We believe that all our students have the potential to make the world a better place. Integrated into all aspects of living and learning, leadership is at the center of the UWC ISAK Japan experience.
Leadership Is A Practice
The captain who leads your club activity? A politician or CEO?
At UWC ISAK Japan, we believe leadership is a practice. Through this practice, you will learn to identify what is most important and needed, take action in the face of discomfort, use diversity as a strength, and support others as they learn to do the same. We also believe that anyone can become a leader through practice, even if you are someone who has never considered yourself to be the “leader type.”
No matter what your background or personality, UWC ISAK Japan offers a human-centered environment where you can find your strength and your own leadership style. Our school is a place where you can realize your potential to become a change-maker by practicing leadership in and out of the classroom every day.
“I learned that you can be a leader as long as you have the right mentality. Anything you set your mind to is possible and indeed you can lead a group of people in the right direction.”
-Jim (Somalia, Class of 2017)
At UWC ISAK Japan, Grade 10 (Pre-IB) students acquire fundamental leadership skills through a year-long program that includes Mindful Self-Discipline and Design Innovation. Through the combination of these courses, students learn how to consider different perspectives and respond thoughtfully in challenging situations, how to see problems as opportunities, and how to create and tell their story in a way that builds consensus. In the spring, Grade 10 students use the skills they have learned to investigate their own personal interests as they begin to develop potential CAS projects for Grade 11.
“Learning the concept of design innovation was a highlight of my first year here. I can now apply design innovation to my life and use it any time I have a problem, to find the best solution.”
– Yasu (Japan, Class of 2017)
Students who join UWC ISAK Japan from Grade 11 (IBDP Year 1) will participate in a special semester-long program that provides the same leadership education as the Grade 10 curriculum, with a focus on the practical applications of leadership skills.
Leadership Beyond the Classroom
UWC ISAK Japan emphasizes student leadership and autonomy, and students are expected to take an integral role in school life. This gives you daily opportunities to use your leadership skills in real-life situations.
Some of the areas in which students are in charge of organizing and implementing their own projects include:
You can learn more about leadership by reading our leadership blog.
Leadership in Action: Student Union
When the idea of creating a student council came up, students were vociferous in pushing for an inclusive style of government, so that every student would be empowered to work for positive change when they wish. The result was the UWC ISAK Japan Student Union.
Unlike a traditional student council with a president and other council members making decisions on behalf of the students, the Student Union here serves to facilitate “grassroots” efforts by any student who wants to implement a new idea or modify existing school rules. A core group of 6 – 8 students who are trained in ‘community organizing’ accept the responsibility to help build leadership in students as they advocate for and create positive change in the community. The Student Union model combines elements from our design innovation program with community organization training from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.