The philosophy and goal of the Department of Primary Education is to train excellent elementary school teachers. To achieve this, we seek students who embody the following.
- Students must not just possess basic knowledge in each subject, but hold a broad interest in cultural and social problems. They can summarize their own ideas on matters and are able to communicate them appropriately.
- Students who use their own strengths and field of expertise to try and help in the comprehensive development (intellectual training, moral education and physical education) of children.
- Students who possess an unrelenting ambition and inquisitive nature and can use “good learning methods” on their own to foster cooperation and interaction with their peers.
The Department of Primary Education offers a system that features 11 course programs for their major so that they can perform more in-depth studies according to their interests. Clinical pedagogy, practical studies of education, clinical psychology, Japanese language, social sciences, arithmetic and mathematics, natural environmental sciences, living environmental sciences, music, art and physical education.
- As a general rule, students join a course program starting from their second year. After completing various courses focusing on general education courses in their first year, students then are able to select a field for their major based on their own interests, activities and motivation. This is to encourage not just “general learning,” rather we hope the students become future teachers with a field of expertise based on their in-depth research of a specified field. In their third and fourth years, students study in small group, specialized seminars, which are designed to help them ultimately complete their graduation thesis.
- There is also a wide variety of teacher training courses available. For example, there are courses such as “Basic investigation of school education,” “Gender and education” as well as “Introduction to media education.” In addition, we also have a curriculum that helps build practical ability, such as the SAT program (student assistant teachers who work in the Tsuru municipal elementary and junior high schools) which is integrated into “School participation.”
Students who learn the basic knowledge and skills required to become an elementary school teacher and who complete the specified units, are then eligible to graduate and also receive first-class teacher’s credential to teach in elementary school. In addition, it is also possible for those who are interested to receive first-class teacher’s credential to teach Japanese, English or social studies in junior high school.
- In terms of special teacher skills and ability, students gain a good educational outlook, insight into the perspective of children and a sense of responsibility as a teacher. They also acquire a foundation of practical instructional skills based on a deep understanding of children and specialized knowledge in each subject. In addition, the students learn to value the connection with people and the community, they develop a wide range of interests in today’s issues that face society, such as environmental and human rights problems, and they are able to support child learning and give them direction.
- Students acquire communication skills to facilitate a cooperative and collaborative work environment that is based on a relationship of trust with children, fellow teachers, guardians and community members. Given the diversity that exists among people, students in particular develop an approach for problem-solving and building consensus by listening to, discussing and thinking together over different ideas.
- Students effectively utilize various resources to further self-learning (ability to continue learning and studying together) in order to continue building their own skills. Students specifically use seminars and their graduation thesis as an opportunity to build basic research skills to gather, analyze and present materials and data based on their own awareness of issues.