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The purpose of the SGH program:

In today's world, as society, economy, and the globalization of culture rapidly evolve, there is growing international unity. In addition, due to great advances in science and technology and the complex and rapid change of society, new challenges have arisen that can not be addressed using only previously accumulated knowledge and technology. In order to respond to these issues, new globally competitive specialized skills and knowledge in respect to human resources are required. Due to societal changes in the 21st century, it is an aim to be an active leader in the global community and an important objective to achieve this is the development of human resources.

Our SGH research agenda:

To identify global challenges that Hokkaido industries face and provide solutions through the development of its human capital.

Our SGH outline:

Under the theme of "Hokkaido of the future”, we plan to promote internationalization in cooperation with universities, government and private companies to acquire international cultural awareness, industrial, and environmental skills.

Research overview:
・Agenda
・Surveys (fieldwork)
・Hypotheses and Analyses
・Presentation, Dissemination and Evaluation

To nurture interdisciplinary global leaders who actively work within the international arena.

Research Details

The SGH Program prepares students to be global citizens by having them conduct investigative and evaluative research. The focus will be on understanding current global issues, exploring new challenges, analyzing diversity, taking assertive action and developing the ability to think critically.

(1) Foundation - Investigation, Analysis, Discussion, Imaginative Scope

Understanding different cultures and fostering open-mindedness.
Our school’s teachers as well as guest lecturers, e.g., teachers invited from schools like Hokkaido University, will take part in cooperative fieldwork with participating institutions to conduct a deep study on cross-cultural society.
Valuable experience gained through such domestic and overseas training will additionally enhance one’s sensitivity to be more culturally concerned.

(2) Application - Problem-Solving, Diversity, Implementation

Personal Research
Students will decide on a topic of interest and take on an individual research theme.
Example: “Food”, “Tourism”, “Territory”, “Post-war”
Concerning ourselves with topics that are familiar to Hokkaido, we are able to engage in a cultural discourse, think from a global perspective about the challenges at hand and finally find resolutions to these problems..

Group Research
A central research theme will be decided within the group, analyzed and discussed through exchange of opinions.

International Fieldwork
Collaborative research and discourse with participating institutions.

(3) Development - Reporting, Negotiation, English Communication

Students will formulate their own thesis and depending on their language skill level will choose to report on it in English or Japanese.
The paper should demonstrate a clear argument with well-written and comprehensible sentences.
Participants will take part in various competitions both from within their school and off-campus.
A graduation thesis will be composed as well.

(4) Evaluation - Performance Assessment
All aspects of the research and development process are part of a quality assured and verified evaluation program.

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【High-2】SGH Research Presentation Preparation

2016/04/26 (Tues) / 2016/05/10 (Tues)

2016/05/24 (Tues)

1. Overview

SGH Research Presentation Explanation Overview

June 16. The research presentation overview and information was explained and 6 groups were made. The following points (1) ~ (3) were presented with powerpoint with each being 15 minutes.

  1. Singapore Fieldwork (3 groups)

    1. Communication through Model United Nations diplomacy

    2. Kikkoman & JTB Corporation’s International Expansion tour

    3. Industrial Development & Technical Cooperation

  2.  Hokkaido Tourism Newspaper (2 groups)

  3.  Northern Territories Dispute

SGH Research Presentation Preparation

【Group 1-1】

Group 1-1 visited Singapore’s Yale-Nus College. Model United Nations discussions were held. Behind-the-scenes work such as opinion & suggestion gathering were conducted. Discussion about what kind of diplomacy is needed for a global society were also held.

【Group 1-2】

Group 1-2 carried out research on Kikkoman and JTB companies. Overseas expansion strategies for both companies were discussed during training. Currently there are many Japanese companies expanding their business overseas due to the decline in business in the domestic market. While thinking about the background of globalized economy, the prospects of further overseas development for the future of Japanese companies is being discussed.

【Group 1-3】

Group 1-3 focused on unique “nation-building” activities after researching various information on the topic during the Singapore training. Historically speaking, when thinking about the development of an industry, geographical background, small countries and climate conditions were all taken into account. In addition to discussing what is being developed as industry strengths, the incorporation of multiculturalism was also discussed.

【Group 2】

Group 2 received an explanation on the organization of an English-language newspaper. An “editor-in-chief” was chosen and the group was split. As for the contents that were to be addressed in the article, keywords such as “culture”, “sports”, “food”, etc. were prepared on the whiteboard. Each group leader than chose who would be in charge of what to prepare.

【Group 3】

Group 3 was in charge of organizing the various issues regarding the Northern Territories Dispute, which was also discussed during the previous year. The topic of discussion this time was to think about any other information that could expand these issues.

SGH Research Presentation Preparation

Each group’s progress was checked.

【Group 1-1】

Previously, teams were assigned various topics, “presentation flow”, “survey preparation”, “information session presentation” and “slide”.

【Group 1-2】

In the computer room, the “data research and drafting” group was tasked with researching the background of globalized economy and the prospects of future overseas development for Japanese companies. The group then started a report based on the data found.

【Group 1-3】

The “information gathering” team was in charge of organizing information related to industrial development and technical assistance. They worked alongside with the “slide” team.

【Group 2-1】

Previously touched upon themes “culture”, “sports”, “food” were visited again and expanded upon. Investigation on the topics were shared. Next week, both Japanese and English drafts are to be prepared. Layout is mostly finished.

【Group 2-2】

The editors allocated people in charge for the content of each article once the information had been researched. Drafts in Japanese begun. Organization of the articles were made but the time to   translate the articles to English was long.

【Group 3】

Research was mostly finished so the group started on making their PowerPoint. Next week, it is expected this group will present.

 

All groups were separated respectively. While working, members seemed to be a little disjointed as was their grasp of the information they were tasked to handle. However, there were a few who would continue to tackle the information and continue on. During the initial stage, it was good that there were ideas. At the end, teachers voiced their opinions for each group. Groups then talked about their progress together.

SGH Research Presentation Preparation

During the SGH research presentation recital, the full flow of events were made, and a rehearsal was conducted for all content and PowerPoint presentations along with the three main points. Teachers continued to keep an eye on the progress of students and their work. Clarification of problems and issues continued until production. Measures for improvement were also explored.

【United Nations Communication, Diplomacy】

What is the Model United Nations? Introductions and impressions on how to proceed with discussions were had. For example, what to learn or how to go about researching. These points were lacking.

【Kikkoman & JTB Tour of Overseas Expansion】

The powerpoint was very easy to see and understand. One issue raised was whether or not either company was thinking about “globalization”. Interviews with Kikkoman employees included issues such as working abroad from their perspective, employment, etc. One part that had not been discussed was whether or not problems could be evaluated when working in foreign countries. From this point, students were left with the question “As a high school student, what is a global person?”

【Limited industrial development that utilizes the resources and technical cooperation of Japan】

We were making the flow of slides, the first half was mostly about the introduction of Singapore and the water situation. In the future, we should be filled with our own thoughts, include our life experiences, and deepen our understanding with theory and other countries.

【Northern Territories Issues】

Outlines were made and drafts are being worked on but PowerPoint presentations are not yet finished. Although we are approaching the topics of “geography”, “history” and “religion” for the Northern Territories Dispute, we have not found the center of our opinions. We hope to deepen these points in the future.

 

Even though there is a lot of information here, we are still not at the stage where we can come up with our own ideas and so this is an improvement many groups have to make. To narrow the topic focus and to think from experience were the two main challenges we felt.

【High-2】Singapore overseas training briefing

2016 April 12th / 2016 April 19th

Today's research theme

From March 21st to March 25th, thirty-four students from the 1st year of high school (current 2nd year students) participated in a five day training trip to Singapore. A training report meeting was arranged as part of the SGH program.

1. Implementation content

Students were given the opportunity to report on their experiences of Singapore on both April 12th and April 19th. This included Singapore’s climate, vegetation, national origins, politics, economy, culture, and the new self-sufficiency program. National policy, future prospects, the UN experience and the visit to Kikkoman were also to be discussed.

Model United Nations experience report

During the training, students introduced what they experienced at the mock UN using handouts and a video. They explained the procedures involved. They also learned how to conduct a discussion like in the UN, which is useful for making decisions and working with various nations.

Country introduction presentation introduced by the Yale-NUS College (video)

A video by Yale-NUS College students introducing Singapore was shown. The Yale students gave an introduction to Singapore’s culture, food and sites including: Transportation (MRT), chicken rice, Chinatown, Little India, the Botanical Gardens etc. The students used very fluent English, were confident and used eye contact and gestures. This excellent presentation served as a guide to our students on how to conduct a presentation.

Post-learning about the visit to companies

During the training trip, students went to Kikkoman. Students studied the human resources required to run such a global company.

  • The importance of management philosophy, to analyze the aim of connecting countries through cuisine and emphasize cross-cultural understanding.
  • Students presented a graph of annual sales and operating income, Kikkoman has already become a center of international business. It’s important to realize that being only in Japan’s domestic market is not a satisfactory situation for a company. Students also discussed why companies focus on overseas expansion.
  • Kikkoman also helps to run a hospital in Chiba Prefecture. Companies which are successful can return benefits to society. Blue chip companies which contribute to society can also receive benefits to their image.

To the students who participated in this briefing, I posed the question, "What I learned from this training trip." A quite often response was ‘it was a hot country’ and ‘the food was spicy’. However other responses included ‘When we visited the Japanese company, we could understand how fun it is to work abroad’. It was impressive that students were interested in the nature of living abroad in a global society.

Some advice from the teachers who went on the training trip to the students included: "If you don’t go and see for yourself, you don’t know’. Also the importance of being able to communicate ideas to others was stressed.

Based on the views of students from students who participated in the Singapore overseas training, it was a good opportunity to learn about the concept of cross-cultural understanding and global business and culture.

[High-1] Northern Territories issue

2016 May 19th / 2016 May 26th

Today's research theme

As part of the challenge-based learning tasks for this school’s SGH program, the ‘Northern Territories’ issue’ was researched. Researching and discussing this issue would help students increase their knowledge in regards to the historical background while also helping develop program solving abilities.

1. Contents

The historical background of the Northern territories:

In the world today there are many territorial issues causing problems in communities and countries.

Students filled out a worksheet on their own to check their existing knowledge of the northern territories including the location. Even though students live in Hokkaido it was found that some students lacked in depth knowledge of the issue.
An overview of the history of the issue was then taught to students. Beginning with the Ainu and continuing to transitions with Japan and Russia. The contents of the Convention were also read along with other historical records which helped to deepen student’s understanding. While many of the historical documents were difficult to understand students still worked hard.

Students were then put into several groups to research and summarize the Northern Territories. They were asked to present their findings in the next lesson.

Group exchange of opinions:

Continuing on from the previous lesson students were able to exchange views on the territorial issue using prepared materials. Although there was a very vigorous exchange of opinions one problem was observed, some students had not found any source material but had just directly copied from Wikipedia. Due to this issue future guidance would be required to guide students in how to find and use other reliable primary source materials.

Group presentation

Groups gave presentations on their options on the territorial issue to other groups. A question-answer session also followed each presentation.  

Groups were willing to positively accept the opinions of other groups and the question-answer sessions were well used. An increase of passion and interest in the issue was observed in the students.

One issue that was observed was that some responses by students were very limited. A lot of students were still very passive and quiet. An ability to criticize other’s ideas and also announce their own ideas needs to be fostered in these students.

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