Photo: Using iPads, students research living things in the Aizu highlands

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), working together with Nezu Ikueikai Musashi Gakuen, is in the process of developing curriculum for the Musashi-Temple RED Program. The RED Program is for junior and senior high school students who wish to enroll in universities of English-speaking countries. The program is designed not only to develop English language skills but also to cultivate the ability to think logically. Based on the theme “science,” the program focuses on “Research, Essay writing and Debate” activities in English. TUJ is responsible for developing the curriculum. This summer a 3-week pilot program was held in August.

The summer pilot program consisted of a 10-day camp at the Aizu highlands in Fukushima and 5-day commuting modules at Musashi’s Ekoda campus before and after the camp. It was attended by 24 8th grade students, mainly from Musashi Junior High School. On the final day of the program, students made presentations in English, without reading a script, on the plants and animals they chose as their research topics in the field work in Aizu.

The entire summer program was instructed by Daniel Clapper,* who also teaches in TUJ’s Academic English Program, and by four TUJ students acting as coaches.

Photo: Final presentation back on campus on August 31
Final presentation back on campus on August 31

Commenting on the summer program, Dan Clapper said: “Students explore topics related to living things for 20 days. These days are organized by the cycle of research, (essay) writing, and debate (discussion). Much of this is teamwork in the field; all of it is supported by a workbook designed for the program and running on student iPads. Workbook assignments enhance student vocabulary by incorporating grammar they have learned at school, and they help students learn how to conceptualize and explain their research in a logical way. This approach to instruction respects the unique perspective of each student. It is not a one-way transfer of standardized information from the teacher; instead, it is learner-centered, cumulative, and constructive. By proactive initiative, practical experience and collaboration, each student creates something that is original and has meaning and value outside of a classroom – in this case, a research portfolio in English supported by pictures, maps and diagrams. Doing such work prepares students not only for English speaking universities but also for rewarding careers in the 21st century.”

Emiko Mizunuma, Director of TUJ’s Academic English Program (AEP) commented, “RED’s curriculum must be based on a structure that covers the entire spectrum from primary school to university and beyond. In other words, we must think what students need to learn at junior high and senior high level in order for them to enter an overseas university as well as to succeed throughout student life and even after graduation. That is why it is meaningful that Temple, an American university, is involved in the program’s development. TUJ’s AEP prepares students for liberal arts education at American universities, and the content of the RED program reflects our specialty.”

Based on the findings from the summer pilot, TUJ and Musashi Gakuen aim to complete the development of the RED curriculum in time to launch the full program for junior and senior high school students in August 2014.

Photo: Fieldwork in groups
Fieldwork in groups

In 2009, Musashi University, Musashi Senior & Junior High Schools, and TUJ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on academic programs, initiatives, and exchanges, based on which credit exchange, mutual library access and other programs have been implemented. Besides the RED Program, TUJ has been offering summer English programs for the Musashi schools since 2010.

As a pioneer of foreign universities in Japan, TUJ plans to expand these partnerships with Japanese institutions and contribute to Japan’s globalization through English language education.

Instructor Profile

*Daniel Clapper

Instructor, Academic English Program
Temple University, Japan Campus

PMP (Project Management Professional)
M.S. in Cybernetic Systems (San Jose State University)
M.S. in Education, TESOL (Temple University)
M.A. in English (California State University East Bay)

Photo: Instructor Daniel Clapper and the students
Instructor Daniel Clapper and the students