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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Social Education Exercises
—Lessons without education materials!?—

Akihiko Saeki
Maeda Seminar Organizer 4th year student at the School of Education

Social Education Exercises (aka: Maeda Seminar) doesn't use a prescribed textbook. On top of that, it is students and seminar graduates who do the teaching. You may think of this as a strange kind of seminar, but in this independent form of lesson where the students research their own themes and study together, it can be said that it is true “ life-long learning” and “ multicultural education” being put into practice. The four major goals of Professor Maeda's course is full student participation in planning, career support, practical ability shaping, and building human relationships.

Each lesson starts with questions raised from student presentations. Students find a topic for themselves from the broad theme of “ life-long learning= various ways of learning regardless of age, time and objectives” , (this in itself being an aspect of life-long learning), and present what they have researched. (Topics from 2009 include IT literacy, copyright education, family education, international development education, sex education, and religious education). Students split into groups, choose a group leader and designate roles, before holding a discussion and presenting their group's ideas. The session ends with comments from the presenters as well as Professor Maeda. People who are actually active in society and seminar graduates are also invited as guest speakers to give students the opportunity to think about life-long learning, and in what ways knowledge and experience gained from their student days can be put into use in society, as well as think about their own careers.

Abilities gained through the activities in this seminar can be thought of as abilities that will immediately add power to society as required. Private companies, teachers, public officials, or graduate students, the goals of the seminar students in the midst of their job-hunting activities are numerous, but no matter where they go, I believe that the ability to discuss, build human relationships and think spontaneously is indispensable.

As for myself, while doing it in happy harmony, I feel I am enjoying what I learn every day and will confront head on the diverse themes on offer in each lesson. And through this course, the present goal for us at the moment is to find the single most important answer to the root question surrounding the life-long learning majors since entering university. “ Where exactly does life-long learning lie” ?

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)