"Initiatives for Attractive Education in Graduate Schools"
This page is written by Kozo Watanabe, who is a professor of the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, and who is also in charge of the GP program of the graduate school.
The Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences (hereafter GSCEFS) was established in April, 2003. GSCEFS is a unique and new type of graduate school. There is no undergraduate school attached to GSCEFS. The full-time faculty members of GSCEFS engage in research projects related to four main themes (Publicness, Life, Socio-Cultural Symbiosis and Representation). This research is often performed in cooperation with institutes within Ritsumeikan University or with various outside researchers who are engaged in cutting edge work. We aim to help graduate students become able researchers by providing opportunities for them to fully participate in these research projects. Thus, it can be said that GSCEFS is a project-based graduate school.
In order to make this ideal of a project-based graduate school a reality, we have found that we need new ways of thinking and fresh challenges. Definitely, the main point of this new ideal is that a project-based graduate school enables us to grasp the graduate students' awareness of the issues and integrate their insights into the themes of projects.
Emphasizing graduate students' awareness of issues regardless of disciplines does not mean that we can ignore the existing disciplines completely. Thus, we have decided to establish coursework that teaches necessary research techniques, the methodologies of each field, and the various research methods and techniques for making research results public.(Concerning the curriculum organization, please refer to http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/acd/gr/gsce/c/t-2006-e.htm.)
In 2005, GSCEFS applied for a grant from a program called "Initiatives for Attractive Education in Graduate Schools" which was sponsored by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The ministry subsequently recognized GSCEFS's initiative, entitled, "Cultivation of Researchers on the Basis of Projects."
We believe there are two reasons why our program was recognized. First, the ideal of GSCEFS itself was appreciated. Second, GSCEFS's initiative was recognized as appropriate for refining our ideals.
1) We think that our program was recognized because of our following ideals.
*GSCEFS emphasizes the related areas of the Natural Sciences and the Humanities/ Social Sciences.
*GSCEFS emphasizes the viewpoint of ethics as a perspective for integrating the themes.
*GSCEFS emphasizes preparatory education before participating in projects.
*GSCEFS emphasizes the writing of research papers in order for teaching graduate students how to express their insights into the issues.
*GSCEFS emphasizes the management of projects by graduate students in order to cultivate deep participation in the research projects.
*GSCEFS encourages graduate students to participate in academic conferences and workshops so as to gain a working familiarity with the demands and expectations of related academic disciplines.
2) In order to make refine our ideals, we presented the following five points as the objectives of our program in "Initiatives for Attractive Education in Graduate Schools"
1.Reinforcement of Basic Writing Abilities
2.Reinforcement of Support Courses
3.Reinforcement of Collaborative Practices in International Symposiums and Research Projects
4.Development of Project Management Framework
5.Expansion and Reinforcement of Human Networks
Now, let us introduce the details of our program according to the above five objectives. (We welcome any comments or opinions from you about our program.)
*Reinforcement of Basic Writing Abilities
We hired both a Japanese academic writing supervisor and an English academic writing supervisor in December, 2005. Since then, we have been working to reinforce the graduate students' basic writing abilities. (The current Japanese academic writing supervisor was hired in April, 2006.) In addition, we have opened a Writing Supervising Room and established a framework of daily writing supervision. Our framework meets the graduate students' needs, and the program is doing well. Collaboration between academic writing supervisors and our faculty members has reinforced the writing supervision framework. Furthermore, we have purchased books and equipment to support the program. We are also creating supplementary material such as, for example, manuals on how to write academic papers (both in English and in Japanese).
*Reinforcement of Support Courses
In order to make the content of support courses more sophisticated, we have done basic surveys with the cooperation of the staff who have taught the support courses. In the academic year 2006, we will continue these discussions in order to improve the content of the support courses. In addition, we will develop new systems when necessary. A faculty member who teaches an Academic Writing course made a study tour of writing centers in the U.S. in February, 2006. As a result of this investigation, we were able to collect information on writing centers and have a proper understanding of them. Moreover, we participated in a symposium called "Waseda Symposium on Teaching and Research in Academic Writing" to gather information about writing centers in Japan. In the process of investigating writing centers in the U.S., we found that the process of academic writing in English is almost the same process as that of academic writing in Japanese, except for language. In the academic year 2006, we are in process of discussing how to foster excellence in writing within our graduate school.
**Writing Centers We Investigated in the U.S.
1)Pennsylvania Sate University (Center of Excellence in Writing)
2)Pennsylvania Sate University (Student Center)
3)American University (Academic Support Center)
4)American University (Department of Literature)
5)University of Maryland (English Department)
6)University of Maryland (Graduate School)
7)Duke University (University Writing Program)
*Reinforcement of Collaborative Practices in International Symposiums and Research Projects
1. The Second International Conference Held by the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences (From October 28, 2005 through October 30, 2005)
This conference originated from a project called the "Trend of Intelligences" project, which was held in June, 2003.This conference, "Against Injustice," aimed to bring insights from the work of the participants to bear on rethinking the connections between law and economics from the ethical perspective:. The participants of this conference were Amartya Sen (Professor, Harvard University), Philip Pettit (Professor, Princeton University), Marcel Henaf (Professor, University of California, San Diego), Kozo Watanabe (Professor, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences at Ritsumeikan University), Reiko Gotoh (Professor, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences at Ritsumeikan University), John Broome (Professor, Oxford University), Martha Nussbaum (Professor, University of Chicago), Paul Dumouchel (Professor, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences at Ritsumeikan University), Kotaro Suzumura (Professor, Graduate School of Economics at Hitotsubashi University), Presanta Pattanaik (Professor, University of California, Riverside), David Estlund (Professor, Brown University), Jean-Luc Dubois (Professor, University of Versailles), Andrea Brandolini (Bank of Italy), Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti (Professor, University of Pavia), Anantha Duraiappah (Researcher, International Institute for Sustainable Development), Sabina Alkire (Research Fellow, Harvard University), and Basudeb Chaudhuri (Professor, University of Caen). Graduate students actively participated in or cooperated on preparing and organizing the conference. In particular, graduate students eagerly participated in translating papers in the process of making preparations, discussing issues in the process of practicing discussion, and collecting and organizing papers in order to make the final report. Also, we are in the process of preparing a report of the achievements of the conference. (We are planning to publish a book on the conference in the near future).
2."Creating a Trend of Intelligences" Part 6 -In Pursuit of New Form of Thinking-
International Academic Conference Held on April 19, 2006
Jean-Luc Nancy (French Philosopher, Professor Emeritus at University of Strasbourg)
This conference was held as a 6th event of "Creating a Trend of Intelligences". We invited Jean-Luc Nancy (French Philosopher, Professor Emeritus at University of Strasbourg) and had both his presentation and discussion on "Ath?isme et Monoth?isme". Our project manager and three faculty members were in charge of the preparation and organization of this conference. Because of our PR activities, 219 people came to the conference, and created a vibrant environment. Also, graduate students actively participated in the process of preparing and organizing this conference by holding a study session in advance and helping us on the day of conference.
3.Philippe Van Parijs's Workshop (Professor at the Faculty of economic, social and political sciences of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Visiting Professor at Harvard University)
Date & Time: July 7, 2006 (Friday) From 1 p.m. through 6 p.m.
Place: Multipurpose Room, Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University
Theme:"Real Freedom for All！"
Promotion of Professor Philippe Van Parijs's Workshop
This workshop was held with the cooperation of Hokkaido University and the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Sciences at Ritsumeikan University. We invited Philippe Van Parijs (Professor at the Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Visiting Professor at Harvard University) and held this workshop. Our project manager, administrative office staff, and one faculty member collaborated with the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Sciences at Ritsumeikan University for the preparation and organization of this workshop. Because of PR activities in collaboration with the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Sciences at Ritsumeikan University, about 80 people (mostly graduate students) came to this workshop, and they actively participated in a Q&A session, which made the workshop quite valuable. Also, our graduate students actively participated in the process of preparing for and organizing the workshop by giving Professor Parijs some sophisticated comments.
4.Alain Corbin Invitation Project
This project started from the initiative of our graduate students to invite Professor Alain Corbin to Ritsumeikan University as a visiting professor. Special lectures were held from January 22, 2007 through January 26, 2007 at our university. Moreover, we had a symposium on January 26, 2007. As a preparatory step, we had three pre-study sessions for the graduate students. Also, many graduate students actively participated in running of this project.
*Development of Project Management Framework
In December 2005, we hired a project manager who had previously managed several projects in international organizations. We developed a project management framework in which the project manager has periodic meetings or interviews with the Dean and the Faculty Members in charge of each of the four themes. This framework enabled us to collaborating closely with each other in the academic year 2006. Under the direction of the project manager we hope to refine our efforts in making our projects more sophisticated and also to improve the effectiveness of the graduate students' participation in the projects.
*Expansion and Reinforcement of Human Networks
The Second International Conference held in 2005 enabled us to expand our human networks. In particular, one of the achievements of this conference is that we have had a request to accept an international research fellow. We will be positively considering this request. Also, we actively advanced preparations for inviting lecturers for the academic year 2006. As a result, we had many special lectures, conferences and collaborative research workshops in the academic year 2006(for details, please refer to 3.Reinforcement of Collaborative Practices in International Symposiums and Research Projects). As for exchange agreements with foreign universities or institutes, we concluded an exchange agreement on research with Fo Guang College of Humanities and Social Sciences in Taiwan in March 2006. We are planning to have talks with the college in order to take concrete actions toward academic collaboration. Moreover, we are in the process of preparations for concluding an agreement with universities and institutes in Italy and France. The formation of international networks is integral to Ritsumeikan's policies of "sophistication of research". We are positively considering a framework that relates to, for example, international collaborative research or a double doctorate program. As for activities within Japan, we have visited think tanks and institutes and conducted interviews. We also had a workshop that related to think tanks in the U.S.
Ms. Yokoe Kumi's Workshop