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20 October 2009 | PR 09/142

Japanese teachers learn from Loughborough

Japanese Teachers - outdoors

Two groups of Japanese teachers were on campus last week to work alongside Loughborough University’s physical education and design and technology PGCE programmes.

A delegation of 25 practising PE teachers from schools across Japan and academics from Yokohama National and Yamanashi Prefectural universities visited Loughborough on separate research trips to learn more about physical education in the UK and to kick start a collaborative project in design and technology.

Design and technology subject leader Nigel Zanker is the only UK academic involved in a four-year research project hoping to develop an education programme to disseminate ‘kimono culture’ and teach non-Japanese nationals the art of wearing the traditional Japanese dress.

Project head Yayoi Satsumoto and co-researcher Hideko Saito led an interactive workshop to launch the project where trainee textile teachers, their tutor and a teacher from partnership school Blessed Robert Sutton in Burton upon Trent were shown how to correctly wear a kimono.

“The visit provided a fantastic opportunity for our trainee textile teachers to try on the kimonos and learn about their origins and the Japanese culture,” said Zanker. “Rather than reading about the topic they were actually taking part and witnessing it themselves. And it was also a good way of raising their awareness of the importance of linking in with different cultures.

Japanese Teachers - indoors

“The students will now look at incorporating what they’ve learned into their lesson plans for their teaching practice. The end aim will be to get pupils from the schools they’re working in to design costumes from other countries or to incorporate it into their own fashion design.

“What our students have learned and what they go on to teach within the schools will all be fed back into the project being led in Japan.”

Trainee PE teachers from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences also attracted Japanese interest last week as an educational study team comprising distinguished teachers and officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology visited the University as part of a week long tour of the UK.

The group of 25 were hosted by University teacher of physical education Nick Bromell and, as well as observing a practical teacher training session and meeting with Youth Sport Trust international development coordinator Alan Bell, they visited Mountfields Primary School in Loughborough and Derbyshire schools Chellaston and Woodlands to see British teachers in action.

“This was a fact finding mission for the Japanese teachers to find out about the national curriculum for PE in England and investigate how it is taught in schools,” explained Bromell.

“During their three day visit to Loughborough, we have been able to give them an overview of how the National Curriculum for Physical Education is organised in the UK and they’ve seen first hand how we train our PE teachers. We also helped facilitate other aspects of their trip such as the school visits and meetings with national sports bodies in London. It’s been great to have international interest in our programme.”

These groups are the latest Japanese delegations to visit Loughborough since the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University to use it as a European base until at least the 2012 Olympic Games.


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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