Educational Vision Research Institute (EVRI) has been selected as one of the Promising Research Initiatives in Hiroshima University in the academic year 2017-2018 for developing a world-class Center of Excellence (COE) in education and research. As the Director of EVRI, I would like to welcome everybody to join us this pursuit of learning together. It is truly my pleasure to work with many researchers from Japan and all over the world, beyond the boundaries of disciplines and ages.
EVRI aims to explore the possibilities of “Education” as medium to build bridges between disciplines, science and society, adults and children in society, children and the future, and between Hiroshima and the rest of the world.
Our motto is “by EVRI for everyone”; we are open for your requests and suggestions. Please stay tuned for more updates on our EVRI endeavors.
Dr. Kazuhiro KUSAHARA, Director
Currently serves as Professor in Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, Dr. Kusahara specializes Subject Pedagogy (Curriculum & Instructions) and Social Studies Education. With aims to clarify the principles of citizenship, nation-building, and ideologies of social studies education in democratic society, he conducts comparative studies in educational discourses and curriculums across the globe. His recent research includes qualitative analysis of decision-making mechanisms of social studies teachers. Dr. Kusahara develops many syllabus, textbooks and teacher education programs in and outside of Japan.
EVRI consists of three Units and six Clusters.
Assume the world where the nation allows people to access education according to ability and/or age is Edu2.0; then Edu3.0 shall be the world where everybody can learn together with others. This unit aims to formulate viewpoints on education that bring about such an advancement to the world. Especially aspired to design “learning space” for diverse learners and creation of knowledge based on diversity, we investigate ideas and methods to realize such learning space design. This Unit consists of two clusters, Knowledge Creation that focuses on subject learning, and Inclusive Education that inquires into broader act of learning. Together with our EVRI members of great expertise, we strive to become a Center of Excellence.
What do we mean by “knowledge”? Competency-based curriculum question us the authentic meaning of knowledge. Knowledge is not limited to the static and widely recognized volume of information. Rather, knowledge is active and dynamic process of knowing, knowledge creation and its application to behaviors. We are interested in designing and assessing such a forum (or ‘active learning working space/environment’, so to speak), where learners and teachers learn together with the surrounding environment in order to create a wide range of knowledge. More precisely, this Unit will simultaneously conduct the following researches: 1) establishment of philosophy and ideas related to the dynamics of human learning, 2) explication of the process in knowledge creation, 3) theorization of “active learning working space” for classroom application.
This Cluster conducts analysis on International Baccalaureate and Foreign language education (activities) of Japan and abroad. We plan 1) to examine the principles in curriculum/activities for Foreign language education (FLE) that welcome all students including those with developmental challenges, etc., 2) to develop FLE curriculum, instruction and assessment that well endorse globalism, inclusion, diversity, and 3) to test our prototypes in international schools and collaborating schools in order to assure their effectiveness. Our goal is beyond FLE to transform all learning spaces to accommodate all needs of diverse learners.
Assume the system where the government provides dominant standard curriculums, and teachers practice them as Edu2.0; then, Edu3.0 shall be the system that supports and expects teachers and children to make full use of standard curriculum and to autonomously reconstruct it. This unit formulates viewpoints that encourage paradigm shift to such system. Especially focused on embracing respect for diversity, learning to live together, encouraging deep inquiry, and equipping skills and competency for conflict resolution and peace building, we are working to design curriculum, learning opportunities for learners to acquire such competencies.
This unit consists of two clusters, IB Education in secondary level and Teacher Education in higher education. Together, we pursue to establish the Center of Excellence.
Demands for globally competent human resource are ever increasing. To help our children meet the today’s needs, Japan has started to adapt IB system and introduced the IB Diploma Program in Japanese. EVRI’s IB Education Cluster develops IB model curriculum, instruction and assessment for “Language & Literature”, “History”, “Science” and “Arts”. After completion, our next goal is to innovate curriculum for subject education and in all kinds of schools so that the learners will be well equipped for their future endeavor in the globalized society.
Hiroshima University has long history of leading teacher education in Japan. With our “8 Standards for HU Teacher Training” and the supporting online system “Teaching License Portfolio” for assessment, we have helped our students prepare for the successful teaching career. Many Japanese universities, other than teacher-education designated national universities, have arrived to establish their own teacher-preparation programs similar to our HU model. Consequently, nation-wide quality assurance of teacher education has been a concern. EVRI’s Teacher Education Cluster aims to review and overhaul these existing systems fundamentally for even higher quality in teacher education. Through curriculum innovation, we will propose strategies to enhance standards and qualities of teacher education in Japan.
If we assume that the one-way relationship where researchers indulge in research and return the results to society through education is Edu2.0, then Edu 3.0 will be more of bidirectional relationship. Through research, researchers will engage with society and education; and through commitment to social and educational reform, they will reflect to review and reconstruct the design of the research.
The Education Profession Study Unit promotes viewpoints that favor construction of such relationships. We particularly focus on designing systems to prepare educators and researchers to build bridges between research and education and between science and society. Two Clusters are there under this Unit, Teacher Educator Cluster and Pedagogic Researcher Cluster; two roles together are geared to tackle with challenges in Education and promote creation of Center of Excellence.
Having accomplished rapid post-war reconstruction through education, Japan has moral responsibility to share its lessons internationally. HU has long provided support to many developing countries with support to introduce structures in education for continuous self-improvement and quality teacher education. The importance of “good teachers” is not well recognized, and that renders low social status of teachers even in the developed countries. This Cluster believes that “good teacher educator makes good teachers”, and based on this belief we are committed to prepare innovative training programs and professional development for teacher educators in universities.
Moreover, EVRI intends to develop and propose our global standard models for teacher educators’ education and professional development. We are committed to enhance the quality of education world-wide.
This Cluster aims to clarify the roles and responsibilities of pedagogical researchers through international comparison studies of their academic activities. More specifically, we focus on the followings: 1) researchers’ identities (through their self-perception), 2) perception of social responsibilities (their targets, aims and methods of research and contribution to nations, societies and classrooms), 3) professional development (their perceived challenges and strategies). Our intention is to illustrate diverse paradigm of pedagogical researches, and to propose multiple support methodologies according to the specific professional development needs of the researchers.