School of Education links with Japan offer wider opportunities for collaboration

Wednesday, 07 December 2011


Helen Wilson, Programme Lead for Primary and Early Years Teacher Education, was recently invited to be a guest speaker at the International Symposium on Teacher Education at Tokyo University, The education department at Toyo University has been funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education to research different modes of teacher training internationally and a group from Toyo University previously visited Oxford Brookes as part of their research. Following their visit Helen was invited to speak at The International Symposium which included speakers from Denmark, the Netherlands and America. Teacher training is undertaken very differently in Japan and currently includes only a very short school placement. Toyo University is pioneering the development of the Oukan Education System – Oukan can be translated as ‘going out and coming in’, and it signifies a move towards students’ training being shared more between the university and schools. Helen visited the National Centre for Teacher Development, which is the equivalent of the National College of School Leadership, and also to the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, similar to our Local Education Authority. Helen says that she “ learned a great deal about the Japanese education system and also about other international approaches to teacher training. It was an immense privilege to go to Japan and I was shown great hospitality. The group of us who were invited to Japan as speakers intend to keep in touch and to explore opportunities for collaborative international research.”