|Title of Research||Formation of International Center of Excellence to Promote Teacher Education on ESD|
|Coordinator and affiliation||Hiroki Fujii
Graduate School of Education, Okayama University
|Core institution in Japan||Okayama University|
|Core institutions in Asian countries||China (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Indonesia (Indonesian University of Education)
Korea (Cheongju National University of Education)
Laos (Bankeun Teacher College)
Mongolia (National University of Mongolia)
Myanmar (Sagaing University of Education)
|Associate institutions in Japan||Hokkaido University of Education
University of Toyama
Kyoto Women’s University
1. Aims of research throughout whole the period, April 2017 to March 2020
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), in which UNESCO has taken the initiative since 2004, is now being undertaken in the Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD, with the purpose of spreading it worldwide. During this time, Okayama University has held the only UNITWIN/UNESCO chair program on ESD in Asian countries and participated in the Okayama Regional Centre of Expertise on ESD, authorized by the United Nations University. It has also energetically promoted teacher education on ESD, developing teacher training programs with a focus on prospective teachers as well as teachers in schools, in liaison with the Associated Schools Project University Network (ASPUnivNet) that is organized by 20 universities in Japan to support UNESCO associated schools. These results have led the Okayama ESD Project, in which Okayama University has taken the initiative, to be the first to receive a UNESCO/JAPAN ESD award within Japan in September 2016.
Subsequently, the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions Associated with the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, whose eighth international conference was hosted by the Okayama Regional Centre of Expertise on ESD in November 2014, seeks to spread ESD internationally, based on various national and regional results of ESD. Moreover, international cooperation in education pursues the implementation of ESD in developing counties, especially to promote teacher training on ESD. These requests have highlighted the future direction of international collaboration for the advancement of teacher education on ESD.
The purpose of this research is to collaboratively develop teacher training programs on ESD based on lesson study and to propose Asian standards, in coordination with core institutions on teacher education in East Asia (China, Korea, and Mongolia) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Laos, and Myanmar). Based on the development of the programs, it pursues to establish core institutions on ESD, to construct academic networks between these institutions, and to train future generations of researchers on ESD.
2. Target achievement in 2017
[Establishment of research cooperation system]
1) Joint research
The aims of the joint research are to develop, practice, and evaluate ESD pre-service and -in-service teacher training programs based on lesson study, with the cooperation of core/associate institutions in East Asia and Southeast Asia. In 2017, (1) In the basic design of the research, researchers from Japanese core/associate institutions and those from Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Laotian, Mongolian, and Myanmar’s core institutions will collaborate with each other; (2) In developing and practicing teacher training programs in Japan, researchers from Japanese core/associate institutions will advance separately at their respective institutions. During this time, researchers from Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Laotian, Mongolian, and Myanmar’s core institutions will observe the programs in Japan; and (3) In developing and practicing programs at Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Laotian, Mongolian, and Myanmar’s core institutions, researchers from those countries will advance separately at their respective institutions, and researchers from Japanese core/associate institutions will support them locally.
We will hold international seminars in line with the execution of joint research. At these seminars, we will create young researcher training programs. In 2017, (1) International seminars will be planned in Japan (twice in Okayama University and once in Kyoto Women’s University) and administered by researchers from Japanese core/associate institutions; (2) International seminar will be planned in Mongolia (Once in National University of Mongolia) and administered by researchers from Mongolian core/associate institutions and Japanese core institution; and (3) Sessions and programs to train young researchers will be jointly planned and administered by researchers from Japanese core institution and staffs at Okayama University Career Development Center.
3) Exchange of researchers
We will publish a report “ESD Teacher Education in Asia Quarterly Report” as a research exchange forum. We will transmit information on the progress of the research and research exchange, so that joint research, seminars, and young researcher training activities proceed smoothly. Researchers from Japanese core institution and staffs at Okayama University Education for Sustainable Development Promotion Center attached the Graduate School of Education, Okayama University are in charge of editing the report.
The first academic viewpoint on this research is that it allows an international standard of ESD teacher education program to be developed and proposed through research exchange, with the purpose of promoting ESD teacher education worldwide. In the international network organized by teacher educational institutions on ESD (International Network of Teacher Education Institutions Associated with the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability), it is pointed out that previous teacher education programs have had problems in terms of assuring ESD expertise, and therefore, a basic framework on the composition and contents of the program is necessary. In this research project, we aim to develop, practice, and evaluate programs, in coordination with core/associate institutions in seven Asian countries, and to propose an Asian standard. This is an advanced and challenging effort.
In addition, through research exchanges, we can disseminate and return internationally the outstanding achievements of Japanese teacher education on ESD. The promotion of ESD originates in proposals by the Japanese government at the “World Summit on Sustainable Development” (2002) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, teacher education on ESD in Japan has accumulated outstanding results with a focus on Japanese studies of lesson study as its core. However, the sharing of results has remained within the Associated Schools Project University Network (ASPUnivNet), and international widespread adoption and reduction strategies have not yet been determined. Under these circumstances, this research aims to address this situation by aiming for international collaboration in promoting teacher education on ESD. This is a combined era and a societal effort.
Based on the above academic viewpoints, we will advance the development and practice of the program with the aim of creating an international standard of teacher education program on ESD. Furthermore, in the process of development and practice, we will disseminate and reduce the excellent results of Japan’s teacher education on ESD internationally.
[Training young researchers]
1) Development and implementation of the “Young Researcher Training Program”
At the seminar, we will develop a “Young Researcher Training Program (Research Training Program for Young Scholars)” to train young researchers and hold short courses based on the program. This program will support the career formation for graduate students and young researchers who are studying about ESD. The aim of the program is to provide “transferable skills”, including (1) “academic performance”, such as researcher ethics, study methods (reading comprehension, discussion, presentation, and publication), how to teach at a university level, and English use, and (2) “management competency”, such as the utilization of information equipment, how to increase one’s own motivation, how to organize the organization, and interpersonal communication.
2) Holding a “Young Researcher Session” at the international seminar
We will establish a “Young Researcher Session” as part of the seminar. The purpose of the session is to cultivate the above academic performance in practical situations. Therefore, we will present and discuss the research currently being worked on by young researchers studying ESD. Furthermore, as a practice for acquiring future research funds, we will prepare a research application form in the group and hold a competition. Senior researchers will cooperate in this process as mentors.