Participant Report on the Course “Teaching and Learning at University”

Peter (Siyuan) Chai

Advanced Teaching Assistant

School of Political Science and Economics

Nao Yasuda

Teaching Assistant

Global Education Center

By taking this eight-week course “Teaching and Learning at University” during this spring quarter, we are able to comprehensively study about the contemporary policies and historical reforms related to the educational systems of Waseda and other Japanese universities in comparison with America and Europe. Through a series of in-class discussions and group activities among classmates who come from different grades and schools, we are able to share our images on what “ideal education” is and our opinions on what mutually beneficial teaching and learning methods are available to professors and students.

In addition to the regular weekly lectures, Prof. Yan Jiang invited two guest speakers who are specialists in incorporating “graphic recording” and “mindfulness” into learning support. Inspired by the professor and guest speakers’ presentations and exercises, we are able to reflect on how our works as Teaching Assistants (TAs) would be further improved through applying various techniques in “active learning” such as project-based learning and approaches in “problem finding and solving.” Besides, we got to understand the increasing role that modern research in cognitive and behavioral sciences could play in educational design.

Therefore, we strongly recommend this course to TAs who are currently working at Waseda as well as undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. students who endeavor to contribute their joint efforts to Japanese and international higher educations in the future as practitioners: Future educators could bond and connect through this course! We believe that by continuously updating ourselves with meaningful educational practices around the world and examining their potential effectiveness in local real-life educational settings, we can stay curious and bring educational developments to our society step by step.

Lastly, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Center for Higher Education for organizing this open course and to Prof. Yusuke Morita, Prof. Yan Jiang as well as other staff members there for their continuous support and helpful feedback to our memorable journeys as TAs.

Guest Speakers and Prof. Yan Jiang

Group Activities

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