Educating Young Change-Makers
At UWC ISAK Japan, we believe not only in the power of education, but also in the power of young people to become catalysts for positive change in the world around them. As a school, we aim to create an environment where students learn to understand and appreciate different perspectives, challenge themselves academically and emotionally, and develop their innate potential as leaders and change-makers. A change-maker is someone who creates positive change by identifying what is most important and what is needed, taking action in the face of discomfort, using diversity as a strength, and supporting others in this practice.
According to this mission, and together with our outstanding Summer School Faculty, we have developed an exciting project-based curriculum full of inquiry and creation, tailored to make the most of students’ 13-day experience.
2019 Summer Program Goals:
Culture, Identity, Diversity (CID)
In this class, we will explore humanity through various systems of communication and the construction of community in order to critically analyze our positions in the world and create innovative solutions for how we can become catalysts for positive change.
In order to achieve these goals, we will:
- Embody mindful leadership
- Engage with collaboration and innovation
- Express diversity through various social justice topics
- Employ communication and problem solving to deconstruct stereotypes
- Examine our own preconceived notions of the world and find creative ways to enact change
Design Thinking (DT)
Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving framework that centers on the humans for whom you are trying to design (your users). It focuses on building empathy to better understand what’s important to your users, and then prompting you to get creative about meeting those needs. It’s an iterative, intentional approach to creation which results in solutions that are more elegant and better suited for their users. It’s also best learned experientially, so we will be guiding students through group projects using design thinking that will directly affect their own experience at summer school and that of their classmates.
Mindful Leadership By Design (MLBD)
We refer to the leadership model at UWC ISAK Summer School as Mindful Leadership by Design (MLBD). We focus on using personal awareness and initiative in combination with collective wisdom and resources to create solutions that benefit human beings. This model is based on research in neuroscience and social psychology as well as the actual experience of leaders from business, schools, and social movements.
The goal of this class is to develop skills that help us better align our actions with our values. Leadership is the practice of focusing our attention and taking action based on what is important and what is most needed. Fundamental to the course is the principle that leadership is not a role, position or title, but a set of skills that can be practiced. The course offers skills for practicing leadership and invites our community to design an intentional daily practice for the duration of the Summer School.
Drawing to Learn (DtL)
In Drawing to Learn, students will have the opportunity to experiment with different approaches drawing in the beautiful natural environment of UWC ISAK’s campus and the surrounding area. In each exercise, students will explore art-making as an expressive way to pay attention: to the world around us, to our thoughts, and to the work we are creating together. Our emphasis throughout will be on mindful process – and not on perfection or “getting it right.” At the end of the program, students will curate a shared exhibition to celebrate their creations, their growth, and their discoveries.
Science and Society (S&S)
Look around the room you are sitting in. What are the three man-made things you see? What journey did these products take before they reached you? How are you using them? Where will they go once they have served the purpose?
United Nations adopted 17 sustainable goals to transform our world by 2030. The Science & Society course will enable you to start small in having positive impact. We will look at everyday products through lenses of scientists, society leaders and innovators. Fueled by teamwork, fun experiments, circular economy and scientific method, you will turn into inventors. Together, we will invent quick changes, which will be both science based and friendly for citizens and nature. You will experience taking action which can prepare you to create change in your local community. We are looking forward to you joining forces with science and society powers to tackle global sustainability challenges!