Message from the Dean

Shigeo Kodama, Ph.D

Shigeo Kodama, Ph.D.
Faculty of Education, Graduate School of Education
The University of Tokyo

Faculty of Education of The University of Tokyo was founded in 1949 after the World War II. Among faculties of the University of Tokyo which has a history of nearly 140 years, our faculty is a relatively new faculty and was created as a symbolic existence of a new university that is responsible for the construction of postwar democracy. It has contributed to the democratization of education in Japan, and has left a brilliant footprint as the base of postwar democracy.

However, 70 years after the war, Japan and the world are about to change greatly. In 2016, Britain decided to withdraw from the EU (European Union) by a referendum, and Donald Trump has been elected in the presidential election in the United States. In Japan education and society systems that have been for 70 years since the end of World War II are now undergoing major changes. For example, the connection between primary and secondary education and higher education, and the relationship between society as a whole and school education are about to be revised towards the abolition of the National Center Test for University Admissions in 2020 college. The realization of the 18-year-old voting rights that began in 2016 can be said to symbolize such a change.
Under such a postwar system change, our Faculty and Graduate School of Education are now trying to enter the new stage of fulfilling a mission that matched these new times, while taking into consideration the past achievement as the base of postwar democratic education.

For example, the practice of inquiry learning represented by the graduation research which the secondary school attached to the faculty of education has worked on, had been seen as situated in somewhat peripheral position in the postwar system. But now towards the abolition of the National Center Test for University Admissions this school is now trying to take an initiative for the education reform era. Best of all this school is committed to nurturing “inquiry citizen” through deep active learning designated as the model school for research and development by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology since FY 2016. Our Faculty and Graduate School of Education also fully support the school’s efforts and established the “Center for the Advanced School Education and Evidence-Based Research” which is the reorganized center from the former Center for Excellence in School Education. Based in this center we are starting a project to verify the effect of civic education at this school on long-term perspectives.

Through undergraduate and graduate school, education researchers, representatives of Japan and the world gather together and approach phenomena and practice of education from diverse methods and diverse approaches. Everyone who entered undergraduate / graduate school can feel the cutting edge of research while feeling keenly the change of the times as described above.
I hope that many of you will learn together and deepen your studies at our Faculty of Education and Graduate School of Education.