School Forum at Junten for Inventing the Future

Students and teachers from different schools across Tokyo met on the 23rd of June at Junten, where the students spoke about the future of Japanese education, possible improvements to the education system, as well as the general future of Japan.

Before the scheduled program started the Chief Marketing Officer of Seigakuin, Yoshihiro Koura, sat with the students, who were already engaged in discussion about these issues. They exchanged ideas and information from which they had prepared for the forum. The students displayed curiosity and enthusiasm about the topic.

Atsuo Nagatsuka, the principal of Junten, kicked off the event with by announcing the schedule and purpose of the event. He then followed with a presentation and slideshow which everyone intriguingly followed in the basement of Rikenkan. To encapsulate the theme of the forum, Mr. Nagatasuka quoted Alan Kay, an American computer scientist: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”.

After Mr. Nagatsuka’s speech, each student sat in Rikenkan with a small group of teachers. The atmosphere was conducive to the spread of ideas, and the students were excited to share. Each student had prepared a presentation, which was presented in these groups, also called baraza meetings. When the students were done with their presentations they engaged in discussion with their designated teachers. The students displayed great knowledge about their chosen areas and contributed with relevant input to these discussions, rivaling that of the teachers.

Following the discussions, each student got to present his or her conclusion for everyone at the event. The students each spoke about their topics as everyone listened attentively. The speakers were not afraid to speak up and criticize the school system. Many relevant ideas and topics were brought up, such as changing the competitive mindset between students as well as between schools, how Japan can adapt for the future, and what teachers should do to contribute. Each student was greeted with applause for his or her impressive speech.

Following a short break, the participants went to the basement again to hear more talks and follow slideshows. The principal of Shotoku, Masanori Itou, gave an educational lecture about STEAM. Ryuhei Kondo, the Head of the English Department at Yakumo Academy, proceeded with a talk about Round Square methods and the so-called baraza meetings. At the end of the event both students and teachers could leave, feeling enlightened and hopeful about the future.


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