Soka Gakkai Educators Hold Forum on Humanistic Education
On October 7, 2007, the Soka Gakkai Education Division held its 30th "National Forum on Practical Applications of Humanistic Education" at the Sapporo Convention Center, Sapporo, Japan. Some 2,300 educators and key figures in education from around Japan attended the gathering titled, "Creating a Society for the Sake of Education--Nurturing Our Future Treasures with Courage and Love," where Soka Gakkai educators reported on their efforts to practice humanistic education in the classroom.
In a message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda empathized with attendees on their challenging task of educating and nurturing children who are each unique in character and personality. He also lauded the educators for their untiring efforts, noting that the existence of even one earnest and sincere teacher is like a sun of hope who can help break through any impasse in communication with their students.
Four representatives shared their hands-on experiences of achieving success in the classroom despite the myriad difficulties they face as educators. Masashi Ichikawa, a junior high school teacher from Saitama, spoke about how he tackled bullying in his class. Kenichi Hisayama, a high school teacher in Okinawa, shared how he focused on peace education and was able to convey to his students the value of life and the importance of treasuring life and helped them overcome the human impulse of violence. Kazuyo Sakota, an elementary school teacher from Hyogo Prefecture, talked about how she supported her students' creation of an orchestra, which ended up representing their city in the Western Japan School Orchestra Competition. High school teacher Koji Shiomi from Hokkaido reported on a practical curriculum about the natural environment he created for the two schools where he teaches, located on Teuri and Okushiri Islands off the Hokkaido coast. He stressed how important it is for educators to believe in and trust their students with a sincere desire to help cultivate their potential.
The Hokkaido Educators Group gave a presentation on their research. This was followed by a performance by the local children's Hokkaido Twinkling Stars Chorus. Sapporo University Cultural Studies Chair Professor Katsuhiko Sato praised the efforts of the Soka Gakkai educators for their hands-on approach to education in the classroom based on dialogue and rapport.
[Adapted from an article in the October 8, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]