In the context of formal foreign language learning in Japan, research posits that Japanese Neo-Confucian training places significant constraints on language use and cultural awareness (Tamai, 1999). Catering to the specialism of Primary and Secondary English Education, a framework has been specifically created for University of Miyazaki students, facilitating their transition over four years, from traditional methods experienced during six years of secondary English instruction, to a Deep approach to learning through English writing. The theory and practice of Humanistic pedagogy are presented as new guidelines, complementing previous Neo-Confucian precepts, for interaction across the skills and with the relevant academic content. Beginning with validation of the learners’ cultural and educational experiences, an exploration of pedagogical materials seeks to provide solutions for ongoing academic learning processes and the students’ challenges as teachers-in-the-making. A balance is kept between learners’ needs to express personal experience, and scholarly exploration of pedagogy. Throughout the process, learners have the chance to perceive and rectify pedagogical misconceptions arising from a previous focus on social training through Surface approaches, as opposed to Deep approaches to learning. In sum, the goal is for students to shift from behavioural repetition to transformative, autonomous learning. Based on the University of Miyazaki motto, “Look at the world, start with the community”, content related to the autochthonous culture and non-Japanese culture within Japan is included. Particular attention is given to the arts, as sources of educational values, and in keeping with the commitment to the arts in the Miyazaki community. Ongoing writing assignments, including weekly “Objective and Subjective” journal entries, provide testimony to students’ prowess within the writing framework. A question, however, lingers regarding the transfer of Deep approaches to learning across the curriculum, and outcomes in the form of graduation theses. Readers are invited to assess the viability of such a project for their own learning environments.
|Keywords:||Cultural Complementarity, Traditional, Humanistic, Pedagogy, Undergraduate Writing|
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Culture, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan