Back to listNov 10, 2005

John Dewey Society Former President Lectures at Soka Schools in Tokyo

Dr. Hansen (right, foreground) entrusts award to Takahiro Ikeda (left, foreground), who receives it on behalf of his father

On November 9, Dr. David T. Hansen, former president of the John Dewey Society and professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA, visited Soka Schools in Kodaira City, Tokyo. Soka Schools students, teachers and staff welcomed Dr. Hansen. The schools' koto club members performed for him. Founded in 1935, the John Dewey Society is a scholarly organization for the study of education and culture, based on the spirit of American philosopher and educational theorist John Dewey (1882-1953). In his commemorative lecture, Dr. Hansen spoke about how to become a better human being. He expressed his belief that educators must pursue and cultivate values that develop one's humanity, throughout their lives. Referring to Konstantin Levin, hero of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and to the diary of a Jewish woman who died in Auschwitz during World War II, Dr. Hansen examined the conditions that make a good human being. He said a good human being continues to pray to become a good human being; can engage in dialogue with anyone; and is open-minded and can learn from anyone. Dr. Hansen also talked about the value of Soka education and encouraged students to embark on the journey to become good human beings.

On the occasion, the John Dewey Society commemorated the 75h anniversary of Soka Education and commended Soka Schools founder Daisaku Ikeda for his tireless efforts to promote peace, culture and education in the world. Dr. Hansen presented a certificate to Soka Schools Advisor Takahiro Ikeda, who received it on his father's behalf. Dr. Hansen received a Certificate of Friendship from Soka Schools. In a letter of appreciation, Mr. Ikeda emphasized that education is the power for gleaning meaning in life; deepening relations between society and ourself; and nurturing one's innate potential.