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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Curriculum Research -
Looking at Student's Own Personal Educational Experiences and Growth

Konomi Sasaki
4th year student at the School of Education

There were many occasions when students were taken aback with a single word from Professor Abiko

There were two main pillars of curriculum research in the later period of 2010; the student's own Reflections on Personal Education Experiences and Understanding the Stages of a Child's Development.

First, in the Reflections on Personal Education Experiences, Yutori Education (pressure-free education) was dealt with. Most students currently attending university belong to the so-called Yutori Generation (the pressure-free generation). The question is how have we, who have been described as the Yutori Generation, take this? In fact, this phrase of Yutori Education has been coined by the media and is not a part of formal administrative terminology. Students on the course shared from different perspectives based on materials of those in various related fields (e.g. cabinet ministers, politicians, scholars, journalists and school teaching staff) and reflected on and then gave a presentation on the pros and cons of Yutori Education. Students on the course came up with reflections such as "The decline in academic achievement is not the fault of Yutori Education. The philosophy itself of Yutori Education is not incorrect, but the method is inappropriate." In regards to these, Tadahiko Abiko, current Professor at the Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, gave some precision opinions and indications. Professor Abiko is also a member on the Central Education Council. This is an organization established by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Among the increase in criticism that is being leveled at Yutori Education, Professor Abiko, who criticized the education at first, became involved as one of those responsible for the partial revision to the government curriculum guidelines in 2003. It was especially because of Professor Abiko, who is actually involved in the education administration of this country, that there were clear facts and perspectives and so students on the course could learn a lot.

In Understanding the Stages of a Child's Development, lectures were held based on the textbook Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom, Ages 4-14 (by Chip Wood, 2008) and handouts, such as the Almanac of Data on Japanese Children. There surely aren't any people who grow up while conscious of their own developmental stages. There is no self-consciousness at the age of 12 of anything like "Recently, rather than family, it is with friends that I am primarily involved. Is this the expansion of sociality?" Through looking at the development stages of a child, we realized that the worries and conflicts which we ourselves had in the past were actually natural stages in development. It was incredibly fascinating.

In March 2012, Professor Abiko will take compulsory retirement and so I think that before I graduate I would like to learn even more from him.

Many materials were distributed to understand the "now" of children