The 7th International Symposium on the Teacher Training in East Asia will be held at Garden City Shinagawa, Minato City, Tokyo, on the weekend of November 3 and 4, 2012. This symposium has been held since 2006 on a rotational basis among the main universities of education in Japan (host of the first and fourth symposiums) China (host of the second and fifth symposiums), and Korea (host of the third and sixth symposiums) which make up the International Consortium for Universities of Education in East Asia (ICUE) (launched in 2009; current membership: 43 institutions). Over these years, the symposium has served as a forum for discussions about the growth of teachers trained in the traditional Buddhist and Confucian cultural context of East Asia. Issues in education are becoming more complex and diverse, and teacher training institutions and higher education institutes in general are forced to compete with each other under market principles. In this context, a forum for wide-ranging exchange is increasingly needed to enhance teacher training education at the individual institutions.
Tokyo Gakugei University is pleased to host the symposium again this year. The main theme is “Quality Assurance in University-based Teacher Education in East Asia,” and the symposium will highlight the findings of the international collaborative research project launched last year by the ICUE. After listening to the keynote lecture and the reports given by the three research groups (RG) in the international collaborative research project, all participants will join together in considering the following issues: What criteria should be used to evaluate teacher training? How in practice can we measure the positive and negative aspects of a teacher training education program? How should we, as teacher training institutions, be involved in quality assurance? We will think in a macroscopic way about policies for improving the infrastructure of primary and secondary education in the East Asian region in the future and open new vistas in this area. Parallel to one of the symposium sessions, there will be a meeting of the presidents of ICUE member universities to envision the future of the ICUE.
Two other important aims of the ICUE are to offer opportunities for teacher training institutions to engage in exchange regarding their teacher training education programs and to provide forums for graduate students and young researchers, who will lead the teacher training education of the next generation, to present and discuss their research. For this reason, this year’s symposium will feature a poster session by graduate students (young researchers) as well as a workshop which will discuss “University-School Partnerships in Teacher Training Education” from the perspective of actual programs. We look forward to the participation of many young and middle-echelon instructors, administrators, and researchers in teacher training.
I hope many people will come to Tokyo this November and share their insights and visions as we think together about how we can develop and spearhead the future of teacher training.