A training program called “Straight Path to Teaching” was held for 58 high school students with aspirations of becoming a teacher. The program was intended for first-year and second-year high school students in the 36 member schools of the Osaka Prefectural High School Consortium for Teacher Education for a total of 3 days in July and August.
On the first day, participants broke the ice by playing games such as “evolution rock-paper-scissors”, in which students evolved step by step from an egg into a person each time they won, and “find something in common”, in which groups competed to see which group could find the most things in common among members within a group. After that, OKU students gave a lecture about campus life and studying to be a teacher, and an administrator for the Osaka prefectural teacher recruitment examination talked about the examination. With the help of university students and teaching staff, each group of high school students discussed their ideal teacher, and the day was concluded by each student giving a 1-minute speech about their ambitions to achieve their dream.
On the second day, the high school students participated in coinciding open campus events on July 30 and 31. They attended informational sessions and mock classes and toured the campus. After that, they reconvened and each group discussed and presented about new things they learned or things that surprised them at OKU.
The last day was a full day of research and presentations. Accompanied by OKU faculty members, high school faculty members, and graduate students, the high school students took classes by specialized teachers and had group discussions on six topics: “Let’s study enzymes”, “The best English class in Japan”, “Building perspectives on society”, “A future vision for integrated elementary and junior high school education”, and “Making lessons appealing with music”. The group that gave the presentation on “building perspectives on society” discussed Brexit, and gave a simple explanation of the arguments to leave and to remain.
Impressions of high school students who participated included: “I was nervous about having discussions with people I had just met, but I was able to share a lot of opinions while talking with people who also wanted to be teachers.” “I learned a lot from the opinions of people from other schools who have the same aspirations.”
Professor Tadashi Onchi (Research Center for Teacher Education), a faculty member who planned the program, said: “It was really fun to study alongside everyone for 3 days. It was nice to see how lively and keenly all you bright-eyed students engaged with the subject matter, and I truly think you can become good teachers. I hope you will believe in your potential and continue to set big goals for yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again at OKU!”