Faculty of International Studies
【国際学部】リレーエッセイ2019（10）Lowell John Gretebeck “ Kyoritsu GSE Program: Creating Leaders of Tomorrow “
Dr. Lowell John Gretebeck
A quality education program must inspire and empower students to learn to become “leaders of tomorrow”. Of course, this happens when instructors are able to impart knowledge, but also when we focus on learning that is indeed life-changing and has long-term value. As such, the fundamental objective of Kyoritsu’s GSE Program is to offer a unique and relevant academic program, whereby the students develop in-depth knowledge, but also a world-view that fosters critical-thinking. Clearly, globalization now requires that universities, including Kyoritsu, develop teaching and research programs that give students the needed skill-set to compete AND effectively contribute to our global society. With this holistic and multidisciplinary view in mind, “creating leaders of tomorrow” also means that the Kyoritsu educational program must be transformational by offering quality mentoring, teaching and research.
“Creating leaders of tomorrow” requires that the GSE Program not only pursue “effective classroom teaching” – but equally important - the creation of “effective learning environments”. In practice, then, this means that students must play an integral part of the learning process, and that the key role of instructor is that of serving as an effective facilitator. To emphasize, Kyoritsu academic study is not merely a classroom activity, but something much more: “creating leaders of tomorrow” requires that our students learn about their strengths and weaknesses, engage in discussion with friends and faculty about issues that are critical to our time, travel and learn about people of other cultures, learn how to think critically about Japan and world problems, and develop a strong sense of values that will guide them throughout their lives. Students today are seeking this global perspective, and it is the role of an educator to promote students’ total academic development.
A final aspect of “creating leaders of tomorrow” requires that educators remain engaged in practical research that “informs” or supports classroom teaching. Personally speaking, I am now engaged in a research project, in cooperation with Panasonic Corporation, to study the impact of solar lighting on children in rural Cambodia, but with a particular emphasis on the areas of child education, health and safety. For me, I find this synergy between practical research and teaching to be of critical importance. Similarly, the Kyoritsu GSE Program is better equipped to meet its stated mission objectives when our teaching and research is carried out in a manner that fosters learning that is focused on a better understanding of the solutions to complex global issues of our time.