This DVD is an English version of a Japanese DVD which recorded a camping school event called the “Myoko Friend School”. Public schools in Myoko City in Niigata Prefecture, the board of education, and the National Myoko Youth Outdoor Learning Center collaborate every year to organize this stayover event for 6th graders. The stayover is designed as part of TOKKATSU, in other words as part of the regular school curriculum. The Japanese curriculum is characterized by its wide scope, covering noncognitive as well as cognitive areas into the official curriculum; the goal is to educate the whole child. TOKKATSU is central to this approach.
At this camp, children learn science, physical education, etc. as they would in their classroom, and this is counted as a regular school day. The location of the camp in the wilderness allows teachers to take advantage of their surroundings when teaching their subject (e.g., utilizing plants and stars in science). Enjoying nature and experiential outdoor learning, cultivating stronger and healthier interpersonal relationships, and experiencing time away from the family and appreciating it, as well as learning how to be independent, are some of the goals teachers set for this event. Thus, this TOKKATSU school event combines both school education and social education; it is possible to organize this camp as a school day because of the whole child focus of the period of TOKKATSU.
The National Myoko Youth Outdoor Learning Center in Niigata Prefecture where this school event is held, is one of National Youth Outdoor Learning Centers which exist nationwide, under the National Institution for Youth Education. The National Institution for Youth Education, as the national center of youth education, supports activities which promote the healthy development of youth from an educational perspective.
Produced by the National Myoko Youth Outdoor Learning Center, the Myoko Public Schools and the Board of Education, with the cooperation of the Center for Excellence in School Education, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo, and the National School Event Research Association for Elementary School.
Financial support for the English version DVD was offered by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI), Kiban A, No. 15H01987 “A Cross-National Research of Japanese Educational Efforts to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century and the Construction of International Models.” (Head: R. Tsuneyoshi), and the National School Event Research Association for Elementary School.