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Character Education

Ambassadors for Peace Forum in Tokyo on Character Education

Mr. Robert Beebe presenting a lecture on the Need to Educator for Character to Japanese teachers and educators

Mr. Robert Beebe recently completed a trip to Tokyo, Japan, to present UPF’s Character Education Initiative to a forum of Ambassadors for Peace on January 26 at the Hotel New Otani. Present at the forum were approximately 20 Ambassadors for Peace, including several professors, religious leaders, social workers and politicians. Mr. Katsumi Ohtsuka, president of UPF-Japan, opened the program with some words about the importance of character education and how countries around the world have been adopting such programs in response to mounting youth problems. This was followed by Mr. Beebe’s PowerPoint presentation entitled “The Need for Character Education” in which he introduced UPF’s character education curriculum, Discovering the Real Me.

The topic at the UPF Forum was especially timely as the Japanese parliament (Diet) recently passed a resolution calling for reform in its education system to promote more family values. In the discussion following Mr. Beebe’s presentation, many at the forum expressed the opinion that UPF’s curriculum should be presented to the Ministry of Education as a resource in the creation of a curriculum in the implementation of the new resolution.

Steps were taken in that direction through meetings with three members of the Diet’s House of Representatives during the day before the evening UPF Forum. Mr. Beebe and Mr. Yoshio Watanabe, secretary general of the Federation for World Peace of Japan, met with representatives from Diet. All three were very responsive to information about the UPF curriculum. They specifically asked for copies of the books for translation and offered to organize meetings with his contacts in the Ministry of Education to discuss the possibility of utilizing UPF’s curriculum in the education reform package.

On the following day Mr. Beebe spoke to a group of teachers, presenting the Discovering the Real Me curriculum and going through the interactive methodology recommended in teaching the material in the classroom. One art teacher also presented a service project he did with his junior high school students to remove graffiti in the neighborhood surrounding the school. A lively discussion followed in which the teachers explored ways they could promote character education in their schools.

Following this short seminar was an inaugural meeting of the Ambassadors for Peace Teachers’ Forum. Through this forum they plan to outreach to their colleagues and other teachers throughout Japan

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