through Kiwi eyes educational project background
The Kansai through Kiwi eyes project arose from the call
by former Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand, Masaki Saito, for revitalisation
of the bilateral relationship, which in turn followed calls by New Zealand
Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Prime Minister Junichi Koizumi for
a new level of engagement between the two countries.
The Kansai through Kiwi eyes project explores themes that illustrate ideas
about society and how people interact. The project has, thus far, presented
ideas and issues that teachers of Year 9 & 10 Social Studies may utilise.
While each bite-size chapter explores the Kansai, it develops issues that
are equally open to critical exploration in New Zealand society.
The nature of this multimedia project means that there are other avenues
of the Kansai that may be explored. For example, issues of people's interaction
with the environment, the system of government, and the conservation of
heritage sites and the approach entrepreneurs can take are all fertile
areas of discovery.
The publisher of Kansai through Kiwi Eyes welcomes expressions of interest
from potential sponsors / co-publishers who may be interested in building
on this platform, particularly to develop resources for primary school
teachers of Social Studies.
Discussions on other ways ahead are being developed around
the Japan New Zealand Research Facility work of the Centre for Citizenship
Education, and can be communicated on www.decisionmaker.co.nz.
The Kansai through Kiwi eyes project was executed with a grant from the
Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition (’70).
New Zealand co-sponsors include the School of Marketing and International
Business from Victoria University of Wellington, Air New Zealand, Asia
Pacific Economic News and the Centre for Citizenship Education.
The project was implemented between April 2006 – March 2007, and
involved the Wellington based project team interviewing more than 100
New Zealanders and Japanese in both countries, and in editing film, audio
and references from them. The draft website was made available for comment
to Anthony Haas from interested parties.
DecisionMaker Publications and interested project partners began implementing
subsequent publications during the second quarter 2007, initially focused
on government and economic world for secondary school audiences.
Distribution on DVD, YouTube and web
In the second quarter 2007, free distribution of 3000 copies of the DVD
edition, with booklet, began to Heads of Social Studies Departments in
New Zealand schools, and other participants in the project, with allied
content made available on the web at www.decisionmaker.nz, on YouTube
and Kansai.ac.nz. Distribution also included audiences of the Japan Information
and Cultural Centre, Wellington, members of New Zealand's Parliament.
Click on VisitKansai at YouTube.com to view trailers and other work in
progress for chapters at the heart of Kansai through Kiwi eyes.
Kansai through Kiwi eyes chapters were planned for use by teachers with
students, typically5-10 minutes long. They illustrate key understandings,
end with several references for finding out more, credits, and other content
accessible through the DVD menu. Content of chapters on the DVD is extended
on the website. The introduction is also intended for wider audiences.
Each section of ‘Kansai through Kiwi eyes’ is illustrative
of a key conceptual understanding about society, the significance of this
idea and how people might participate in society. The teacher notes list
key understandings, and link to worksheets to help teachers plan lessons
in support of social science about "place" and "culture".
Subsequent projects take a similar approach to "government"
and "economic world".
Each school can expect to have at least one DVD including all the chapters
published in Kansai through Kiwi eyes, by the Centre for Citizenship Education
in the first quarter 2007. The DVD includes the audio visual chapters,
the menu, Find out more with web links for use on computers with internet
connection, credits and some documentation. Together they give a picture
of Japan today. Each chapter is a resource for a lesson that fits the
New Zealand social studies and other parts of the social science syllabus.
The booklet with the DVD in the DVD case summarises the key understandings,
content and relevance to years 9-10 New Zealand social science.
Kansai.ac.nz includes its homepage summarizing the Kansai through Kiwi
eyes resource, the list of chapters, links to trailers on YouTube, links
to the key understandings and notes for teacher, expanded Kansai chapters
content and other useful links on decisionmaker.co.nz and elsewhere.
Notes for teachers
The teacher notes for the “Kansai through Kiwi eyes” project,
introduced on kansai.ac.nz and extended on the decisionmaker.co.nz website,
are there to help teachers use chapters in support of lessons. The DecisionMaker
Education pages have other worksheets in support of citizenship education,
built since 1990. They also link to Centre for Citizenship Education pages,
and will link to more information about Japan and New Zealand.
Find out more
A feature of this educational publication is to include references which
help readers find out more. Much of this reference material will be on
the web. Some will be on the DVD to assist people who do not access the
web, and material that might be taken off the web.
The Centre for Citizenship Education and interested parties are exploring
ways in which schools in New Zealand and the Kansai may be more closely
linked with the aid of information technology, including possibly through
use of the Wiki approach. The information technology can assist students
and teachers in New Zealand and Kansai to develop understanding about
each other, perhaps work on projects together, and maybe visit each other.
Discussion forum, email, pages using wiki and other programmes and hardware
could be used to build relationships, particularly those opened up by
school exchanges for people benefiting from sister city relationships.
Secondary school student exchanges
Many schools in both countries arrange student exchanges. Chapters of
Kansai through Kiwi eyes can assist people to build on relationships and
services available to discuss, budget and make practical arrangements
for visiting each other. The Sakai Wellington and Hutt Minoh sister city
relationships, featured in chapters of Kansai through Kiwi eyes, illustrate
what students from these and more than forty other Japan New Zealand sister
city connections can do to use foundations on which student and other
citizen exchanges can be expanded.
Tertiary student study abroad
Tertiary students from both countries, helped by reciprocal agreements
between universities, study abroad in undergraduate, graduate and research
programmes. Osaka University of Foreign Languages, based in Minoh City,
illustrates how students study abroad to learn other languages. Ritsumeikan
University, based in Kyoto City, illustrates how students study abroad
in a range of disciplines. Students can find out more about how other
students have found the study abroad experience, and websites which will
lead them to information and services to help them plan.
Citizens of many ages are interested in visiting other countries. The
Hutt Minoh Friendship Club illustrates enthusiasm for more travel and
exchange between these two cities and their neighbourhoods. Chapters show
people traveling for study, pleasure, business and government relations.
Sister cities have widened opportunities for study, pleasure, business
and government relationships between people who otherwise might have lacked
the motivation, contact or knowledge to visit or develop mutually beneficial
activities with the other country. Chapters draw on the Minoh Hutt and
Wellington Sakai experience to illustrate some of what is possible.
Research for producing Kansai through Kiwi eyes involved more than 100
New Zealanders and Japanese interested in explaining relations between
the two countries. Amongst them were people from research institutions,
universities, government and business who support government leaders who
advocate a new level of engagement between the countries, and who have
a particular interest in reinvigorating the economic relationship. Chapters
introduce Ritsumeikan University, which has many faculties with research
and teaching programmes that match New Zealand interests.
From Anthony Haas,
for the Centre for Citizenship Education, April 2007
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