METI and Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education Jointly Embark on Efforts for Reform of High School Curricula by Introducing STEAM-Based Learning Approach
September 30, 2020
As one of the demonstration projects under the “Learning Innovation” project, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has adopted the “Hiroshima Life-Tech Academy Network Concept,” an educational approach that the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education has been advancing. In cooperation with the board of education, METI will embark on efforts for reform of high school curricula targeting some specialist-course high schools and general-course high schools of the Prefecture.
Aiming to foster human resources who will bring about innovations, METI and the Hiroshima board of education will conduct the demonstration project, which combines an internet environment and an in-person environment and introduces a “STEAM-based learning approach”,* into high school curricula for both specialist-course high schools and general-course high schools in the Prefecture; will endeavor to shift the existing curricula towards curricula that position interdisciplinary research and creative activities at the core; and examine the effects of the approach.
*Note: “STEAM” is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
1. Overview of the demonstration project jointly conducted with the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education
METI has been advancing some demonstration projects under the “Learning Innovation” project and promoting efforts towards introducing a “STEAM-based learning approach” (“STEAM” is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.) into educational systems by encouraging both specialist-course high schools and general-course high schools to collaborate with each other by co-designing curricula for their classes and encouraging industry players and research institutes to participate in such projects. In these projects, METI has been striving to shift the existing curricula towards new curricula that position interdisciplinary research and creative activities at the core. As part of the fields for the demonstration projects, METI and the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education will jointly embark on efforts towards reforming high school curricula in Hiroshima Prefecture. This demonstration project aims to transform a large number of high school students into human resources who will play a leading role in creating innovations. The project also aims to introduce active learning in the phase of elementary and secondary education, focused on solving challenges that society is actually facing.
Concerning the FY2020 demonstration project in Hiroshima Prefecture, two specialist-course high schools (Hiroshima Prefectural Hiroshima Commercial High School and Hiroshima Prefectural Shobara Agricultural High School), and one general-course high school (Hiroshima Prefectural Hatsukaichi High School), will participate in the project. Specifically, these schools will [i] demonstrate an approach to encouraging students to acquire knowledge and skills using the same video clips, [ii] implement research and learning based on the STEAM core curricula, and [iii] hold a joint briefing for the results of the research that students of each participating school conducted. Through these efforts, METI and the board of education will show the first step in the broad introduction of a STEAM-based learning approach into all schools in a prefectural educational system, regardless of the particular classification of schools, by combining an internet and an in-person environment. Through this demonstration project, METI and the board of education will aim to achieve an ideal approach to “Future High Schools” in which each of the students, whether he/she belongs to a specialist course, general course or any other course, is able to not only have his/her own subject of interdisciplinary research as a person who will play a leading role in shaping future society, but also gain a variety of knowledge outside that of a typical course curricula.
Conceptual picture of STEAM-based learning
2. Outline of the Hiroshima Life-Tech Academy Network Concept Promoted by Hiroshima Prefecture
This concept is one of the efforts that Hiroshima Prefecture is promoting under its “Action Plan for Learning Reform.” The ultimate goal is to dramatically reform the curricula of public high schools.
- It aims to improve the quality of future-oriented learning in high schools and increase the sophistication thereof.
- It also aims to achieve adaptive and active learning, taking advantage of EdTech.
- It further aims at [i] the creation of project-based learning (PBL) curricula in collaboration with outside experts in order to achieve interdisciplinary and STEAM-based projects and [ii] the achievement of learning networks beyond the frameworks of schools by taking advantage of expert knowledge available to students of the respective specialist high school courses.
- Website of the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education (in Japanese)
- METI website for the “Learning Innovation” project (in Japanese)
Division in Charge
Educational Industry Office, Service Affairs Policy Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group