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Announcement of Publication: “Tokkatsu The Japanese Educational Model of Holistic Education”


We’re pleased to accounce our new book, which will be published from WorldScientific, Singapore very soon.


The Japanese Educational Model of Holistic Education


It is the research outcome of one of our research projects, “The 21st Century International Educational Models Project (Head: Ryoko Tsuneyoshi)”.


It is written primarily for those in the field of education outside Japan, about Tokkatsu, which is a shorthand for Tokubetsu Katsudo, which is the name of a school period but is also used symbolically to mean the Japanese holistic educational model. The book covers several educational activities, such as school cleaning, serving lunch, classroom discussion, etc. in the Japanese schools and explains the educational objectives, how they are situated within the curriculum, how the teachers and staffs collaboratively link the activities to the academic subjects and so on. There is also a chapter about the introduction of Tokkatsu in Egypt, (Tokkatsu +).



—from the website:

Though there has been much discussion on the academic aspects of Japanese education abroad (e.g., high scores on international tests, lesson study), there has been little information on the non-academic aspects of Japanese schooling. This non-academic aspect is called Tokkatsu (tokubetsu katsudo).

Unlike math and reading, Tokkatsu is not confined to a certain period, but extends throughout the school day and even after-school activities — such as school excursions. It includes classroom activities such as classroom discussions, morning and afternoon meetings that take place daily, cleaning and serving lunch, school events such as sports day, school excursions, student councils, and club activities. Such activities occur every single day, throughout one’s school years, from elementary school (actually, even kindergarten) to high school. They are, however, bound together by the common goals of the Tokkatsu framework.

This book is the foremost attempt to address a gap in English literature on Tokkatsu.

Tokkatsu Seminar was held in Bandung, Indonesia


On October 20, 2018, the Tokkatsu-relevant seminar was held at Santo Yusuf Elementary School, Bandung, Indonesia organized by the Indonesia University of Education and Salib Suci Foundation. The seminar was titled “Intertwining Teachers’ and Students’ Wellbeing: Learning to Grow Together”. The purpose of the seminar was for teachers to be familiar with the holistic model of education, Tokkatsu, and to think of ways to incorporate elements of Tokkatsu into their daily classroom teaching. Professor Ryoko Tsuneyoshi from the University of Tokyo and Professor Kazuhiko Nambu from Bunkyo Gakuin University were invited to give lectures on holistic approaches to education. Professor Tsuneyoshi provided an overview why there is an increasing interest for non-cognitive aspects of learning internationally, and how Tokkatsu activities build foundations for students to learn not only social skills but those skills needed for subject learning. Professor Nambu explained different activities under the Tokkatsu scheme and how building relationships with and among students are key in making learning experience useful. The seminar was attended by 150 participants who were mainly local elementary school teachers.The seminar was partly funded by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI), Kiban A, No.15H01987, “A Cross-National Research of Japanese Educational Efforts to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century and the Construction of International Models: Exploring Pluralistic Models.” (Head: Ryoko Tsuneyoshi).

In the seminar, two teachers from East Java presented their engagement to Tokkatsu-like activities such as building relationships with students and incorporating collaborative activities within their classrooms. Lesson study has been a popular approach for the professional development of teachers in Indonesia. However, since the didactic style of teaching is common, both students and teachers were not familiar with the collaborative approach to learning. Thus, these teachers used the Tokkatsu classroom activities as a way for students to experience collaborative learning. In the afternoon, teachers were divided into different groups and discussed how to ensure the rights of students to learn and what teachers can do to support the individual learning of students. The seminar participants deepened their understanding to a holistic approach to education and some of them said they were planning to use the approach in their daily classroom activities.



Seminar on Japanese Holistic Model of Education was held in Indonesian Education University Serang Campus


The seminar “Social and Emotional Learning for Holistic Education in Japan” was held in Indonesia University of Education Serang Campus on October 15, 2018. CASEER Project Researcher Kanako Kusanagi was invited as a speaker to present holistic approaches in Japanese education and its underlying philosophy. She also introduced 3S activities (Seiri (sorting), Seiton (organizing) and Seiso (cleaning)) in companies and how they were promoted not only to maintain safe working environment but also as a way to nurture problem-finding and problem-solving among its employees.

Since Indonesia University of Education Serang Campus began to focus character building and classroom relationship-building in its pre-service training of teachers, there is a strong interest in the holistic model of education. In addition, due to a recent initiative to promote service learning and community cleaning, the University is also interested in how to connect community and educational institutions. The cases of community service and activities of student teachers were also presented in the seminar. The participants were very active and engaging. The seminar was partly funded by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI), Challenging Research (Exploratory) 18K18627 “School as Learning Community as an approach for Education for Sustainable Development” (Head: Kanako Kusanagi).




Minister of Education in Egypt visited the Faculty of Education, the University of Tokyo
















On Tuesday, February 27th in 2018, the Minister of Education, H.E. Dr. Tarek Shawky, Embassy of Egypt in Japan, and five other executives from the Ministry of Education and Technical Education of Egypt, and three officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) visited the Graduate School of Education of the University of Tokyo. Professor Hiroshi Sugita from Kokugakuin University and Egyptian Project of JICA was accompanied by them since his lecture and the meeting was on the previous day.
Professor Tsuneyoshi gave a lecture, “Tokkatsu ― Holistic Education Model As Japan Style.” The lecture suggested that tokkatsu is not elitists but its style is rather bottom-up. In this model, cleaning classrooms and homeroom meetings etc. are not isolated, but means a holistic whole in which students make their own decisions through the actions. The lecture included examples of students supporting each other through the experience of stayover excursions, and collaboration during natural disaster, helping elementary school pupils in a nearby school and adults in the neighborhood.
The attendants of the lecture, including the Minister of Education of Egypt, asked questions about the tokkatsu model. They identified what might be difficult to help parents in Egypt understand holistic education in which schools teach students non-cognitive factors, but they wanted to know the first step to start. They asked Professor Tsuneyoshi questions about ways and measures for teacher training for tokkatsu. They were all eager to introduce the Japanese holistic style of education to their own country and to try to find the clue to improve their own style.

OCHI, Yutaka
Special Appointed Associate Professor at Center for Advanced School Education
and Evidence-based Research, Graduate School of Education of the University of Tokyo

Final Report Seminar of Young Scholar Training Program (YSTP) 2016 at Stockholm University



CESE calls for applicants from the doctorate students in the School of Education to participate in Young Scholar Training Program (YSTP) to encourage young researchers to conduct research projects with diverse perspectives. This year, we support eight research projects this year under the topic of “Education for Diversity”.

On February 23, the members of four projects participated an international symposium “Joint International Seminar Education for Diversity” held at the University of Stockholm in Sweden, and presented their final results. The seminar was organized jointly by the University of Tokyo, Stockholm University and Jyväskylä University. In addition to the Faculty of Education at the University of Stockholm, faculty members and students of Jyväskylä University School of Education joined this year. This training was conducted in collaboration with the international exchange “Global Leader Development, Swedish Training Program”.

Active discussions among students took place since they shared common research interests such as inclusive education, multilingual education, and teacher education. Many of the graduate student from the University of Tokyo experienced overseas conference for the first time. There were many international students from the University of Stockholm and the University of Jyväskyla; thus, it was good experience for the students to present in English and experience the atmosphere of diverse culture.

The following is a story of Yusuke Kusunami, the first year doctor student (Division of Professional Development of Teachers, Department of Advanced Research in Education).

I was anxious because it was the first time for me to present in an international seminar. I was not sure if I could present and communicate well with other participants. However, I was interested in the theme of the program “Education for Diversity” and education system in Nordic countries, so I decided to participate in the program. In the program, I was able to discuss with students from various countries such as Canada, Armenia, Ukraine, and Greece as well as Sweden and Finland. The experience of exchanges with students from various countries has led to confidence in conducting research abroad and present at an international conference. Particularly, I realized various educational system reflected the cultural and political background of these country. I also realized the importance of presenting about Japanese education to the international audience. In my group, there were discussions about the trends and issues in inclusive education. I received positive responses for my presentation and was contacted by some of the participants afterwards. I experienced a lot from this program and would like to present and publish internationally in the future.

In addition to the seminar, there were other part of the Sweden Training Program (February 22 to 24). The students from three universities visited cultural facilities and also elementary/junior high schools. The volunteers from Stockholm University accompanied the students from University of Tokyo and they could communicate about their college life and issues in school education. The results of this research will be published as working paper of our center.    not only research presentations but also university and school life introduction were conducted, and students from 3 universities also visited cultural facilities in the city and elementary and junior high schools together It was. At the school we also had a chance to observe the lessons and witnessed the multilingual and multicultural environment of the Swedish school and it appeared stimulated. Also, Stockholm University students guided the beautiful city of Stockholm, the exchange of students at the three universities further deepened, and there seemed to be opportunity to talk about each other’s research contents and student life. I hope to make use of my experiences in this training in the future to make presentations at overseas academic conferences and to submit articles to academic journals.

(Yusuke Kusumi, the participant of Young Scholar Training Program, and Kanako Kusanagi, Project Researcher of Center for Excellence in School Education)

Working Papers of YSTP 2015 are released.


Working papers written by Ph.D students of YSTP (Young Scholar Training Program) last year are released.


CESE calls for graduate students’ research projects from the doctorate students in Education once a year in order to encourage the young researchers and their studies from various perspectives. In 2015, they conducted research under the topic, “School Education in the Globalization Era”.

The outcome of the research by the three individuals’ and two groups’ are on Working Paper Series in Young Scholar Training Program  .




Our Facebook Page is now open.


The center has launched our Facebook Page.

In addition to this website and our mailing list, we will post our research report, information of our events etc.

Please “Like” our Facebook Page.




The visitation of the delegates from Egypt to the Secondary School attached to the Faculty of Education, the University of Tokyo


Eight delegates from the Ministry of Education, Education Office, and principals of elementary schools, accompanied by an interpreter and two personnel from Japan International Cooperation Agency visited the Secondary School attached to the Faculty of Education, the University of Tokyo on May 19, 2016.

Professor Ryoko Tsuneyoshi, also the principal of the Secondary School attached to the Faculty of Education, the University of Tokyo explained the characteristics of the attached secondary school such as its collaboration with the University of Tokyo, its goal to nurture holistic talents of students instead of the narrow focus on academic success, and students’ engagement to research projects. Professor Tsuneyoshi also clarified the Japanese education system including the holistic development of children, Tokkatsu.

The delegate took a tour of the school, learned about Tokkatsu with an example of lunch activity by DVD, and observed a Home Economics lesson. The lesson topic was about table etiquette. The delegates learned how to use chopsticks properly along with the students.

There were many questions from the delegates: if all schools conduct the same activities for Tokkatsu, the relevance of Tokkatsu activities to the curriculum, how to plan for lessons, whether Home Economics class and cleaning activities are mandatory, whether there is punishment for students who do not engage in cleaning activities seriously, and what is the rate of university enrollment and employment. The school principals are considering to conduct Tokkatsu activities in Egypt based on what they learned from the visit to Japanese schools.

(By Kanako Kusanagi, Project Researcher, Center for Excellence in School Education)


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Final Report Seminar of Young Scholar Training Program (YSTP) 2015 at Stockholm University


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CESE calls for applicants from the doctorate students in the School of Education to encourage young researchers to conduct research projects with diverse perspectives. We support five research projects this year under the topic of “School Education in the Globalization Era”.

The final report seminar was held as student session in the international symposium “Education in the Era of Globalization: Towards the Realization of Sustainable Future” on February 24, 2016 at the Department of Education, Stockholm University that has an academic exchange agreement with the Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo.

There were culturally diverse participants including exchange students from both Stockholm University and University of Tokyo. Also, the presentations covered a wide range of methods and topics under the common theme of “School Education in the Globalization Era”. To present in English was a challenging since the majority of presenters were not native speakers of English. But the students presented well and were actively involved in Question and Answer sessions.

One of the participants of Young Scholar Training Program, Tetsuya Obayashi, reflected his experience of participating in the training.

I decided to join the training program in Sweden since I wanted to try presenting in an international conference. Since I worked for my research during the past six months, it was not easy to summarize and present the findings in ten minutes. Especially for Q&A, I had to be spontaneous so I was very nervous. Also, presenting our research to the international audience who were not familiar with the Japanese education system was not easy and involved a lot of efforts.

However, I was really happy that the participants were very attentive and supportive to our presentation, and we were able to have fruitful discussions overcoming language issues across disciplinary boundaries. I realized that listening carefully to one another is very important as well as to reflect to improve my presentation skill. I learned through this experience that in order to “realize education for sustainable future in the era of globalization,” which is also the theme of the international seminar, starts from listening carefully to the voices of people with different backgrounds.

In addition to the final report seminar, the study tour to Stockholm also included the campus tour in Stockholm University, and the visit to schools and the Ministry of Education. The volunteers from Stockholm University accompanied the students from University of Tokyo and they could communicate about their college life and issues in school education. It was jointly organized with the “Global Leadership Program in Sweden” for the undergraduate students in Department of Education. It was an excellent opportunity for learning and for international exchange both for the graduate and undergraduate students from Tokyo University and Stockholm University.

The results of the students’ research will be released as working paper of CESE. The students are expected to work further to develop the research and to write journal papers.

Please visit the Stockholm University website for their report of this seminar and tour in Stockholm.

Message from Mr. Brian Berry (Academic Writing Support Desk Coordinator)

Report from Stockholm University

(Tetsuya Obayashi, Master Student and the participant of Young Scholar Training Program, and Kanako Kusanagi, Project Researcher of Center for Excellence in School Education)


The visitation by Oasis International School, Egypt










The General Director of Oasis International School, Ms. Esmat Lamei, and her husband and the owner of the school, Dr. Anis, visited the University of Tokyo on February 1, 2016.  Oasis International School is the first private French school in Egypt and the first in the world authorized to teach in French the three programs of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO.)

Professor Tsuneyoshi gave a presentation titled “The Japanese Model of Whole Child Education: Tokkatsu” and explained the concept of educating the whole child, cognitive as well as social/emotional, and physical, guided by democratic principles, is the pillar of Japanese school education including the video of classroom activities for Tokkatsu. The visitors asked questions such as how Japanese teachers learn to teach Tokkatsu, how to evaluate Tokkatsu activities, and how to motivate teachers to engage in professional development.

The group also visited Miyamae Elementary School in Meguro City and observed the school activities. They ate school lunch with the first graders and observed how students organized themselves to participate in serving lunch and cleaning their classrooms. Afterwards, the principal Mr. Kashiwaba guided the group to watch extracurricular activities, the school farm, as well as the storage center for emergency. Since the school serves as the regional center for emergency evacuation, the storage for food and supply at the time of emergency is located there.

Ms. Esmat was impressed how the collaborative and holistic approach to educate students is embedded in Japanese school activities such as the sixth graders helping the first graders for cleaning, students taking initiatives for serving lunch and cleaning classrooms, and establishing partnership with parents and community through school farming. She said she wants to try the things she learned from the Japanese school.

(By Kanako Kusanagi, Project Researcher, Center for Excellence in School Education)


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