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Introduction to Osaka University

Courses for earning a teacher’s certificate (license) (Teacher Certification Courses)

Teacher training objectives and plan for achieving those objectives

You can earn your teacher’s certificate at Osaka University, enabling you to work as a middle-school or high-school teacher or nursing teacher. To earn your license, you must complete a series of classes and training activities known as a teacher certification course in addition to the classes that the University requires all graduating students to complete. The specific type of license that you can earn (for example, to teach Japanese, math, or another subject) depends on the school or graduate school to which you belong. For more information, see the chart below.

Osaka University’s teacher certification courses are dedicated to training teachers who will continue to learn and who can serve as leaders in our knowledge-based society. It fosters students’ ability to reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses, articulate issues, and utilize a variety of resources to solve problems so that they will be able to take the lead in resolving new problems that occur in the contemporary educational setting that is itself a knowledge-based society. This ability is fostered not only by the University’s teacher certification courses, but also by cultivating "critical thinking," "design prowess," and "transcultural communicability," and advanced specialization and deep knowledge that are described in Osaka University’s overall educational objectives. That is to say, a deep critical thinking that prepares students to synthesize knowledge from a variety of academic disciplines, design prowess that enable them to conceive of flexible solutions, and a transcultural communicability that enables them to overcome the barriers to communicating with different cultures that often form the context for problems will empower students to develop and apply problem-solving skills. In addition, the courses foster sophisticated problem-solving ability and the ability to independently pursue research activities through instruction in deep, specialized scholarship and research guidance.

Broadly speaking, the specific curriculums used by the University’s teacher certification courses rely on the following two elements in order to accomplish these objectives:

(1) The courses offer instruction in the fundamentals and basics of a range of knowledge required of teachers.
(2) The courses cultivate the practical skills and attitudes needed to instruct students while cooperating with colleagues.

The knowledge conveyed in (1) can be broadly classified into two categories. The first is general knowledge related to the teaching profession. Specifically, this knowledge encompasses contemporary educational systems centered on schools and their social, historical, and philosophical background; the nature of the teaching profession and teachers’ social responsibilities; scientific knowledge related to human learning and development; class and curriculum design and implementation techniques; theories for understanding students experiencing puberty and adolescence as well as methods for offering lifestyle guidance and educational advice to them; and methods for offering moral education and conducting special activities. While classroom instruction lies at the heart of this part of each course, it does not consist of exclusively of one-way lectures, but rather incorporates discussions, group activities such as role playing, and opportunities for learning from current teachers and a variety of other people involved in education. The other category is deep, specialized knowledge in individual subjects, which is acquired through classes offered by each school and graduate school.

The skills and attitudes described in (2) involve the practice of offering instruction as a teacher to a variety of students in an educational setting. The goal is for students to take advantage of the knowledge described in (1) to play a teaching role in an actual classroom. This area includes students’ self-awareness and sense of responsibility with regard to their conduct as teachers; the attitudes and skills needed to think about and solve problems independently, autonomously, and actively; and the skills and attitudes needed to communicate with colleagues in a cooperative and conciliatory manner. These skills and attitudes are primarily developed through student teaching in a school or other educational setting.

Teacher training organization

At Osaka University, the Teacher Training Subcommittee of the university-wide Curriculum Committee has responsibility for the overall administration and implementation of teacher certification courses. This subcommittee provides integrated planning and administration of shared guidance that applies to all the University’s teacher certification courses, General Practice, nursing-care and other experiences and teacher training, the Teaching Practicum, and other courses related to the teaching profession. It also compiles texts, guides, notes, and other materials necessary for those activities.

The subcommittee consists of faculty members chosen from multiple schools and graduate schools as well as representatives of organizational entities responsible for teacher certification courses (the Educational Planning Division of the Department of Education Development), working under the subcommittee chair. Together, they work to form university-wide cooperative structures and to pursue partnerships by sharing information about various problems arising in the course’s administration and a common sense of values.

Organization chart

Number of faculty members

Degrees and achievements of faculty members (link to the directory of researchers)

Faculty members by class and course (link to the Osaka University syllabus)

Teacher training classes and courses, class methods and content, and annual lesson plans (file in Japanese)

Status of license acquisition and job placement for graduates (file in Japanese)

Initiatives to improve the quality of teacher training education

The University is pursuing the initiatives such as those described below to improve the quality of the education it offers and to provide more effective teacher certification courses.

The University created the Teacher Training Subcommittee to oversee the administration of university-wide teacher certification courses and integrate information about their status. This subcommittee oversees the planning and administration of shared guidance that applies to all teacher certification courses, General Practice, nursing-care and other experiences and teacher training, the Teaching Practicum, and other courses related to the teaching profession. It also compiles texts, guides, notes, and other materials necessary for those activities and reviews their content on an annual basis.

The University has sought to maintain average enrollment in courses related to the teaching profession at about 60 students while working to keep these classes from becoming large, one-way lectures. In addition, for classes that are taught by multiple instructors, we hold gatherings to promote socializing among faculty members and initiatives such as improving the shared syllabus and creating texts through discussions and the sharing of information.

We have also established a system by which a responsible faculty member (for example, the chairperson of the Teacher Training Subcommittee, or a member of the subcommittee) offer one-on-one guidance to students who perform poorly during their student teaching in the context of individual interviews to help them overcome their weaknesses. In addition, we offer fine-grained guidance, for example in the form of individual interviews, to students whose performance in various training activities, on tests, and in deliverables such as reports has raised questions so that we can determine whether they have mastered the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of teachers. Finally, teacher training in the field undertaken as part of General Practice and the Teaching Practicum is carried out with the cooperation of nearby cities, school boards, and facilities, and we use feedback from these facilities about the activities of participating students to improve the content of instruction.

Reference: Information about teacher certification courses for current students (link to related pages)

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