Research in the Graduate Programs
Introduction to research in the 5 programs in the graduate school.
The recent changes in childrearing and education and the various education issues (bullying, discipline problems, truancy, learning disabilities, etc.) require a new approach in which teachers, with special qualifications and skills, fully understand the children and put that understanding into practice. In addition, many of these types of problems, which cannot be settled in the framework of conventional pedagogy, question the pedagogy itself and thereby encourage new development. This program was set up to support these types of issues.
In particular, the program focuses on (1) developing a new research fields related to a total understanding of and assistance for children who grow and develop in a multilevel lifestyle that includes the school, home, community and society. The program (2) integrates a new standard of understanding children that was acquired through (1) with newly developed research in educational practices. As a result, this program (3) strives to explore and develop comprehensive principles and methods of educational practices that are now required.
The curriculum features two research fields: “Clinical pedagogy” and “Educational clinical psychology” for specialized courses (students select one of these two research fields as a focus), and the basic courses for “Research in education practices” are used for general courses. The class curriculum organically links lectures and seminars.
This program offers many classes in the evening and at night so that working educators and working professionals in society can also enroll. In addition, there are also classes offered on Saturdays and during summer vacation so that the working students can attend classes without taking time off.
If a professional already has first-class teacher’s credentials for elementary, junior high or high school levels, he or she can not only earn a master’s degree (in pedagogy), but also acquire a specialization certificate at the same time, regardless of the type of school or subject of the existing teacher’s credential.
In addition, the qualifications to become a “school psychologist” can be provided depending on the courses taken in this program and work experience, including student counseling, career counseling, etc. However, even if the person has no relevant work experience, qualifications can be provided to become a “school psychologist in training” when certain conditions are met. And after being qualified as a “school psychologist in training,” the person can become a “school psychologist” depending on his or her work experience.
Students in the Japanese Program explore the intricacies of the Japanese language and literature, and therefore are more than able to handle an environment of higher learning from a broad perspective. In addition, the program strives to cultivate professionals in society that can contribute to the research and development of a more advanced language and literary culture. To achieve this, the primary objective of the Japanese program is to nurture the abilities of the student in 5 areas of study: classical literature, modern literature, Chinese literature, Japanese language studies and Japanese language educational studies. At the same time, the curriculum is designed so that students can select related courses such as a special investigation in Japanese culture, enabling them to create a richer and more profound specialty.
Classical literature covers periods from ancient times to early modern times. Modern literature studies includes genres such as novels, poetry and critical essays. In addition, the program offers research and lectures led by a diverse faculty who come from a broad range of specialties, which includes Chinese literature, ancient and modern languages in Japanese language studies and also Japanese language educational studies. Students in this program also have access to facilities such as graduate student research rooms and a library, as well as to equipment such as computer terminals and free copy machines. The library also features a collection of microfilm related to the Japanese language and literature, which has proven essential for students to conduct investigations in their fields of specialization and for their master’s theses.
Recently, there are more night classes available for working professionals in society, enrollment of working educators continues to become more active and admissions for foreign exchange students continue.
In addition, our graduate school alumni continue to be active in the field of education and in the corporate world.
The English Language and British /American Literature Program is likely to be of particular interest to English-speaking students and researchers as it offers an opportunity to study and conduct research through the medium of English while deepening one’s understanding of Japan and the Japanese language. It is extremely likely to suit graduates and educators who are interested in working in Japan in the future. Fees and accommodation at this municipal university are among the cheapest in the country. In addition, scholarships and fee reductions are available to eligible students while there will be ample opportunities for non-Japanese English-speaking students to help finance their studies, e.g. via involvement in a range of tutorial programs in the English Department.
The program follows two main thrusts: the Language Program (focused on Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Second Language acquisition, language education, particularly in the Japanese context), and British literature and American literature. The Language Program is likely to be of particular interest to English-speaking students who are thinking of forging a career in education in Japan. The goal of the program in general is to give students a global perspective to become leaders in education and beyond. English-speaking non-Japanese students are encouraged to take Japanese language classes or classes taught in Japanese, in accordance with their level of Japanese.
In English language studies, students study the essence of language based on modern linguistics and also look at the application of theory in specific educational context, in Japan in particular. Students cover the core subjects, including syntax, semantics, phonology, pragmatics and second language acquisition. Students will consider the consequences of theory to educational fields. They will also consider the psychology of culture and the application of theory in cultural context. They are expected to apply their results in real-life educational settings as well as conducting empirical research.
In British literature, students focus mainly on early modern and modern British literature studies, and use methodologies from cultural studies, post-colonialism, feminism, body theory and psychoanalysis to conduct research. In American literature, students primarily engage in studies that cover pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries up to the present day. Students can conduct in-depth research in American literature. In addition, the place of World Englishes, with the English-language domain considered in a wider sense, will be given a very robust treatment. In addition to the students who are admitted based on the general entrance exam, we also welcome working educators and actively admit them as graduate school students.
The Sociological Community Studies Program offered in the graduate school strives to further comprehensive and interdisciplinary research in community studies from a social sciences platform, and hopes to develop professionals with high level specialties that can tackle, primarily from a community studies point of view, the problems that face today’s communities and society.
As a central research field, the program offers core courses in two areas: structural research in community studies and environmental research in community studies. The former research area is further divided into ＜Political science and economics＞ and ＜Cultural studies＞.
In addition to the basic courses that enhance the students’ basic theoretical knowledge, the program offers related courses to support learning and applying related scientific investigation and analysis methods as well as their results in order to give students a multi-faceted approach on specialized research topics in the core courses.
Based on the structure of the aforementioned research areas and the scientific approach, the program provides 3 courses of study: ＜Political science and economics＞, ＜Cultural studies＞ and ＜Environmental research＞, in order to create a curriculum that focuses on community studies research and fosters a more in-depth and organic approach. The curriculum is designed with these 3 courses as the core.
The Comparative Cultures Program covers 3 areas: Japanese culture and comparative studies of cultures from different regions in Asia and regions in Europe and North America. Graduate students then select one area to research under their chosen topic. Whichever area or region they chose, students are able to, and expected to go beyond the specified area and acquire knowledge on various cultures.
Regardless of the area of one’s cultural studies, it is important for students to consider and compare cultures with their own culture. In this comparison, the program encourages students to look at their own culture objectively and relatively (look at one’s culture as a different culture), and then reevaluate their own culture through its relationship with another culture. Ultimately, the program hopes to foster a new cultural perspective different from that which each student had previously had.
To achieve this, the program offers comparative culture as a general course, linking different areas of study to build basic knowledge for research. Students can study cultural theory and take cultural seminars in each area to further their specialized studies. Students can study in small groups, providing an environment in which the faculty can give individualized instruction to each student. In addition, there is also fieldwork investigation, which enables students to develop their investigative skills in the field abroad and in Japan. One advantage for students is engaging in multiple fieldwork activities in order to have a real reference to appreciate different cultures. The university receives many foreign exchange students from China and Korea, transforming the graduate school itself into a place that fosters international exchanges.
The goal of this program is to give students an understanding on different cultures so they can further their appreciation of modern society, as it becomes more diverse and complex, as well as develop the students to be more internationally-minded and active.