Creativity in Japanese Education

Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm
Event Speaker: 
Cameron Smith
Fee for JALT members: 
Free
Fee for non-JALT members: 
1,000 yen
For a very long time, policymakers in Japan have worried that the education system has failed to support creativity. In recent years, the Japanese education ministry – in line with many countries around the world – has promoted creativity as a key educational goal. But what does creativity mean? Why should we worry about creativity in education (and in language education in particular)? Does creativity mean the same thing in Japan as in the English-speaking countries of the west? This presentation, part of an ongoing project looking at creativity in Japanese education, tries to give some answers to these questions. The presentation is in three parts. The first offers a brief introduction to the study of creativity as viewed from psychology, business and education. What is “creativity”? How is creativity encouraged? Why is it important to education? Is creativity important to foreign language education? The second part looks at how “creativity” across cultures, and how it has been viewed over time and in different places. In particular, it shows how the modern popular western view of creativity has taken on a highly specific political form, and how it is a potential source of serious bias when considering creativity in East Asia. The final part considers how the idea of creativity has developed and become increasingly important in Japanese education policy from the Meiji era until the present day. It considers current policy developments and considers the potential these developments offer for language educators to promote creativity in their teaching and in their institutions. The presentation should be particularly valuable to those who want to support creativity in education, and those interested in current Japanese education policy.
Venue Address: 
Aichi University
1-1 Machihata-cho
Toyohashi, Aichi
441-8522 Japan
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