Message from the Dean

Masaaki Katsuno

Masaaki Katsuno, Ph.D.
Faculty of Education, Graduate School of Education
The University of Tokyo

In contemporary societies, the expectations and demands for education are increasing. Since the establishment of modern education systems, education has always been asked to address social issues. The more serious the issue, the more education has been tasked with fundamental solutions. Today, we are facing a host of serious issues regarding peace, human rights, health, environment, sustainable development, and new technology. It is noticeable that these issues have much to do with education if we attach the word “education” to themes as the suffix.

Education studies are situated in the same circumstances as education. The studies are being asked to provide “prescriptions” regarding local as well as global issues. Thus, the studies are strengthening the collaboration with different disciplines. The education studies, in themselves, have been developing as a comprehensive area of study with extended perspectives on the nature and society that human beings work on, and that work on human beings, with the inquiry into human development and learning as a core interest. The studies are also inexplicably embedded in the practices of nurturing and teaching. This field of inquiry is characterized by its reflexive nature mediated through practice. Contemporary education studies are strenuously required more than ever to bridge different fields of study on one hand, and scientific knowledge and the solutions to social issues on the other. It is also a significant task for the studies to re-examine the social issues as they are constructed, and even create new values, although this is applicable to all scholarly inquiries.

Under such circumstances, we, the Faculty of Education, and the Graduate School of Education, are striving to build the center of research and teaching for “Bridging Education” that addresses the issues of social disparities and divisions. Thus, we seek to realize a convivial society both at the global and local levels. With regard to teaching, we are aiming to provide those citizens and professionals who have “inclusive intellect” by extending barrier-free education and a program for psychological professions, as well as improving the conventional programs in education studies. The educational programs are contributing much to the across-the-board education at the University of Tokyo that upholds the promotion of D& I (Diversity and Inclusion).

Research at the Faculty of Education, and the Graduate School of Education are being conducted by the researchers leading their fields. Furthermore, we have four centers of excellence in research attached to the Graduate School of Education that are developing cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research and applying the findings to societal issues: the Center for the Advanced School Education and Evidence-based Research (CASEER), the Center for Barrier-Free Education, the Center for Early Childhood Development, Education and Policy Research (CEDEP), and the Center for Ocean Literacy and Education. We also have an attached secondary school that has long been practicing and researching collaborative, inquiry-based learning. Since 2017, the attached school and CASEER have been collaboratively developing longitudinal research into the effects of learning.

The research and teaching at the Faculty of Education, and the Graduate School of Education have been developed in close collaborations not only with other faculties and schools within the university, but also with different universities and research institutes both at home and abroad, nurseries, kindergartens, institutes for early childhood centers, schools, municipalities, NPOs and the civil society. As we strive to realize a convivial society that respects diversity and inclusion, we are fully aware that the Faculty of Education, and the Graduate School of Education should be vibrant communities in which all the students and staff can feel safe studying, researching, teaching, and working. As a step forward, in 2021, we established the Faculty of Education’s Safer Space (KYOSS).

I sincerely hope that you will be interested in the Faculty of Education, and the Graduate School of Education and that you will join us in carrying forward the rewarding challenges.