Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Teacher Education for the twenty first century: what can England and Japan learn from each other?

Thursday, 05 December 2013

Delegates from Kyoto University of Education recently joined academics from the School of Education in a symposium hosted by Oxford Brookes University. The aim was to compare global and national changes to teacher education in Japan and England and to contrast the different pedagogies for training teachers in the two countries.

The four day symposium included discussions about the strength and weaknesses of Initial Teacher Education in England and Japan along with the professional values twenty first century teachers in both countries need.

The delegation from Kyoto University included Professors of Education with an interest in academic research as well as teachers and leaders from Kyoto primary and secondary schools who work with Kyoto university to deliver teacher training programmes in Japan. The symposium included a visit to two of Brookes partner schools to observe Brookes students undertaking their school based training and a debriefing by their school mentors. In contrast to Brookes PGCE students, who undertake 24 weeks school placement under the guidance of a trained mentor, their Japanese counterparts undertake just 4 weeks school based training a year with general feedback from a classroom teacher.

The symposium finished with a discussion on what could be learnt by Brookes and Kyoto staff and teacher training students if further joint research could be undertaken and a student exchange programme can be set up.

Nick Mead, Associate Lecturer at the School of Education said that:

“The symposium was very productive in comparing our needs in training teachers. We identified some key areas for future collaboration particularly in relation to developing autonomous trainee teachers who can be mentored in designing curricula and pedagogies for the twenty first century. We look forward to future collaboration in our area of research, also to potential student exchange’