Message from the President
President KOKUBUN Mitsuru
The mission statement of Tokyo Gakugei University captures the core aim of the university as follows: "to develop talented educators who possess rich creativity and practical classroom skills backed by both advanced specialized knowledge and well-rounded general knowledge." To respond to the needs and demands of Japanese society as one of the nation's core universities specialized in teacher training, Tokyo Gakugei University seeks to contribute to the resolution of modern-day education issues affecting our increasingly complex and diverse society, as well as pupils and students themselves.
Tokyo Gakugei University believes that teaching a specific subject is the cornerstone of the teacher's job, and it has therefore been our fundamental policy to train teachers who are well-versed in a specialist subject or field by employing a system whereby trainee teachers build up extra credits in a specific subject or field (known in Japan as the "peak system"). This applies not only when training teachers for junior high schools, where teachers are responsible for different subjects, but also when training teachers for elementary schools. Furthermore, as soon as the Professional Degree Program was established, the university set up the Graduate School of Teacher Education to promote the specialization of teachers. We subsequently responded to additional societal demands by transferring all our teacher training capability at the graduate school level to the Graduate School of Teacher Education in 2019. By enabling the Graduate School of Teacher Education to handle all subjects and increasing its student quota substantially, we made it into one of the largest graduate schools of its kind in Japan.
Meanwhile, major changes in society mean that schools are now dealing with a range of complex issues that cannot be resolved by teachers alone. Accordingly, there is a pressing need to tackle these issues by teaming teachers with people representing a wide variety of professions that provide support to schools, such as school counselors and school social workers. To meet this need for "team-oriented schools," in 2015 Tokyo Gakugei University set up Japan's first training program for educational specialists who assist with educational activities in schools and local communities. In academic year 2019, moreover, we established a major entitled Cooperation and Practice Development for Educational Specialists in the Graduate School of Education's Master's Course in order to further enhance specialization among educational specialists. Bearing in mind that AI is set to play an indispensable role in society from now on, we also included an educational AI research program as part of this major. This major and program too are the first of their kind in Japan. Within the same Master's Course we also established a major entitled Next-Generation Japanese Education System Research and Development to inform the world about the Japanese educational system.
Today, Japan faces a variety of issues that no other country has ever tackled. In schools, educators and educational specialists are earnestly addressing the succession of new issues that are arising. Education itself is a wellspring of potential for the resolution of all kinds of problems. Even if we face hardship, I think we seek to find hope in education. Education is an endeavor that needs to be considered from a long-term perspective, but it has the power to steadily spread new things to people and the entire international community. By training talented educators, Tokyo Gakugei University aims to make a major contribution to the formation of new societies and cultures.
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