For many years, I (Clive) have had a connection with Kobe Shinwa Women’s University in Kobe, Japan. https://www.kobe-shinwa.ac.jp
The University has just established an International Education Research Center with a global perspective and I was asked to be a visiting scholar there. On Thursday I returned from a brief visit, having given lectures and engaged in discussions about our SSHRC longitudinal study of teachers and its implications for teacher education.
On Tuesday I conducted two classes with second year students. We discussed the growing sense of expertise among the teachers in our study, their decision-making about which topics to emphasize and how to teach them, their increasing emphasis on integration and individualization, and their search for a degree of work-life balance so they could “survive and thrive” as teachers and be a role model for their students.
Despite the constraints of the national examination system, the student teachers were very interested in these ideas and seemed keen to explore them during their pre-service program and subsequently. They felt there was some room for flexibility within the system and they should begin during their preparation program to figure out how to take advantage of this flexibility as much as possible.
Kobe Shinwa Women’s University has an outstanding reputation for teacher education at the elementary level and a high proportion of their graduates get jobs immediately. This encourages the teacher candidates to think deeply about pedagogy because they have a good chance of having a classroom of their own in the near future.