Looking at the perspective and the status quo of faculty development movement in Japan, I consider it necessary to specify what part of the university educational reform is really needed and effective. In the field of engineering education, conversion of the educational paradigm from a knowledge instruction type to a knowledge construction one is inevitable. For promoting active learning suitable to the new paradigm, it is required to (1) reconsider the role and weight of traditional research works in undergraduate program, (2) revise class schedule so that students are able to prepare for a class in advance and to finish their homework after the class, and (3) enforce the course work particularly in the subjects concerning liberal arts and sciences. I also touched upon my own experience in organizing a new class for conceptual understanding of integrated science : emphasis was on the way to construct a new teaching and learning strategy under leadership of a professor.
This article overviews the history, present situation and problems of campus-wide faculty development programs in Japanese institutes of higher education. Japanese universities have started to introduce faculty development in 1990s, whereas the definition of faculty development differs among institutes and researchers. Ehime University categorized the faculty development into three levels, namely micro-level for individual faculties, middle-level for curricula and macro-level for institutes. Many institutes furnish various programs to their own faculties, in some cases to those outside the institutes. It is a problem for Japanese faculty development how its outcome and effects on students’ learning should be measured objectively with the aid of institutional researches.
The faculty development (FD) in national colleges of technology pushed forward the class improvement, but has two next problems. 1. FD programs are not systematized. 2. It is difficult for teachers to continue FD. These problems can dissolve by sharing FD programs in institute of national colleges of technology. Cooperative FD is effective in national colleges of technology, too. Cooperative FD is an FD to be constructed by mutual cooperation of teachers. National colleges of technology must design the FD system supporting teacher’ s independent actions, and they must offer the FD system to teachers.
Enjoyable “bottom up” styled FD Workshops carried out at Muroran Institute of Technology were analyzed in view of workshop design. The workshops fulfilled the six criteria required for classification. Most workshops are designed by specialist groups but non-specialists in FD were able to design and promote FD workshops using their experiences of workshops and by being supported by a personal feedback. This resulted in a “bottom up” based system that generated independent-minded circumstances and trainee satisfaction. I propose this enjoyable “bottom up” style workshop is useful for other small educational organizations.
Recently, teaching portfolios have attracted much attention as part of faculty development activities. Though various faculty development activities have been conducted at Anan National College of Technology, the portfolio workshop was held for the first time in 2010, with the aim of further improvement in the quality of teaching. Creating a teaching portfolio within the National Colleges of Technology has prevailed more so than at universities and colleges. Eighteen workshops have been held both on and off campus with cooperation between the Colleges of Technology for three and half years. More than 80% of Anan National College of Technology faculty members created portfolios. In this paper, the workshop process is introduced and the continuation is considered accompanied by the participant survey. They are useful in order to achieve the optimum workshop at the College of Technology.
Risk Management in Engine Anatomy is conducted as introductory education for freshmen in the mechanical engineering course. Spurred by a rupture accident that occurred in 2011, risk management for the prediction and avoidance of risks in work has been added to a safety education class. Risk management has been effective both in getting students to remain vigilant about safety and in raising awareness of improvements in the work environment. Daily implementation of risk management by student leaders in practical training successfully promoted a cultivation of self-awareness and responsibility. It also fostered the implementation of safety education that enabled students to create a safe work environment. Risk extraction and evaluation by analysis of risk trends was also performed, leading to the creation of a Plan-Do-Check-Action cycle that enabled anti-risk measures in work and the reduction of risk, even when the person in charge changes.
Compared to English, there is a difficulty in reading Chinese, Korean and Japanese text, because there are no relatives in these languages. Since relative pronouns and conjunctions appear at the beginning of clauses in English text, readers understand structure of sentence before comprehending the meaning of it. In the case of Japanese text, readers literally follow the meaning of sentence and then construct the relationship between segments by postpositional particles. Sentences in engineering textbooks include long and complex sentences to explain complicated matters, compared to non technical writing such as novels and essays. The authors propose the adoption of using Japanese quotation marks,「 」which are at present rarely used in engineering textbooks to show clauses or long phrase.
Gas hydrates are prospective alternative energy resources. In this study, simplified teaching material was developed to educate students about the production of gas hydrates. The apparatus was produced using simple techniques and an easily obtainable and inexpensive material. We performed experiments under various conditions in order to generate propane hydrates. It was found that propane hydrates were produced constantly at 3 atm and -10 to -12℃ when small ice particles (＜0.5mm) were used, and the generated propane hydrates burned for a long time at normal conditions successfully. The teaching material developed has potential to student’ -interest in alternative energy and engineering and resource science.
In the Central Education Council report, acquirement of broader knowledge including related fields of one’ s own major and cultivating broader perspectives are pointed out as what is expected for graduate school education. Engineering was defined as a science that constructs effective things and comfortable environment for public safety, health, and social welfare basing on mathematics, natural sciences, and sometimes on social sciences by the review board of education programs for engineering in 1998. As the education for acquiring broader knowledge and cultivating broader perspectives, the graduate minor education is conducted at the graduate schools in Japan, such as the Interdisciplinary education Program at Osaka University. In this paper, survey results on the graduate minor education will be clearly articulated, then the design and the current status of the graduate minor program at Osaka University graduate schools will be described, and the effects of the graduate minor program will be revealed based on the results of the questionnaires to the students who has finished the programs.