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Visions of the “Future Classroom” Program Compiled as Effort toward Educational Reform in the Reiwa Era

Secondary recommendations by the Study Group for Learning Innovation, "Future Classrooms" and EdTech

June 25, 2019

In January 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) inaugurated a Study Group for Learning Innovation, “Future Classrooms” and EdTech (chair: Mr. Akira Morita, Professor, Tsuda University) as an expert meeting. In response, for 18 months since then, the study group held discussions on approaches to building a new educational system in which “EdTech,” a new educational technique that takes advantage of digital technologies, e.g., AI, video clips and online conversations, is used to foster student creativity and problem-solving skills and provide them with individually-optimized educational systems.

METI hereby announces that the study group has narrowed their focus to the field of elementary and secondary education systems and compiled its discussion results on the field into its secondary recommendations titled “Visions of the ‘Future Classroom’ Program,” which consists of three pillars: [i] introduction of a STEAM-based approach into learning, [ii] introduction of self-help or individually-optimized learning and [iii] development of new learning bases.

1. Outline of the study group

The Study Group for Learning Innovation, “Future Classrooms” and EdTech is an expert meeting on education reform, which was established by METI. Currently, “EdTech,” an innovative educational technique that takes advantage of digital technologies, e.g., AI, video clips and online conversations, has been changing education worldwide. In light of this fact, the study group held discussions on approaches to building a new educational system in which EdTech is used to foster creativity and problem-solving skills and provide students with new, individually-optimized educational systems.

In parallel with this, the study group also held discussions on: necessary future policies and actions that schools, industrial players and communities and societies should take to build learning environments that are effective in fostering individual children, who often struggle with this era where their future is difficult to imagine, into central players or innovators who proactively cultivate Japan’s future.

2. Visions of the “Future Classroom” Program

In April 2019, the Central Council for Education of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology started discussions on ideal approaches to the primary and secondary educational systems in the new era. In response, the study group compiled its recommendations into the secondary recommendations titled “Visions of the ‘Future Classroom’ Program.”

Based on the primary recommendations compiled in June 2018, the secondary recommendations feature 23 demonstration projects implemented targeting teachers and schools across Japan and, based on the results of the projects, present well-organized, future policy challenges that narrow the focus into the field of the primary and secondary educational systems.

The secondary recommendations categorize the “Future Classroom” Program into three pillars with the highest potential for success: [i] introduction of a STEAM-based approach into learning, [ii] introduction of self-help or individually-optimized learning and [iii] development of new educational environments; and they offer nine obstacles to be overcome to achieve these pillars and propose possible actions to be taken for that purpose.

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