International Symposium on "New Perspectives on Teacher Training for the 21st Century"
The International Symposium on "New Perspectives on Teacher Training for the 21st Century" was held on June 28 at the West Hall on the Tennoji Campus. The event was attended by approximately 150 people from schools and government education agencies and other related entities.
The symposium was held as a research activity of the Faculty Development Program's Research and Development Team (Team Leader: Specially Appointed Professor Yoshinobu Shima, Research Center for Teacher Education Director), which is part of the Program for Promoting University Reforms and Improvements. Convened with the backing of the Osaka Prefecture Board of Education, the Osaka City Board of Education, and the Sakai City Board of Education, the purpose of the three-part symposium was for attendees to learn about international trends while making plain the issues present in university education and direction toward which faculty training should be oriented in the future.
The symposium's first part saw three keynote addresses. Kobe Gakuin University Faculty of Humanities and Sciences Professor Yoshihiro Tatta spoke on "Faculty Competency as Lifelong Learners," Principal Gun Jakobsson of Finland's Åbo Akademi University affiliated normal school spoke on "Challenges in Finnish Teacher Education," and Professor Tadakazu Miki, who had been dispatched by the Ministry of Education as working ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, spoke on "Issues Clarified by the Results of the 2013 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)."
In part two, Professor Shima gave a report based on the result of a survey of Osaka Kyoiku University graduates on the achievements of teacher training education at OKU as well as the issues involved.
Professor Tatta served as coordinator for the third part of the symposium, which centered on an open discussion session based around questions from participants including Professor Miki, Principal Jakobsson, Osaka Prefecture Board of Education Education Supervisor Hitoshi Tsuda, and OKU Executive Director and Vice-President Kunio Koshigiri. Opinions were enthusiastically exchanged among all those present at the conference venue.
Notable reactions from participants included observations on how useful teacher training initiatives in Finland were as a point of reference as well as a renewed awareness of the importance of cooperation among universities, school teachers working in the field, and the relevant government officials.