The Challenge for Higher Education Reform in Japan by Seven Samurai
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This is an autobiographical account of a unique university that has been designed and implemented from scratch and is still in operation. The focus of this paper is not only to look back at past developments, but also to extract essences and principles for designing sustainable learning environments. To fulfill this purpose, the paper begins with the educational philosophy written at the time of the university’s opening in 2000. After that, eighteen years of the university’s educational practices and policies are summarized. Ultimately, the design of the learning environment as a whole will be discussed. It is argued that the challenge of effective design should be expanded from the conventional blend of real and digital classroom environments to a new perspective that coordinates space, activity and community. It is reasoned that this holistic perspective will contribute to future blended learning models for innovation in schools, organizations and society as a whole.
KeywordsSpace Activity Community Project-Based learning Fabrication Peer tutoring Collaborative meta-cognition Social motivation
Gratitude to all current and previous Future University Hakodate staff and students for their creativity and inspiration. Special thanks to colleague Dr. Michael Vallance for evocative interactions and suggestions. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15H02932.
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