Thank you for taking interest in the School of Education and the Graduate School of Education of Hokkaido University. The School of Education was established at Hokkaido University in 1949,
with the first students graduating from the School in 1953—the year when the Faculty of Education (the predecessor of the Graduate School of Education) was established.
Generally speaking, many people may associate “School of Education” with a school for training teachers. As stated above, however, the School of Education at Hokkaido University was
established with the aim of fostering practitioners and researchers who can conduct research on educational issues by learning about pedagogy, thereby acquiring the skills necessary to solve them. The purpose of establishing the School is prescribed under the Hokkaido University Regulations on the School of Education as follows.
The purpose of the Hokkaido University School of Education is to cultivate students who can develop a well-rounded character and appropriately address educational challenges from an international perspective by helping them to systematically acquire logical and practical knowledge related to disciplines in pedagogy in order to contribute to not only the development of communities and educational programs but also the improvement of health and welfare.
When we regard educational issues as those related to schools, we are likely to focus on academic performance and bullying problems. However, the activity of “education” is not always carried out at schools alone. When we view “education” as activities to support people’s learning while hoping they also develop as individuals, “education” can be found in families, communities, workplaces or any other environment (including schools) where people are involved in various activities. From this standpoint, it can be said that educational issues are synonymous with the issue of whether every environment in our lives is satisfactorily functioning to assure the development of the people living there; that is, the issue of whether these circumstances include factors that will help people develop as individuals.
Development, as used in this context, does not refer to the mere improvement of cognitive capacity and skills. Rather, it includes the notion of people gaining the ability to lead better lives. Every individual, including those who face various obstacles, live in poverty or are deprived of their country due to violence or oppression, has the right to lead a better life and develop as a human being. Every human can enhance their ability to create better living environments and lives through learning. “Education” is therefore an indispensable activity for actually assuring the right to lead a better life and bolstering the ability to create a better life.
To pursue “education” in this sense, one must gain access to it based on diverse academic principles, such as psychology, medicine, sociology and locomotive science. In the School of Education and the Graduate School of Education, a diverse teaching staff with backgrounds in these academic principles provides creative educational programs that go beyond traditional academic boundaries.
Pedagogy in step with the times
It is said that we have reached a turning point equivalent to the Meiji Restoration or the postwar revolution, and this means we must review the previous modernization model. The uncertain future direction of society translates to the mobile direction of human development, thus leading to a growing number of people who will face hardship in life. Even if you came across this site not knowing the meaning or direction of your life, it’s not your fault. This is ultimately due to the ever-changing trends of the times.
What our current era calls on pedagogy to do is not only to clarify what it means for people to develop as a dominant existence in life but also to create a new type of society that enables people to develop as such. Admittedly, a turning point can be a confusing phase, but it also provides an opportunity for innovation. “A society where people grow” may sound like a strange phrase, but we have already obtained the possibility to envision “a society where people grow” in the true sense of the phrase through trial and error, and we also assume historical responsibility for realizing this possibility. The international agreement on goals for sustainable development is a manifestation of this.
We would like to address this challenge with those who take interest in our site. I believe your creativity is conducive to the creation of a new pedagogy that will pave the way for a new era.
Dr. Takashi Miyazaki, Dean
The School of Education
The Graduate School of Education and the Faculty of Education