World School Network's (WSN) 2001 yearlong program got of to a fresh start with its annual Kick-off Meeting held in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, on April 27-28. Approximately 30 participants from all over Japan gathered to discuss activities which create a learning platform encompassing the entire globe.
*Stimulation from Efforts at Tochio Higashi Elementary School
（From left to right, Mr. Fujimura, Mr.. Katayama, Mr. Saito and Mr. Kato,
linked to QuickTime video files. You need a plug-in of QuickTime)
The meeting began on the 27th with an hour of self introductions. Tochio Higashi Elementary teacher Mr. KATO Toshihiro reported on activities which sparked from children's involvement with World School. He shared how his students' assertive activities took-off in the process of their studies concerning trash. His students managed to invite their mayor to school which ended up as a 2 hour live television program. Participants attending were taken aback from the start of the Kick-off meetting when Mr. Kato showed video footage during which students requested that the city separate its trash thoroughly. In response the mayor agreed live.
WSN's Adventure Project, "Exploration for Wisdom", will take place as a highlight for this year's activities. Environmental Correspondent, Gregory Michel will walk through Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa, seeking out ways of living in harmony with nature that remain in Japan. This is the last phase and 3rd year of the exploration which began two years ago in Shiretoko, Hokkaido. Participants and Greg shared opinions about what themes might be addressed in this year's project.
Teachers also addressed other new focuses for 2001. Ideas such as management of WSN's online "eForum" by WSN kids, child-centered learning, articulation using video footage and online video self- introductions were discussed.
Other topics included the development of this year's "Online Wisdom Guide," which will introduce the wonders of regional foods discovered by WSN kids' and Greg, and direct visits by Greg and WSN volunteers to participant groups for "WSN Delivery Classes". <
*Participants Recieve Courage
During day two, participants carried on heated debate with almost no breaks. Mr. FUJIMURA, who started with addressing trash in environmental education in Hokkaido, has just started as professor in charge of integrated learning at Naruto Education University this April. Still in the midst of moving, Mr. FUJIMURA was able to participate and recommended, "Please start of 'Exploration for Wisdom' at my university." Tokyo Kokusai Gakuen High School's Mr. SAITO explained, "We will assertively make use of World School in trying to develop ideas of how to incorporate integrated learning in high schools." New participants from Taito Ward's Environmental Committee also participated vigorously in debate
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