High School-University Connection Program: "Reconsidering Peace in Liberal Arts" Workshop Held

Update: January 23, 2020

A workshop titled "Reconsidering Peace in Liberal Arts" was held at ICU for three days from Jan. 11 (Sat.) through Jan. 13 (Mon.) targeting students in the second year of high school.

The workshop was hosted jointly with Middlebury College, an ICU partner university, which is consistently ranked among the top 10 liberal arts colleges in the U.S. It was patterned on the Critical Issues Forum, a conference on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament for high school students from around the world hosted by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, graduate school of Middlebury College, and modified for Japanese high school students.

20 high school students, not only from the Tokyo metropolitan region but also from high schools around Japan such as in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Okinawa, who have no experience living overseas but are enthusiastic about improving their English skills, took part in the workshop. With introducing the necessary communication skills to think about "peace" in English for students, everything, from lecture to group work, and presentations, was conducted in English.

Those students who couldn't quite speak up, were assisted by ICU students supporting the program. The program was held in a relaxed environment from beginning to end with games intended to strengthen group bondsand enhance communication also being incorporated. On the final day, the students were given the task of presenting in a free style what they gained from the workshop. They offered various ideas and engaged in preparation, and came up with presentations awash in creativity including music, art and some in quiz format.

The students mulled over the difficult theme of "peace" from various aspects, developing the ability to comprehend "peace" broadly from a liberal arts perspective, while experiencing the academic skills necessary in college.

Comments from the high school students who participated in the program

  • I felt that you would be able to sense the possibilities for peace and hope by taking a cross-subject approach to address complex problems.
  • The workshop in English was quite challenging for me. I was also apprehensive as to what kind of people would gather for the event, but it was very exciting as I was able to participate in the discussions and give a presentation with the help from those around, and it was a fulfilling three-day experience for me.
  • I really liked the atmosphere in the workshop. I was able to come in contact with a different world and differing concepts and wanted it to last for some more time.
  • By talking about this current issue with ICU students, who have more insights, and thinking what we can do to solve the issue made me realize once again how small things could lead to bigger things.
  • I realized that various fields are linked to peace and the event sparked interest in me into fields in which I didn't have much interest till now.

ICU continues offering learning opportunities, within the framework of high school-university connection, which would stimulate and kindle new interest among high school students.

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