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.
2017 Summer Program Goals:
Culture, Identity, Diversity
I would like to welcome you to Culture, Identity, Diversity! Over the two weeks of Summer School you will be asked to name the world as you to see it, to explore and examine both the positive and negative choices and actions of our societies and, ultimately, find a new naming for the components of global culture which lead to instances of injustice, intolerance, and even violence. This course has been constructed to examine important and global themes of social justice, culture, identity, community, and diversity within our lives while creating a safe space (and a brave space!) to practice leadership in day-to-day situations and interactions. Most importantly, as leadership is a practice, this class will foster your leadership through the use of tools from the humanities in order for students to encounter difficult situations, both culturally and socially, in a safe environment in order to experience and rehearse communication and cultural outreach.
In this course we will explore humanity through 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. Ultimately, this class seeks to explore the embodiment of the principles of mindfulness, innovation, and leadership by personifying topics of diversity and exclusion through culture, identity, and diversity in theory and in practice.
Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving framework that employs a human-centered approach of empathy to understand problems deeply, and an iterative, intentional approach to creation in order to deliver elegant solutions. As a framework, it is constantly rearranged and adapted to fit a vast array of applications. It will underpin all course material as the go-to process and mindset framework, helping students navigate and tackle their course work. We will kick off summer school with a full-day design thinking workshop, immersing students in a real design cycle to have them experience and practice design thinking immediately, so they can apply the mindsets, methods and modes of the framework throughout the rest of summer school. Each class will have a corresponding design lab throughout the week, where we will dive deeper into different aspects of the framework while directly applying the practice to the work being executed in said particular class.
Intensive English Course
The objectives of IEC are that, through guided practice and independent activities, students will accomplish the following:
- Use techniques in building confidence and language fluency;
- Express points-of-view on relevant topics;
- Reflect on, test, and refine ideas and build on others opinions; and
- Use techniques to reinforce risk-taking and persistence.
In class, students will work individually, in pairs, and in groups. Students will have conversations and lead discussions and presentations on relevant topics. Through movement, dialog, dramatic techniques, and visualizations students will generate ideas, solve problems, develop systems, and form and state opinions on different issues.
Sessions will parallel the summer program offerings to support the following topics: culture, identity, and diversity; mindfulness and media; design thinking; and science, technology, and math.
Leadership By Design (LBD)
The goal of UWC ISAK’s Leadership By Design course 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. We introduce the foundational skill of awareness as a means for identifying whether we are acting based on what is most important or not. Also 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 responding to disagreement or conflict and a process of designing an intentional practice to help us cultivate what is most important to us.
Mindful Mixed Media (MMM)
In Mindful Mixed Media, students will have the opportunity to explore drawing and photography in the beautiful natural environment of UWC ISAK’s campus and the surrounding area. Students will keep traditional sketchbooks and use iPads for photography and digital painting. 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.