“Global Issues Course” began after Start-up Course. Professor Yasuhiro Yamanaka (Graduate School of Environmental Science), chief of this course, Associate Professor Masahiko Fujii (Graduate School of Environmental Science) and Associate Professor Masaaki Kimura (Faculty of Science) mainly gave a series of eight-week sessions to Nitobe School students.
The purposes of this course are to learn how to understand complicated issues by working in collaboration within a team, to understand global issues through investigating “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” and to develop “3+1 competencies” further. The students can recognize each specialty, obtain a comprehensive understanding beyond their specialties, feel some difficulties and enjoy the team-working.
Team activities went as follows. First, each student collected relevant information in his/her own field, and then gave the information to other members in the team. Through exchanging information and discussing, they finally built a consensus in the team.
In this course they dealt with the SDGs as “global issues” which cannot be resolved by activities in one country alone. The SDGs are constituted of 17 goals, which are just hot and global topics discussed at the United Nations. Nitobe School students formed a team of 5-7 members and investigated SDGs selected by the team. The SDGs are such goals as “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, and “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”
The students continued discussing such realizable countermeasures as to attain those goals above and compiled a draft within each team. Finally, they gave presentations in English to the whole class and exchanged opinions. Thus, this course had ended.
Each student could feel steady self-development through team activities with continuous reflection on how (s)he had extended “3+1 competencies.”