UTokyo Students Participate in Student Teacher Program in Nagano
Date of activity: August 29, 2016 - September 17, 2016
From August 29th through September 17th, 2016, the Graduate School of Education and the Faculty of Education offered a Student Teaching Internship Program for the first time for graduate and undergraduate students. The program gave student teachers an opportunity to complete their teaching practicum in Kijimadaira-mura (a village in Nagano Prefecture) based on a departmental agreement on education and research exchange. Four students from the University of Tokyo participated in the program as student teachers, each teaching Japanese, Mathematics, Science and English.
On September 9th, 2016, Associate Professor Yasuhiko Fujie and Associate Professor Sachiko Asai of the Department of Education visited Kijimadaira-mura with administrative staff to observe the demonstration lessons conducted by the student teachers. The young and new teachers taught junior high students with great enthusiasm, showing signs of further progress during the rest of the program.
The student teachers stayed in a public facility in Kijimadaira-mura called "Nouson-koryukan" for the first week. It seemed to be an eventful stay since a group of children from the Kijimadaira Elementary School Camping Program (designed for children to get accustomed to staying away from home) joined them for a week.
During their stay in Nouson-koryukan, the student teachers had to prepare their meals by themselves. This seemed to be quite hard; once, they made too much curry, and what's more, curry was served for lunch at the school they taught in, so they had to eat curry for seven times in a row!
For the rest of the program, student teachers stayed at a family-run inn that served breakfast and dinner for them. They said that they greatly appreciated this food service, for they had so much to prepare for the practicum.
The place at which they stayed was a little far from the school, so they had to ride bicycles to get to the school every day. One student teacher had difficulty riding a bicycle, but since she had no other choice (besides walking for 40 minutes), she practiced hard and was able to overcome the fear of cycling during the program.
From these episodes, we can see that the program in Kijimadaira-mura proved to be very fruitful for the participants, together with building the foundation and experience necessary for future teachers.
On September 27th, 2016, 10 days after the program, the 6th graders of the Kijimadaira Elementary School visited the University of Tokyo on a school trip. Not only the student teachers but also the professors and graduate students of the Department of Education welcomed them.
The children enjoyed a campus tour in the morning and had lunch at the Chuo Dining Hall on the Hongo Campus. In the afternoon, they gave a presentation on "manabiai," a unique style of active learning in which children participate and learn proactively in class, to the professors and graduate students. At first, the children seemed to be a little nervous, but they managed to get through the presentation successfully all by themselves. At the question-and-answer session held afterwards, the graduate students asked many questions and engaged in a lively discussion with the children.
Both the Student Teaching Internship Program and the school trip of Kijimadaira Elementary School were a great success and an excellent starting point for further development of this program.