On-Site Education Practices in Sociocultural Studies
: The Introduction of “International Understanding through Fieldwork” program

The Department of Sociocultural Studies, Faculty of Sociology, Toyo University has been conducting undergraduate education with the aim of “developing students who can contribute to the local community with a global perspective”. In order to achieve this aim, the 2012 “Socio-Cultural Experience Exercise” project led to greater emphasis being placed on learning in the field starting in the 2013 school year. This innovative project is divided into three separate parts, of which the “International Understanding through Fieldwork” (a.k.a. International Understanding- Project) is one. The International Understanding-Project attempts to understand the connections shared with Japan and other countries in our global age by focusing on personal contact and inquiry concerning products close to our everyday lives. Asking about the global production, and social impacts of daily goods such as paper and second-hand clothes are questions important in positioning daily objects to the local lives of students.

The “International Understanding through Fieldwork” program is based on the continuation of the research-education project titled “Inter-Regional Networking through the Integrated Studies on Paper: Towards a Practical Nursing Education from the Bunkyo District (a.k.a. Kami-Project)” that conducted research in Bunkyo District and adjacent areas under the theme of “paper”, “region”, and “environment”. In the 2013 fiscal year, it was the presentation of this International Understanding-Project that attempted to consider the local dynamics involved in materials such as old clothes and how these found their way from other parts in the globe to our local lives.

As a result of the aforementioned 2014 fiscal year project, this report presents the results of the symposium of “Socio-Cultural Experience Exercises” held on December 6th, 2014, as well as the comments from exterior evaluator, lectures, and fieldwork conducted in Malaysia and Singapore in November 2014. Within these comments are the corrections and additions to this Symposium.