In recent years, the word “internationalization” is often used in the field of education. Internationalization has often been used interchangeably with “globalization,” yet the two are quite different. Internationalization is limited by national borders, whereas globalization has no such limitations.
In the process of character development, a recent issue of contention is the use of cultural integration practices, yet this process of cultural integration, or ‘acculturation,’ occurs naturally. Remarkable acculturation has occurred in Japan, if one compares modern Japan with the closed Japan of the pre-Meiji Restoration era. That said, the process of internationalization does not automatically lead to the denial of one’s cultural roots. It is a great disappointment that an increasing number of publications seem anxious about Japan’s future, proclaiming “Japanese people are no good!” or “Japan is in decline!”
At my school there are teachers from many cultural backgrounds, including America, Britain, France, Canada and Australia. They often observe that “Japanese people don’t know Japan’s strengths.” If we become aware of our own good points we will be able to recognize the strengths of others, and can then give encouragement and praise to help them develop. Ultimately, this is the purpose of education, and I feel passionate about continuing such work into the future.
Masae Oe, COM Language School Principal
Konan Women’s University Graduate School of French
Konan Women’s University Graduate School of Humanities, Master of Human Sciences
Konan Women’s University Graduate School of Humanities, Doctor of Human Sciences
Member of The Japan Society for the Study of Adult and Community Education
Member of the Japanese Society of French Language Teaching
Association Franco-Japonaise de Kobe Member
Licensed Teacher of Omote Senken Tea Ceremony
Licensed Teacher of Kuwahara Senkei of Ikebana
Member of the Ashiya City Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children