Integrate sociology and social welfare, build the welfare society of the future.
Chair of the Course of System for Welfare Society
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What Is Working Adult Graduate Student Learning?
This course was established in 1996 as the first “social science postgraduate course for working adults” in Japan. Since then until today, the distinguishing feature of this course is that it combines sociology and social welfare and aims to design a new welfare society. The main targets of this course are working adults. Working adult graduate students possess abundant experience and knowledge and have an awareness of problems born from their respective individual experiences. To use that kind of social experience in research, three courses are provided in this course: “Regional Society Systems,” “Health and Welfare Systems,” and “Regional Welfare Systems.” A substantial curriculum was prepared to learn and research theory and practice (sociology and social welfare) within the social sciences. In particular, a course known as “Fundamental Theories of Research” is provided when research begins for first-year master’s students. Furthermore, by preparing the required courses in which the faculty is responsible for research guidance lectures with a collection on matters pertaining to research activities (lectures in which things such as working toward research themes, writing essays, survey and research methods, and documentary research are learned), great effort is being put into fundamental education regarding research activities for working adult graduate students (for details, refer to “Keiken to chi no saikōsei : Shakaijin no tameno shakai kagakukei daigakuin no susume,” edited by the Tōyō Daigaku Daigakuin Fukushi Shakai Dezain Kenkyūka in 2011 and published by Tōshindō).
Perhaps working adult graduate students’ learning is a “journey,” one that originates from small doubts born within individual social experiences and involves searches for answers to those doubts in the struggle between “work, family, and physical fitness.” As a guide for that journey, an alumni association, the “Association of Two Seasons,” is also involved in this course. From study sessions, senior classmates provide support such as career consultation and information, and the exchange between senior and junior classmates is also lively.
Lastly, admission to this course is based on a semester system to enhance the environment for working adult graduate students’ learning, and a system that allows students to enroll twice a year, in April and October, has been put in place. Moreover, flexible graduate school education that opens schools for working adults is being put into practice with the lectures occurring on weekday evenings and Saturdays.
And finally, to all those aiming to be working adult graduate students, I introduce the words of the sociologist Bauman ...
“Along with helping ordinary people like you and me to understand our own experiences, it shows how the various aspects of life that we thought we knew well can be interpreted through new methods and perceived from different perspectives (taken from Page 22, Zygmunt Bauman “Sociological Thinking,” [Japanese Version] Hbj Press 1993).” It could be said that this is the learning obtained in graduate school.
This course, which aims to fuse sociology and social welfare and design a new welfare society, includes three courses: “Regional Society Systems,” “Health and Welfare Systems,” and “Regional Welfare Systems.”
A substantial curriculum in sociology and social welfare is prepared.
Admission is through the semester system, occurring twice a year, in April and October. Moreover, with lectures on weekday evenings and Saturdays, it opens up the school for working adults as well.
Students range in age from their 20s to 60s; therefore, there will likely be many aspects that can also be gained through exchanges among graduate student colleagues.