Educators Discuss Applying Humanistic Education
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of its founding, the Soka Gakkai Education Department, consisting of professional educators from various schools, hosted its 34th "All Japan Rally on Practical Application of Humanistic Education" at Funabashi City Culture Hall in Chiba Prefecture, on October 30. The meeting focused on the theme of creating a society that values and promotes education and supports youth to draw forth their full potential. Over 1,100 educators and guests attended the event which was cosponsored by Chiba Nippo Co., Ltd., Chiba Television Broadcasting Corporation and the Makiguchi Foundation for Education.
In a message to participants, Soka Schools founder SGI President Daisaku Ikeda stressed that when educators themselves live each day with vitality, making efforts to learn, they will develop and grow. He stated that this desire to progress as individuals will give courage to youth and help them develop.
At the rally, four educators shared their experience of teaching in the classroom. Ms. Shizuko Miyamoto, a junior high school teacher in Miyagi Prefecture, shared her experience of losing students to the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11. She shared how she and the other teachers, as well as students in the Brass Band which she led did not give up in the face of tremendous sadness and made efforts towards preparing for the next band concert with the spirit of performing on behalf of all those students that had passed away. She also shared her determination to continue supporting and encouraging students as a humanistic educator.
In his talk, Hidefumi Kurosawa, emeritus professor at Musashino University, stressed that if teachers are grounded in their own sense of ideals and philosophy, they can help support any student to grow. He shared his hope for teachers to employ educational practices that are focused on helping students to become truly happy.
[Adapted from articles in the October 31 and November 12, 2011, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]