Fujimigaoka High School for Girls
Fujimigaoka High School is designated as an ‘SGH’ (Super Global High School) by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The goal of ‘SGH’ schools is to help students foster international mindsets – to focus on social problems, to have the ability to interact with liberal arts, and to have the capacity for communicating and problem solving. One hundred and twenty-three schools (including thirty-eight private schools) are now recognized as being ‘SGH’. The ‘SGH’ designation is important to us, as it helps us to create leaders who can play many roles within a globalized society.
Within the ‘Super Global’ theme, we encourage Fujimigaoka students to focus on social problems from the viewpoint of ‘sustainability’: helping preserve the environment and natural resources as well as supporting long-term ecological balance. Furthermore, within our globalized society, there are many problems related to sustainability, such as the gap between the rich and the poor and the breakdown of community in cases of disaster. One of our SGH-program goals is to help our students become women who will address such problems, while cooperating with people all over the world. In this way, there are many similarities between our theme and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) set by the United Nations.
With cooperation from universities and corporations, we created the “Basic Sustainability” and “Sustainability Seminar Ⅰ＆Ⅱ” classes as integrated subject-styled and task-oriented studies.
We also created the “Study-skills Improvement Programme” and “Improving Our Ability to Take Action” courses to help students obtain the basic knowledge for further study, as well as an“English Communication Improvement Programme” to increase their capacity for communication with non-Japanese speakers.
We believe that educational innovation is crucial in helping our students to be leaders of a globalised society. To achieve this goal, we set the following three educational objectives.
By integrating and improving our global study programmes and our environmental education classes, we have been able to successfully launch educational programmes in which students learn about sustainability and take part in cross-cultural activities.
Our school has produced an atmosphere which encourages students to invest an interest in environmental and energy problems, and to be aware of the various aspects those problems can have. However, we desire to more fully connect our students’ interests to their classroom activities.
Furthermore, while we have been running programmes such as“5×2”‐an independent “integrated study” course‐for many years, we have relied too much on our students’ self-discipline within these classes. For this reason, we wanted to establish new methods that more decisively instruct students to identify topics and analyze programmes effectively.
Finally, while we have tried to improve our English educational and cross-cultural programmes, there is still space to enhance our students’ capacity for English communication and self-expression. In so doing, more students would be able to discuss global issues with students from overseas.
Given this information, we set the three following hypotheses.
Students will conduct research on three topics related to sustainability: “Disaster and Community,” “Economic development and Human Beings,” and “Environment and Lifestyle”. Results from these classes will be made public on the school website.
– “Disaster and Community”
– “Economic development and Human Psychology”
– “Environment and Lifestyle”
– “Basic Sustainability” ( Compulsory subject for First Year Students )
We set a two-credit class which was designed as an “integrated study”. In view of sustainability, the class studies social problems from various angles, and in particular focusses upon discovery-oriented study in each of its three topics: disaster, economic development and global environment.
Prof Keiko Okawa, the professor of Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University, will help us design each class. She also gives us her cooperation by presenting workshops for staff which explain field-analysis, that is to say, the process of identifying sustainability-related topics and taking a problem-solving approach to issues that may arise. She also aids us by conducting an evaluation with the school that will help us improve the following year’s courses.
In addition, we also created special classes led by experts from universities, corporations, NPO, etc.
Earlier this year, our senior high first year students took a fieldtrip to Kamaishi City in Iwate to learn about sustainability in that prefecture. Furthermore, about 10 applicants (including junior high school students) are going to participate in a “Global Youth Summit” held in Singapore. They will submit in reports about their classes and fieldwork at the end of term, which will then be self-evaluated, inter-evaluated and teacher-evaluated via Rubric. In addition, during the annual presentation in March, we will be given an outside evaluation by researchers from a number of universities and steering committees.
– “Sustainability Seminar Ⅰ,Ⅱ” (Compulsory subject for second and third year students)
We set up this two-credit class as an optional subject for junior and senior students. For this class, 30 students from each grade will take part in three seminars, “Disaster and Community,” “Economic development and Human Beings” and “Environment and Lifestyle,” which will enable them to study more specialized fields related to sustainability. These classes are to be conducted by university professors, university research students, and teachers from our school.
Students from these classes are also going to attend overseas workshops in the Philippines, Singapore and Masdar City in UAE. They will also take part in remote workshops via digital communication services such as Skype.
Senior students are requested to help with the junior students’ research projects, and also to make their studies available in English to other countries via the Green Schools Alliance website.