Nitobe School officially commenced in May 9. From the following week, the first course of Basic Program, “Start-up Course,” started. Professors Asami Shikida (Center for Advanced Tourism Studies), chief of this course, Hirofumi Tani (Faculty of Engineering), Susumu Ohnuma (Graduate School of Letters) and Miho Namba (Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education) gave the eight-week classes.
At the first session, after ice-breaking, the students were truly enthusiastic about learning collaborations in a team and worked together with their class mates for team-building training. With the feeling to work through in a team, they learned how to manage it and their actual roles needed for building a team effectively for the better achievements.
The theme of the second week is “facilitation.” It is important to recognize what kind of mission, goals, roles and constraints there are in order to achieve the aim in a team.
The students learned useful skills for brainstorming ideas, organizing them, and converging the discussion.
The third week is for “leadership and team-management.” After watching a movie called “12 gentle Japanese,” the students discussed what they can learn from it. Then, they learned experientially what kind of leaders are desirable, what is required for leadership, and how to manage a team effectively.
The theme of the fourth and fifth weeks is “project management.” Four external professionals came to give lectures as well as coach group-works. The students attended a lecture on an introduction to project management. After that, they had an experience of the project to build a tower using straws in a group work, and deepened their understanding of project management.
In the sixth week, two entrepreneurs who have ever launched and run business in society, such as disaster areas and developing countries, were invited here. They gave us lectures on their activities and advices based on their experiences. It is important for us, they say, not only to utilize needs and resources of the region, but to give back some values to society as well as having close communication and trustworthy relationship with the people.
In the seventh week Prof. Nobuo Kurata from Graduate School of Letters gave us a seminar on “professional ethics.” After a lecture on basic matters, on the basis of a case the students had discussed an ethical dilemma, its solution and argumentation which an expert sometimes face on companies or society. Then they experienced a learning that incorporates through role-playing.
Last week the theme was “marketing” by Prof. Junichi Kaneko (Research Faculty of Engineering). The students learned ideas on marketing necessary to launch a business and put it in orbit on the basis of familiar examples. They were able to realize some skills not only for publicizing products but for analyzing internal strength & weakness and external opportunities & threats.
Each session had constituted of lecture, team activity and presentation of the result. Through those experiences the students could learn the basis of active learning thoroughly, and establish a foothold in the future learning.