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Autumn Issue (Nov)


Waseda & Culture Creation & Transmission

A major mission of Waseda University is to effectively utilize our cultural resources in education and research, while also broadly displaying such resources to society. This article discusses the meaning of creating "Waseda Culture" and transmitting this culture to the world, as well as new projects being undertaken to achieve this goal.


Round table discussion between principals of affiliated/associated schools

A unified junior high school/high school education that is conducted in a diverse environment and that develops individuality & the possibilities of a partnership between high schools and Waseda university

From among affiliated/associated schools, the round table discussion was attended by principals from Waseda University Senior High School (hereafter referred to as "Senior High School"), which will open a junior high school division next year, from Waseda Setsuryo Junior High School & High School (hereafter referred to as "Waseda Setsuryo"), which possesses a long history in the Kansai area and has taken a new step towards the future this year by becoming an associated school, and from Waseda Saga Junior High School & High School (hereafter referred to as "Waseda Saga"), which will open next spring in Saga Prefecture. The principals discussed topics such as the characteristics of their schools and the aim of unified junior high school/high school education. Expectations towards partnerships with Waseda University and towards partnerships between affiliated/associated schools were also a topic of discussion.

(Within the same "Waseda," 3 different schools with 3 different ways)

YaguchiThank you for taking the time to participate in today's discussion. Would you please start by introducing the characteristics of each of your schools?

YamanishiThe Senior High School has carved a long history together with Waseda University. 60 years has passed since our designation as an affiliated school. Our school has a spirit of independence, and that independent spirit sometimes produces students who are a bit presumptuous. However, I hope that our students become individuals who, in a positive meaning, think critically and take the initiative to express their opinions to the world. It is precisely these kinds of qualities which are needed in troubled times.

One feature of our school is the requirement of graduation theses. Although it seems that both high school students and university students have trouble writing a thesis, we strive to enable our students to consider and debate matters within themselves, and then to clearly express their opinions through words. We have developed a curriculum to instill students with such skills. In particular, the graduation thesis course for 3rd year high schools students is conducted with approximately 10 students per class.

Furthermore, in order to further increase the depth of our educational content, we will open a junior high school division next year. There are many outstanding students among individuals who enter the Senior High School. However, even so, there are also a wide variety of types of children, and it is clear that junior high school education has a profound impact on their development. Therefore, I am truly excited about the opportunity to conduct junior high school education at our school. In the junior high school division, students will acquire fundamental academic abilities, and students will be produced who possess a character that allows them to take full advantage of the education offered at our high school. I hope that this will also provide a major stimulus to high school education at our school.

The Senior High School is currently placing focus on activities projects outside of classroom study. Such projects include club activities, international exchange projects in accordance with social positions, environmental projects, and mock trial projects. Furthermore, our Super Science High School (SSH) is also an appealing project in the area of science and mathematics education.

WaragaiWaseda Setsuryo has a history of 47 years. Our school was originally established as the Osaka Textile Academy, an institution for personnel development that was founded by members of the textile industry which was the fundamental support of the Japanese economy at that time. I hope to enable our school to respond to educational issues by drawing upon my experience as Dean of the School of Education, and my experience in establishing the Professional Graduate School of Education.

In regards to one of the educational issues I referenced above, I was truly surprised when I first visited Waseda Setsuryo. The school premises measure 23,000 m2, and there are two athletic fields that allow for simultaneous sporting events such as baseball, soccer, rugby, and track and field. Schools located in the city have a limited amount of space and therefore are limited in the activities which can be performed. Even in the case of limited space, universities can expand virtual campuses through networks with other universities. However, this solution is not applicable in the case of junior high schools and high schools. Junior high schools and high schools need an environment which allows direct, face-to-face contact.

Waseda Setsuryo has always been known as a school which is firmly rooted in the community and that takes good care of its students. In the future, I intend to continue to conduct education which values the individuality of each student. The vitality of Waseda University has been born as a result of students with various backgrounds from throughout Japan who gather and learn together. At Waseda Setsuryo, I will work to give serious consideration to the various qualities and characteristics of our students.

Since becoming principal, I have made visits to local educational committees, police departments and fire departments in order to introduce myself. At each of these places, I was greeted by the following words: "Mr. Waragai, let's work together to raise good children." I truly hope to link the power of our community to the education of our children. I would like students to discover their path in life from within relationships with regional society such as volunteer programs and internships. Furthermore, in order to expand the spirit of relationships with society to the entire world, our school place focus on education for international understanding. Our students travel overseas 2 times for school trips and research trips. Also, I hope to enhance education for international understanding through several optional programs which provide the opportunity for frequent overseas travel, as well as through international internships.

MizokamiThe long-awaited opening of Waseda Saga will take place next spring. When using the name of "Waseda" at our regional school, I hope to faithfully reproduce the philosophy which is held by Waseda University. I have established the concepts of "academic independence," "spirit of initiative," and "development of global citizens" as the founding philosophy of our school. I hope to produce a local flavor through the interpretation of these concepts.

First, I would like to consider the concept of "academic independence." A very strong inclination towards national and public universities is a feature of the Kyushu region. Another feature is the large number of students seeking to enter the medical, dental, and pharmaceutical fields. Although 50% of our students will be given preferred entrance to Waseda University, in order for our school to become a top school in Kyushu, I believe that it is essential that we assist the remaining 50% of students to enter national and public universities, or to pursue studies in the medical, dental, or pharmaceutical fields. In order to develop students who possess all-around knowledge, we will conduct a style of education in which students continue to study all subjects until December in their 3rd year of high school. I hope to instill our students with high academic ability and rich cultivation.

Regarding a "spirit of initiative," I hope to develop the communication ability of students and to produce individuals who will undertake any situation without hesitation. These skills can be obtained while resolving a variety of conflicts that arise during their student lifestyle and life at the dormitory. In order to become leaders in society, I believe that it is essential to possess communication ability which is useful even in international society.

Regarding the "development of global citizens", I hope to create an environment where students can experience a variety of different values. This includes acceptance of students returning from overseas and deployment of foreign exchange students. I hope to develop children who are the junior high school and high school version of global citizens, and who possess a wide range of values.

(Unified junior high school and high school education allowing for thorough study)

Mr. Hiroshi Yamanishi
Principal at Waseda University Senior High School

YaguchiA junior high school division will be established at the Senior High School, and both Waseda Setsuryo and Waseda Saga feature unified junior high school and high school education (hereafter referred to as "unified education"). The trend towards unified education is advancing throughout the world. How do you view unified education, including relationships with the community?

YamanishiAlthough there is a different background for unified education at each of our 3 schools, I believe that, fundamentally, our schools want to thoroughly develop students over a period of 6 years. I also think that the entrance of new students from the high school level is significant in terms of creating diversity. There is great merit in not having to take university entrance examinations, as well as in enabling a unified education that continues from junior high school to high school and university, and even on to graduate school. The Senior High School is located in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and this location makes it possible for us to conduct a variety of activities. When viewing Waseda University as a whole, the entrance of students from regions such as Kansai and Kyushu without the need for entrance examinations is a plus in terms of student diversity.

WaragaiThe number of students being recruited at Waseda Setsuryo is 120 students for junior high school examinations and 180 students for high school examinations. However, at some point, I would like to increase the ratio of students that receive a unified education at our school. Governor Hashimoto of Osaka is placing focus on public schools, but I believe that this is a chance for private schools. The reason for my belief is that the more that education is enhanced at public schools, more clarity will be placed on the inabilities of public schools and the unique education of Waseda Setsuryo. Over a period of 6 years, I hope to fully utilize the resources of Waseda University while conducting education which adheres to the philosophy of a private school.

Mizokami10 years ago, the phrase "yutori kyoiku (relaxed/liberal/flexible education)" spread as the key word in education. However, this word is now imbued with the negative image of decreasing academic ability. Even so, it is my belief that junior high school and high school students need yutori, and that the ability to think independently can only be acquired through such an education. Capable students possesses a high level of understanding, and I would like to give such students the experiencing of slowly delving into a particular subject by injecting our school with advanced ways of thinking that are being conducted at universities. When delving into a particular subject, if students are able to experience the fact that they are surrounded by an extremely broad world, they will undoubtedly gain interest in a variety of fields. I hope to make such an opportunity the selling point of unified education at an associated school of Waseda.

(Utilizing the advantages presented by mixed-gender schools and all-male schools)

YaguchiThe Senior High School is an all-male school. However, Waseda Setsuryo will be integrated into a mixed-gender school from next year, and Waseda Saga is being established as a mixed gender school. How do you view mixed-gender schools and all-male schools?

Mr. Tomoki Waragai
Principal at Waseda Setsuryo Junior High School & High School Waseda University Vice-President & Professor at the Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences

YamanishiThere are 2 all-male schools among the 7 affiliated/associated schools, and there are no all-female schools. I believe that a mixed-gender school is the appropriate choice when creating a new school from nothing. However, in the case of existing schools, there is a history and tradition which has been built over the years. The Senior High School is an all-male school. There are advantages to all-male schools and there are advantages to mixed-gender schools. I think it is fine that there are a variety of perspectives from which to approach the issue. Many alumni from our school have expressed the desire to continue the Senior High School as an all-male school. Of course, there is also the perspective of diversity in Waseda University as a whole.

WaragaiPersonally, I am a graduate of an all-male school in Fukushima, so I am familiar with the advantages of all-male schools. In the case of Waseda Setsuryo, discussions regarding the integration to a mixed-gender school had taken place before becoming an associated school. Male students and female students are partners who will build the future of society together. Therefore, I hope to develop students who can respect each other.

Shigenobu Okuma strongly emphasized the importance of women's education, and he served as the Chairperson on the Founding Preparation Committee of Japan Women's University. Another strong proponent of women's education was Sanae Takada, the 3rd President of Waseda University and Minister of Education. At Waseda, all schools have officially accepted female students since the 1930s. This was a revolutionary policy at that time. Currently, the number of active female students at Waseda University is the largest among all universities. The university has also enacted projects such as establishing the Office for the Promotion of Gender Equality and establishing nursery schools which are open to the community. I hope to specifically show this attitude of Waseda University as part of the mixed-gender education conducted at our school.

MizokamiI would like to share an anecdote from my personal experience. Until about 20 years ago, when meeting with parents, parents would make reference to the gender of their child as pertains to education. However, in recent years, it seems that consciousness towards the gender of a child has disappeared from education at schools. Even when viewing society as a whole, I believe that equality is increasing.

(Dormitories providing peace of mind from dietary needs to mental care)

Mr. Yoshiaki Mizokami
Principal at Waseda Saga Junior High School & High School

YaguchiBoth Waseda Setsuryo and Waseda Saga will build dormitories. Would you please explain your thoughts on these dormitories, including connections with the community?

WaragaiI would like students living in the dormitories to be connected with the community through volunteer activities and internships, and for students to develop individuality through such activities. The connection between dormitories and the community is important. I am sure that parents who entrust their children to the dormitories are worried whether or not the dormitories are safe and secure, and whether or not they function as educational institutions. We employ professionals to ensure the safety and security of the dormitories. Also, cleaning duties are assigned to students to ensure that the children acquire a well-ordered lifestyle. Furthermore, instructors take responsibility to ensure that children acquire the habit of studying after dinner. We also receive help from university students studying at the nearby Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine. University students also play the role of big brother and big sister in caring for the mental health of younger students. Of course, we place a lot of effort in the sharing of information between parents and the school.

MizokamiI agree with Professor Waragai's statements regarding the connection between dormitories and the community. However, when examining matters from a slightly different perspective, schools have a connection with the community in terms of food. When a dormitory housing 600 students is suddenly opened in a region that has no major industry, it is enough to make some people recall the arrival of Commodore Perry's black ships! Karatsu City Hall offered its cooperation, and an agreement was reached to provide fresh local food to students entering the dormitory. Food is the most important item needed for living. Even after the children have graduated, I am sure that they will sometimes recall the delicious meals that they ate at the dormitory in Karatsu. I believe that food provides a tremendous amount of strength.

(Expectations for partnerships between schools located far apart)

YaguchiIn addition to the schools represented at today's discussion, Waseda contains other affiliated schools and associated schools. The names of these schools are Waseda University Honjo Senior High School, Waseda Jitsugyo High School, Waseda Junior & Senior High School, and Waseda Shibuya Senior High School. In regards to the single issue of affiliated/associate schools, would you please discuss your thoughts regarding the horizontal relationship that this schools share as part of Waseda, and regarding the partnership between high schools and our university?

Mr. Tetsuya Yaguchi
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Waseda University
Professor at the Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. (education)

YamanishiThe Senior High School has already taken a number of actions in regards to a partnership with Waseda University. Although this may be a benefit of our location in Tokyo, students from our school have the opportunity to take classes at the School of Law in advance, and professors from the School of Science and Engineering teach classes at our school. Other activities include talks held by graduates or our school for each undergraduate school at Waseda. During these talks, the graduates give advice to younger students at our school. We are conducting partnership activities between our high school and the university through a variety of channels. In terms of a horizontal network, we have conducted athletic events for each athletic club featuring the gathering of various schools affiliated/associated with Waseda. We have also conducted activities which feature the gathering of schools affiliated/associated with Waseda and Keio. In the case of both students and instructors, when considering exchange with distant locations, we are able to create relationships using the internet. Since each school has very different backgrounds, relationships are not limited to the horizontal directions, but include a variety of relationships including vertical and diagonal. I believe that the age of a school existing as an independent entity has ended.

WaragaiActually, there are already partnerships in place in a variety of areas, such as the recent joint explanatory meeting (first meeting between the 7 affiliated/associated schools held on September 13th). Concrete advancements are taking place in the relationships between affiliated/associated schools and universities. Some examples are the "Program for Developing Future Scientists" and the "Program for Utilizing Digital Learning Materials," both of which are conducted by the JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency). Initially, I hope to carefully expand further efforts in these areas. Eventually, in addition to partnerships between students, I would like to create partnerships between academic faculty and staff such as information exchange and skill-enhancement activities.

MizokamiAccording to a survey conducted for academic faculty and staff who will be employed at our school next year, there is demand for exchange between faculty and staff. In particular, young faculty and staff members expressed a desire for such exchange. Students have also come up with ideas such as changing schools approximately every 2 weeks. There was also the question of whether students could transfer into another Waseda affiliated/associated school if their parents were transferred from Kyushu to Tokyo. I believe that a variety of new possibilities will be born if we can lower the boundaries between schools.

YaguchiAs stated by Professor Waragai, development of instructors is also an important issue. There has been a great deal of debate regarding the System for Renewal of Teaching Licenses and the years of training for the Instructor Development Program. I believe that response to the issue of instructor development can also be performed through vertical and horizontal relationships. Of course, in terms of supporting students, there also seems to be a great deal of possibility in partnerships between affiliated schools and associated schools. Let's concentrate our efforts and work together for the future of Japanese education while also increasing the value of each of our schools! Thank you very much for your time today.

(Discussion recorded on September 13th in Okuma Kaikan)

Waseda University Senior High School

3-31-1 Kamishakujii, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 177-0044
TEL: 03-5991-4151 (representative)

Waseda Setsuryo Junior High School & High School

7-20-1 Syukunosho, Ibaraki City, Osaka 567-0051
TEL: 072-643-6363 (representative)

Waseda Saga Junior High School & High School (pending approval)

7-1 Higashijounai, Karatsu City, Saga 847-0016
TEL: 0955-58-9000 (representative)