Back to listJun 29, 2006

Student Group at Teachers College, Columbia University, Hosts Symposium on the Humanistic Educational Theories of John Dewey and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi

Panelists at symposium, from left to right: Mrs. Sherry Takahashi; Dr. Monte Joffee; Dr. David Hansen; and Dr. Iris T. Pagan

On June 16, Buddhism for Global Peace, a student group at Columbia University, in collaboration with the SGI-USA Education Division, sponsored a symposium on "Humanistic Education: Theory into Practice--John Dewey and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. The event commemorated the tenth anniversary of SGI President Ikeda's speech at Teachers College, "Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship." Some 120 Teachers College faculty and staff, as well as others in the field of education, attended. The keynote speaker was Dr. David Hansen. Other speakers were: Dr. Monte Joffee, founding principal of the Renaissance Charter School in New York; Dr. Iris T. Pagan, a retired biology teacher who continues to be involved in junior high school education; and special education teacher Sherry Takahashi of Connecticut. Following Soka University of America graduate Yuya Uchida, who represented event sponsors, Dr. Joffee spoke about the continuing relevance and significance of Mr. Ikeda's speech on education in contemporary society. Speaking on Dewey's educational theory, Dr. Hansen said knowledge comes alive when it is translated into action. He stated that Dewey, through application of his theory in the real classroom setting, became an example of scholarship for his students. Dr. Pagan and Mrs. Takahashi both spoke on the educational philosophy of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, first Soka Gakkai President and Japanese educator whose vision coincided with Dewey's.