Fostering the global minds of high school students
Fujimigaoka High School for Girls + KMD“Global Workshop”As globalization accelerates, it is becoming imperative to foster a global mindset for the future workforce in Japan from the stage of secondary education. Fujimigaoka High School for Girls (designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a Super Global High School) established a curriculum in 2014 to foster global perspectives among students with the theme of sustainability. Since 2015, the Basic Sustain- ability class for first-year students has integrated a program that collaborates with the Global Education Project led by Professor Keiko Okawa of KMD. Environmental and international social situations are covered in a workshop format in which students submit issues and derive solutions on their own. They address two themes per year, four times each, for a total of eight times. “Amid a modern society that lacks clear answers, just how do students discuss and discover issues and their solutions? As students confront realistic themes, they develop skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.” (Professor Okawa) In the workshop, students start by studying communication in a game format and then address a specific issue such as “localizing a Japanese snack to sell abroad.” An important part of this process is to draw upon digital tools, such as using a tablet to conduct research, produce videos for presentation, or video chat with high school students in other countries. Communication is mostly in English. Norio Oshima, a Senior adviser at the school, sees progress: “As a result of these workshops, an increasing number of students are choosing sustainability classes and concentrating more on English from their second year onward.” KMD students offer support to the high school students in conceiving tasks and selecting digital tools, and to serve as facilitators in the classroom. “We get a group of students who are interested in education,” says Professor Okawa. “They seem to gain a sense of fulfillment in helping the children who will lead the next generation.” A benefit of this project is that KMD students can research their own themes while collaborating onsite at a Japanese high school.
(This article was written in March 2017.)
Q&A sessions are held via real-time chats with high school students in other Asian countries.
English communication with KMD students becomes smoother with each session.
In the final workshop session, high school students present their work.
In 2015, students addressed the themes of global society and global environment.
Norio Oshima, Senior Adviser Fujimigaoka High School for Girls