Lecture Commemorating 136th Birth Anniversary of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi Discusses Teachers' Responsibility and Value of Two-Way Dialogue
On May 12, 2007, Professor Hiroshi Watanabe, dean of the Faculty of Education at Utsunomiya University, delivered a public lecture in Shinjuku, Tokyo, commemorating the 136th birth anniversary of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944).
In his lecture, on the theme of "Opening the Path to a New Era," Prof. Watanabe discussed Makiguchi's ideas about the teacher's responsibility to create an ideal educational environment for the student and to establish an open, two-way dialogue. This open dialogue, he said, is the characteristic spirit of Soka Education, which, in practice today, represents a crystallization of Makiguchi's educational approach. Makiguchi emphasized that such dialogue provided the opportunity for teacher and student to inspire and learn from one another--a collaborative effort that promotes genuine problem-solving.
In Makiguchi's view, teachers, as a prime influence on a student's education, must continue to aspire toward the transformation of their inner lives and the cultivation of their own knowledge, skills and expertise. This fundamental spirit was inherited by second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda and, in turn, third President Daisaku Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai Education Division, Prof. Watanabe noted.
Soka education, Prof. Watanabe stated, is a valuable asset to Japanese education. He concluded his talk by emphasizing the importance of developmental, environmental and peace education for solving global issues, and proposed that "value creation" (soka) be the byword for the twenty-first century.
[Adapted from an article in the May 24, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]