develop a healthy skepticism. It is my goal to support students in discovering an internal motivation to cultivate these skills.
What is important in order to expand students’ possibilities is enhancing their self-esteem.
In the traditional Japanese approach to education, adults often complete the background work needed to ensure students never fail, and in so doing, deprive students of the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. I prefer to support students in discovering solutions to issues they face and in gaining adaptability. Perhaps they can even come to enjoy the process of failing and learning from the failure. In order to make room for such an empowering learning environment, I put great effort into encouraging effective parent-teacher communication. I also seek to walk side by side with students as they learn to celebrate diversity through their day-to-day interactions with our multinational teaching team.
I head the infocommunications and technology department. In our classes, we not only teach computer skills and programming, but also help students understand that everything that is communicated in the world is information. Of course, we then address how to process and convey this information to others.
In particular, I strive to design classes that allow students to identify social issues and propose solutions both independently and through group work. In addition, I hope students gain a taste for life-long learning through the experience of ideating solutions applicable not just in Japan, but also overseas.
What underlies this thought is my strong desire for students to grow into self-motivated learners. In a world that is changing at an accelerated pace, what is accepted as the truth today may be proven false tomorrow. I believe the school’s teaching team shares the common goal of cultivating active learners capable of self-motivated inquiry and problem solving.
It is my mission to continue learning alongside our students and to help them acquire the capacity for self-driven and independent learning.