A group of nine students led by two accompanying faculty members from The University of North California Wilmington (UNCW), USA, with which Osaka Kyoiku University has an academic exchange agreement, visited our university for a four-day study program from Monday 17th through Thursday 20th June. The visit was part of UNCW's international education studies program and the group was split into the respective majors (preschool and elementary school education), with each group visiting Osaka Kyoiku University's affiliated schools, as well as public elementary schools and private preschools.
The visitors observed the lessons attentively and enjoyed interacting with the preschoolers and elementary students during the break times, such as when the lunches were served and during the lunch play time. There were also opportunities for reading story books out loud to the children at the preschools and elementary schools visited, and the children listened intently, their eyes gleaming with joy, to the stories read to them in authentic English. The UNCW students engaged in enthusiastic Q&A and exchanges of opinions with the elementary school teachers giving them greater insights into the differences in educational settings between Japan and the USA, which they perceived from their school visits. The students in the doctoral program and the accompanying faculty members also visited the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education, where they were briefed on matters such as the role of the Board of Education, its scholastic achievement goals for students, as well as issues currently being encountered.