“All education is self-education.” Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)
Steiner education values understanding human nature and engaging every growing child with sincerity in order to give them what they need when they need it.
Steiner education is broken down by topic based on the age of the child. 1-7 years: Developing Will: Children learn to take in the environment around them and mimic what they see. 7-14 years: Developing Emotion: Children learn through artistic experimentation under the tutelage of their teachers. 14-21 years: Developing Thought: Children learn to embrace diverse world views and values to chart their course in life.
The Role of Teachers
Teachers work as a team to give their full attention to the education of their students based on a holistic and humanistic educational philosophy, requiring earnest study of the views of human nature and education held by Rudolf Steiner. Yokohama Steiner School guide their respective students through all nine years of their education, making it crucial that they engage every student as a unique being and ensure their growth.
Independent Operation as an Non-Profit Organization
The Yokohama Steiner School is a free school with a Non-Profit Organization charter. The school is jointly operated by its teachers and NPO members, including benefactors. The Yokohama Steiner School aims to play a crucial role in educational and cultural activities in the community through open lectures, Open Days and such events as concerts and bazaars.
Our school emphasizes citizenship education and the practical capabilities necessary for living as a global citizen. That perspective is reflected in our UNESCO Associated School activities as well. Students in grades 7-10 receive general education and also participate in international exchange through “global classroom” activities, mainly with students in European countries. In support of this second educational pillar of international exchange, the school is currently developing a network with other schools in Asia and welcomes contact with new schools.
ESD at Our School
In ESD philosophy, our school distinguishes between teaching about specific issues (environmental, international, and regional issues) and developing capacities necessary for promoting sustainable development (e.g. systematic thinking and communication skills). We seek to achieve these goals by deepening students’ understanding of ESD through a multi-year general education curriculum aligned with students’ developmental levels. The program uses the “Integrated Study Period” time in grades 7-8 to focus on Nara, and then broadens to environmental studies in grade 9 and global studies in grade 10.
Through project-based learning, our school seeks to foster strong links among all four school levels (elementary, junior high, high school and university), as well as between industry and academia. We implement exchange activities not only within Japan, but internationally. Hagoromo Gakuen also participates in activities of ACCU and the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ).
ESD at Our School
Our school teaches about UNESCO activities such as ESD as part of "information education," having students visit the UNESCO website and other online resources and by inviting specialists to speak at the school. Some of these activities are woven into the "integrated studies period"; students create leaflets about literacy issues or the "World Terakoya Movement" that promotes community-based learning centres in developing countries, and also conduct fundraising activities at school festivals such as drives to collect spoilt, pre-paid postcards.
International exchange travel also features prominently in Hagoromo Gakuen’s curriculum. Second-year high-school students in the international track spend two months in the United Kingdom, while students in other tracks go on one-week school trips to Australia. In the international course, students take part in overseas homestays, and farmstays are arranged as school trips for students in the other tracks. Each facility in the school packs a busy schedule of events around the themes of international understanding, peace education, understanding of other cultures, and communication. Students learn not only about countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, but actively use information and communications technology (such as videoconferencing, e-mail and presentation tools) to learn how to promote communication and international understanding.
Hagoromo Gakuen is a school that is especially active in promoting exchange within and outside Japan.
Okayama Ryukoku High School has three curricula, with the basic curriculum subdivided into two courses: a Special University Preparatory Course and an Advancement and Education Course. The Advancement and Education Course is further divided into five streams that provide tailored instruction according to each student’s interests and goals.
Our school's curricula, courses and streams are organized according to the four basic curriculum themes of ASPnet. Students carry out research concerning global problems such as poverty and hunger, and learn about other cultures, and participate in environmental education and other activities in line with these themes. In sum, our school conducts a wide range of activities in accordance with our slogan: 'Okayama Ryukoku, spreading our wings from the region to the world'.
ESD at Our School
Okayama Ryukoku has participated in activities across a wide variety of ESD themes, including river water quality surveys as part of extra-curricular activities, and participation in nationwide high school debates on international issues at the Model United Nations. Upon receipt of our recent UNESCO Associated School certification, we are reorganizing the foundations of our curriculum and will pursue a full spectrum of themes, including the environment, international issues, and inter-cultural understanding.
Our UNESCO Associated School Activities and Approach to ESD
Arima High School offers several courses in foreign languages and specifically recruits students who are foreign nationals living in Kanagawa Prefecture in order to promote international understanding and multiculturalism. Key activities are as follows:
Overseas school trips
Our School has conducted school trips to Saipan and South Korea. This year the school trip will take students to South Korea, and we are conducting exchange activities with Kanagawa’s 'sister prefecture' in that country, Gyeonggi-do. As preparatory study, we teach about South Korea during the 'integrated study period', focusing on such themes as cuisine, film, ethnic clothing, and traditional sports and games. Moreover, last year and this year, Arima High School welcomed groups from South Korea to the school.
Exchange with sister schools
Our School has a sister-school relationship with Crown Point High School, a school in the U.S. state of Illinois. As part of the schools’ exchange activities, students of each school visit the other, experiencing homestays and taking part in classes and regional events.
Participation in Japan/Indonesia Youth Workshops
Two Arima students participated in workshops held in Tokyo in August. The students joined high-school students from Indonesia in performing fieldwork and engaged them in group discussions, deepening exchange between the two countries.
Dispatch of a student to Thailand as part of ACCU International Exchange Programme
One Arima student was dispatched to Thailand as part of the above activities over the year-end/New Year holiday period. The student experienced a homestay in the Kingdom while visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites and participating in exchange activities with local youth.
Participation in international seminars
Three students from our school participated in the High School International Understanding Program Parts I (August) and II (February) sponsored by JICA Yokohama, and took part in exchange activities with JICA trainees from overseas. Students also participated in the International Youth Seminar sponsored by the Kanagawa International Foundation, and studied alongside students from other schools.
Arima High School implements ESD within the context of our UNESCO Associated School activities.