Today, there are 20 full-time teachers in Kenji-no Gakko, and most of them have received formal in-service training as Waldorf teachers in Germany. Also, experienced teachers from Germany are invited and receive in-service training regular. Teachers are also trained by Toriyama after school through their discussions of the day’s lessons.
6-20-37 Shibasaki-cho Tokyo Tachikawa city Tokyo / 190-0023 東京都立川市柴崎町6-20-37
Phone: 042-523-7112 FAX:(042)523-7113 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Tokyo Kenji-no Gakko was started and run by Toriyama Toshiko who has incorporated the educational ideas and cosmologies of Rudolf Steiner and Miyazawa Kenji into the school’s original curriculum. The elementary course has eight grades, but the school has expanded over the years and is now comprehensive running through to high school. The number of students per class is limited to less than twenty.
The school includes kindergarten, elementary, middle and upper school courses, all in one. The school is managed independently and is based on the pedagogical ideas of Miyazawa Kenji and the teaching methods of Waldorf education. It aims to guarantee children an excellent international education that has firm roots in japanese traditional culture.
Curriculum and philosophy
The characteristics of curriculum and education in line with human development.
The curriculum is organized according to what is necessary for that particular age. Therefore, children are able to focus on the learning which is most necessary for that particular age group.
The curriculum and school life are planned in order to develop three different abilities. In kindergarten(age 0 to 7), the objective is to develop the child’s will;in the elementary and middle courses(age 7 to 14), the goal is to develop feelings; and in the upper course(age 14 to 21)to develop thinking ability.
During infancy, children should be raised under the parent’s authority. After children have entered school, they should be raised under the teacher’s authority. Therefore, in school it is vitally important that both parents and teachers trust and cooperate each other. With this trust and cooperation of parents and teachers, children will feel secure, which brings them learning with enjoyment and thanks for others.
Young adults in puberty will be independent with the support of deep learning and the relationship with their friends.
Learning activity for 100 minutes: Japanese, arithmetic, science, social studies etc. For three weeks to one month, children learn about one topic intensively. After one term or a year, they will learn the same topic in a different way again. This method enables children to leave the topic and forget about it. When they come back to the topic, they recollect what they learned and will be able to learn further. In this way, the”knowledge”enters deeply in their minds and metamorphoses into active ability.
The children have no tests or term reports at the school, but they all keep up with the classes and are highly intelligent. This is because they learn the spirit of community through the classes, and help each other in learning, as well as in daily life. The children learn about nature, ecology and practise natural agriculture. The children learn about foreign cultures as well as about traditional Japanese culture. They practice Noh play. They also learn about the Ainu people, one of the original japanese tribes. In the optional class of Budo, martial arts, they learn traditional Japanese rule of behaviour. The children acquire deep knowledge, and learn about new technology. They will apply it fro peaceful solutions of the world.
The children enjoy a fine view of Mt. Fuji at the entrance of the school and the Tama River quietly flows in front. The children are blessed with beautiful nature and modern culture in Tachikawa-city.
A school for young people was established in 1995 and seminars for young people, adults and parents from all over Japan were conducted. The elementary course was started in 1997 in Tachikawa-city. Veteran Waldorf teachers from Germany were invited. In 1998, a kindergarten and junior high school were opened. In 2001, the school began to send teachers to the Waldorf teacher-training course in Germany. In 2003, the school was authorized as a Waldorf school. Since 2006, the school has been expanded to include high school years.
8-Year Class teacher System
In the elementary and middle courses, the same teacher is in charge of eight continuous years from class1 through class 8. In this way, the class teachers will be able to observe the children continuously and engage with them fully.
In the upper course, specialists of each subject are in charge of the classes to cultivate the independence of students. German teachers from the German Waldorf schools are also invited to teach main lessons of literature, astronomy, chemistry, religion and history.