Overview of Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools


The Education Bureau manages 11 Laboratory Schools as well as conducts practical research on School education.


There are 11 laboratory schools listed below.  

Administration and functions

1  Administration

The Education Council for Laboratory Schools has been established to deliberate on affairs related to the management of the Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools and laboratory schools.

2 Functions

The functions of the Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools are as follows:
  1. To serve as a place where the Laboratory Schools can conduct practical group research on matters related to school education (research center function)
  2. To unify and coordinate the operations of the Laboratory Schools (management and coordination function)
  3. To provide educational consultation and counseling (counseling function)
  4. To disseminate research results to the general public (publicity function)
  5. To support and arrange student teaching (functions of student teaching)
  6. To plan and conduct training for teachers in the Laboratory Schools (training function)
As supervisors of the Laboratory Schools, the Director and consulting faculty primarily handle the various functions of the Education Bureau by giving guidance and advice related educational activities.

Education and research activities

1  Joint research with laboratory schools

Great success in education, research, and contribution to the society

⃝Joint research with the Laboratory Schools
The Education Bureau participates in the activities to enhance education and research of the Laboratory Schools under the university/Laboratory School linkage committee.
Research projects in fiscal 2015 are as follows:
  • Study of school events for developing independent thought in children
  • Research for utilizing ICT in school education
  • Study of education on international competencies

⃝Creation and disclosure of the data
The Education Bureau of the University of Tsukuba’s Laboratory Schools gathers basic data and information on the activities of the Laboratory Schools for publication on its website.

⃝Superintendent Special Award
Superintendent awards are given to those who achieve third place or higher in international contests or first place in domestic competition in order to encourage all students to learn In 2015, 19 students (for 20 awards) were awarded among all the Laboratory Schools.

⃝Future outlook of the Laboratory Schools
【Midterm goals】
  • Strengthen the linkage of the educational research with the university in order to raise human resources throughout the education from elementary school to high school.
  • Regarding educational research, one goal of the Laboratory Schools, University of Tsukuba is to establish the bases for primary and secondary education according to the needs of society, where practice models are shown for acquisition of basic academic skills with international perspectives and for system of life-span learning.
  • As a center of education for students with special needs, we create the system to link University and the Laboratory Schools to support and implement the experiments for super early stage.
【Future vision and activities to achieve the midterm goals of fiscal 2015】
  1. In order to strengthen linkages between the University and the Laboratory Schools, joint research such as “Project Research for Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools” is promoted, at the same time, collaboration between instructors at the University and the Laboratory Schools is helping to improve subjects established by the University and classroom teaching in the laboratory schools.
  2. Teachers of the Laboratory Elementary School are collaborating with lectures for training elementary school teachers in College of Education, the School of Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba.
  3. Linkages with the University are being used to promote Olympic education in the Laboratory Schools as international peace education.
  4. With the aim of creating three focuses of leadership education, teacher education, and international education, we are formulating a detailed plan for a new experimental model for the Laboratory Schools.
    1. Linkages with the University are being used to improve research related to integrated primary, lower and upper secondary education and connections between the University and high schools.
    2. Classroom lesson research, etc., is being opened to the public and research conferences, etc., are being held for schoolteachers from all over Japan.
    3. “Practical Laboratory School Lectures” which is an updated course is being conducted through linkages between the University and the Laboratory Schools, and those results are published.
    4. Improvements are being made to exchanges with overseas schools, especially in Asia, and short-term overseas studies for the Laboratory School students through the International Education Promoting Office of the Laboratory Schools.
  5. Investigations are being made to materialize comprehensive campuses for special support education to meet the needs of society.
  6. In very early special support education through linkages with the University, groundbreaking research is being conducted for very young children (0-2 years) who have intellectual and/or developmental impairments.
  7. School counselors are being utilized, specialist teams are being dispatched, etc., to improve the school counseling system and strengthen support education for young children and students who need support for their development impairment.
  8. Exchanges between special support schools and regular elementary, junior high and high schools are being held and presentations are being made of practical research in joint studies and other themes.
⃝Implementing extension courses

We are implementing the following public seminars (with the name of the seminar for the 2015 academic year);
【Educational Lecture】
This course aims for enhance the education and culture of everyone from infant to elderly. (Refresh Yourself with Oriental Medicine!)
【Educator’s Courses】
These courses provide more practical expertise, learning methods, etc., in addition to practical guidance for teachers. (Education training course for the partially sighted)
【Extension Courses of Teaching Certificate】
These courses, certified by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, were launched in 2002 to provide high-quality practical training for in-service teachers who require certificates for teaching at special needs educational schools. (Basic Theory of Educations for Children with Special Needs.)
【Extension Training Course of Teaching Certificate】
This course provides practical guidance in gaining a first-class or second-class license to use Physical Therapy in special needs education. (Teaching Certification Course for Physical Therapy Teachers of School of the Visually Impaired.)
【Key Extension Courses】
As a publically opened university, we periodically share our latest research results in the key extension courses. We also disseminate our education research achievements through our long-running extension courses which have been broadly opened to the general public.

2 Cooperation with initiatives in the University to improve and reinforce education for the teaching profession

The Education Bureau is involved in the implementation of practice teaching at the Laboratory Schools, and offers assistance and support to the Teaching Profession Committee of Tokyo for the whole University, including preliminary and follow-up guidance. We also offer opinions concerning the implementation of care-giving, and planning for the improvement of education for the teaching profession; moreover, we give support and advice to educational and research activities in the open research conferences of the Laboratory Schools.

3 Keeping and utilization of historical educational materials at laboratory schools

We are providing the following assistance to the “Committee of Historical Education Archives” to preserve these invaluable materials that date back to the Meiji Era, and are also compiling them into a database to make them more accessible to anyone.

  1. Choosing and keeping these invaluable materials
  2. Repairing archive materials
  3. Compiling them into a database for publication
  4. Fulfilling a role as a center of historical research of the Laboratory Schools
  5. Maintaining the current research resources of University of Tsukuba Laboratory Schools
  6. Publishing Laboratory School archive materials at University of Tsukuba Gallery
  7. Publishing these materials on the website of the Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools

4 Support and implementation of teacher training in the Laboratory Schools

~Important opportunities for learning about the latest education~
The Committee of Training at the Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools holds two legal training classes and one seminar.
In addition to the programs offered by local educational committee in April, there are meetings in June and October, and exchange group debate in March for new teachers. For teachers with 10 year experience, there are lectures about “Today’s topics in school education,” “Educational rules,” “Human right education,” and “Duties” by lecturers invited from outside the school in the spring in order to enhance their knowledge.

Brief history

April 1978 The School Education Department was established based on a revision of the National School Establishment Law.
The Department originally consisted of the educational materials department and 4 research fields: educational development, education for children with disabilities, teacher education, and educational counseling.
April 1989 The research fields of the School Education Department were merged into one field of school education research.
With the establishment of a nighttime Master’s Degree program, the School Education Department hooked up with the Master’s Program in Counseling and Rehabilitation Sciences to offer education consultation and counseling to anyone in need.
April 2004 The Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools was established based on the National University Corporation Law.
April 2007 The names of the Laboratory Schools involved with special education were changed.

Three Centers of future education

The mission of the Laboratory Schools in national universities is to show leading models of student teaching and educational research. Regarding educational research, one of the goals of the University of Tsukuba Laboratory Schools is to establish the bases for primary and secondary education responding to the needs of society, where practice models are shown for acquisition of basic academic skills with international perspectives and for system of life-span learning.
Three bases are as follows: leading education center, teacher education center, and international education center. These three centers are the frames to seek for the goals to promote activities of the Laboratory Schools, and also function as core for future of the Laboratory Schools.

1. Leading Education Center
~Research and development to establish the bases of the education in our country~

①Research and development of an integrated primary and secondary educational curriculum
~Purpose to have 12-year integrated curriculum~
  • This research is primarily conducted by the special Yonko-ken, “Four School Research Group,” which consists of university facilities, in addition to affiliated elementary, junior high and senior high laboratory schools of the University.
  • In addition to open houses at each school, every year there are joint elementary, junior high and high school teaching seminars.
  • Field trips are made to internal and external integrated schools.
  • Visitation training is conducted to national and overseas schools which take an integrated primary and secondary educational curriculum.
②Research into cooperation linkage of the senior high schools and the University

~To Take Advantages of “Linkage” System of University of Tsukuba~
• In the 2015 academic year, as a part of the “Project for Establishing Inclusive Educational Systems (School Clusters),” a project commissioned by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), a special lecture was given by Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai of University of Tsukuba. Furthermore, a symposium was held under the theme of “living together with people from various backgrounds and different cultures.”

③Research Project1
School events for developing independent thinking in children
~Research on the effects of traditional school events on childhood development~
In cooperation with other schools, various school events, including traditional events, are often held at each affiliated school and in each section Implementation, educational guidance, event preparation, and the effects of these events on children’s development were examined. Additionally, workshops were held in which events at each school were discussed in terms of the following issues:
  1. Main school wide events held at each school (overall image)
  2. Case studies on main events (for example, traditional events and inter-school or inter-departmental events)
  3. “Educational intentions” on a case by case basis (goals, assessments, etc.)
  4. Introduction of literature related to school events
  5. In the 2015 academic year, educational intentions (goals, assessments, etc.) were discussed in terms of school events. Furthermore, the aims of these events as well as understanding of a school’s culture and social climate were confirmed through children’s reaction to participation in the events.
④Research project 2
Research for utilizing ICT in school education
~Creating lesson plans that effectively utilize ICT~
  • In the 2015 academic year, various Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) were utilized in lessons at each affiliated school as well as at local schools in nationwide. Moreover, we held seminars featuring invited ICT experts; these events emphasized the effective use of ICT equipment in educational settings.
  • The effects of ICT usage were examined through comparison of lessons with and without ICT use. Results indicated that in math class, for example, ICT utilization enabled the children to pay closer attention to correspondence and changes in their work, which allowed the students to give greater reflection in opinions and aided in explanations. ICT use also allowed the students to write more quickly and accelerated the speed of lesson development.
  • In the 2015 academic year, a report including numerous practical cases of ICT utilization was written as a summary of past three years’ study. This report was distributed to relevant organizations.
⑤Research on the supporting system for children with special needs
~Creating school for all students to enjoy~
  • The Center for Counseling and Development Support Services of University of Tsukuba and the Laboratory Schools have supported children who need special attention such as those who are chronically school phobia, have developmental problems, and behavioral issues.
  • Since the Committee of Promoting Support in Education launched in 2010, we have hold meetings to discuss among the special support education coordinators and school health teachers the status of children requiring support in each Laboratory School.
  • The Committee for Promoting Support in Education has adopted an agenda that is suitable for training special support education coordinators in our Laboratory Schools.
  • In addition, a school counselor was assigned to each school in 2011, and a specialist team has also been organized to help with their activities.
  • In June 2013, teachers were encouraged to attend seminars for training education counselor coordinators at external facilities, and they were also able to supplement their own teacher training.
  • In the 2013 academic year, as part of survey and research work contracted by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, an attempt was made to utilize ICT for younger and older students in order to understand the difficulties they have in normal grades, and a handbook was created entitled “Handbook for Utilizing ICT for Children with Developmental Disabilities: Normal Grade Edition.” It was distributed to education committees, education centers, etc., throughout Japan.
  • Special support education coordinators were given explanations of their specific roles and functions. The coordinators were also required to compile lists of children with special needs. Therefore an overall school support system was established.
⑥“Kagakunome (Buds of Science)” Prize

~Contest for helping students develop interests for nature and science~
The Kagakunome Prize was started in 2006 as a part of the centenary project and youth program commemorating the birth of Dr. Sin-itiro Tomonaga. We only had about 650 entries for the first contest, but it has been 10 years, in 2015, and we had over 2,380 entries including entries from oversea Japanese schools.Around December 20 every year, we invite the prize winners and others to a presentation and award ceremony. In 2016, University of Tsukuba Press will also publish “We Want to Know More ! The World of Kagakunome, Part 5.”

2. Teacher education center ~Leadership in educating teachers~

①Teacher’s license renewal program
~Unique initiatives that are not found anywhere else in japan~
  • University of Tsukuba which has an educational tradition dating back to the foundation of the Higher School of Teachers conducts the Laboratory School Practical Seminars based on the Tsukuba Curriculum.
  • The seminars are held in Tsukuba district and Tokyo district. University of Tsukuba had a total of about 5,100 program attendees in 2015, and among them, approximately 2,500 attendees were accepted by Tokyo area schools. Where the Laboratory Schools play the main role in implementing this program.
  • By having the division of the Laboratory School Practical Seminars, it is possible to develop individual seminars for each unique Laboratory School. Throughout open house and discussion of research, attendees are able to learn the latest education to review their own educational skills. In the 2015 academic year, there has been a total of 20 seminars, about two seminars at each school.
  • At the Komaba Junior High School and Senior High School, and the Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired, there were total of 23 seminars about “The Future Vision and the Problems of Today’s Education” and “Experiencing the New World of Education” in the end of August.
  • Beginning in the 2016 academic year, “Compulsory Elective Courses” will be offered in a new division. Attendees will be able to select subjects including contents suitable for each person’s needs regarding “The Latest Educational Situation (Current Educational Issues).”
②In-service teacher training
~Unique open research conferences at each school~
  • Traditionally about once a year, all Laboratory Schools attract participants from all over Japan by hosting open research conferences (the name differs depending on the school).
  • Open Research Conference of the Tsukuba Laboratory Schools is held once a year to have a place to report their research projects. The research thesis for 2015 was “Current educational challenges and problems that need to be addressed-Messages from the Laboratory Schools of University of Tsukuba.”
  • In a tie-up with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), we accept in-service teachers from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Under a partnership agreement between Daigo Town, Ibaraki Prefecture, and University of Tsukuba, we offer teacher training for the town.
③Cooperation between Ordinary Laboratory Schools and Special Needs Education Schools

~Utilizing the unique attributes of all 11 Laboratory Schools~
In order to strengthen the linkage of 6 ordinary Laboratory Schools and 5 Special Needs Education Schools (for a total of 5 schools of the Visually Impaired, Deaf, Mentally Challenged, Physically Challenged, and Autistic), we launched the Committee for Promoting Cooperation between Ordinary Laboratory Schools and Special Needs Education Schools with the aim of ensuring that Ordinary Laboratory Schools can play an effective role in Special Needs Education Schools by hosting class visits for teachers or class exchanges where students can interact.
• Furthermore, in the 2015 academic year, MEXT commissioned us to work on the “Project for establishing inclusive educational systems (School Clusters)”, with the goal of facilitating interactions and cooperative learning among affiliated schools. We also conducted workshops on “Communal life at Kurohime Plateau” and “Lectures and symposiums aiming at cohesive society,” among others.

④Examination for the special needs education teacher’s certificate

~Supporting special needs education teacher to obtain the certificate~
We have been contracted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to hold the examinations for the special needs education teacher’s certificate (first-class license for support of independence), and about 300 applicants take the examination every year (the primary examination is in August and the secondary examination is in October). In 2015, the certificate examinations for independent activity education for children with a visual impairment or speech impediment were held and total of 14 applicants earned the certificate.

⑤Practical training

~Offering high quality educational seminars~
At University of Tsukuba about 700 undergraduate students and graduate students apply for practice teaching every year, and about a third of them get accepted as student teachers to conduct a class in June or September. Teachers of the Laboratory Schools participate in the preliminary guidance, an orientation which is held in March in the previous academic year and after the seminars as lecturers. In addition, the Laboratory Schools greatly support “Fundamental Practices in the Teaching Profession,” “Practitcal Teaching Exercise,” and “Experiences in Care-Giving,” to do open campus or seminars.

3. International education center ~Globalization of the children and the teachers~

①Introducing globalized education
~Expansion of teaching activities with a global view ~
Since establishing the Committee for the Promotion of International Education at the Laboratory School, schools have been exchanging ideas for activities with each other.
  • International exchanges among young students Intensive efforts are made to promote international exchanges among young students, short-term overseas study, overseas field trips, accommodation of visitors from foreign schools, participation in conferences and other events held overseas, and exchanges of e-mails, among other things. (Exchange countries) China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, the United States, Indonesia, India, African countries, France, etc.
  • Overseas teacher exchanges
    Teachers are encouraged to develop an international perspective through such means as exchanges of classroom techniques in other countries, lectures on demand, and observations of foreign educational organizations.
  • The “English Room”
    After school, teachers can enhance their interest in foreign countries and countries through periodic daily conversations with teachers from overseas.
  • Issue of reports
    Volume 7: “Development of New Activities for ‘International Education Centers’ for the Laboratory Schools-Aiming to facilitate cultivation of human resources that would create a diverse and cohesive society”, 2015 academic year
②Education of overseas teachers
~Contributing to the development of education and exchanges involving classes in developing countries~
  • Receiving training at the laboratory schools
    At the behest of JICA, we explain faculties in developing countries about school education in Japan through classroom observations and study at our Laboratory Schools.
  • Dispatch of teachers
    Teachers from our Laboratory Schools visit developing countries, to provide educational support and exchange information with local teachers.
③International exchanges with young students from our Laboratory Schools (mainly 2015 academic year)
  • Elementary School: Exchanges with an elementary school in San Francisco, and Exchange programs with students from the University of California
  • Junior High School: Short-term study in U.S., short-term exchange with a school in Singapore
  • High School: Participation in Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit, Exchanges between Hwa Chong High School in Singapore, Interchanges between Japanese and Chinese high school students, Tsukuba-UBC Global Leaders Program
  • Junior High and Senior High School at Komaba: Interchange with National Taichung First Senior High School and Busan International High School, Korea
  • Senior High School at Sakado: High School Students’ International ESD Symposium as a Super Global High School (SGHS) featuring exchange programs and cooperative learning with students from Kornita Senior High School and Bogor Agricultural University Indonesia.
  • Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired: Participation in projects for supporting vocational education for the visually impaired
  • Special Needs Education School for the Deaf: Mutual exchanges and visits with the Paris National School for the Deaf, Exchanges using Skype with Seoul National School for the Deaf.
  • Special Needs Education School for the Mentally Challenged: Dance exchanges with African trainees
  • Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged: Exchanges with Sae Rom School in South Korea (Sending of delegates from affiliated elementary/junior high/senior high schools, acceptance of the delegation from Samyook Rehabilitation School), exchange project using the Internet
  • Special Needs Education School for Children with Autism: Exchange activities with observers from overseas
④Research project 3
“Practical training for nurturing an international nature in children”
~To enhance international education at the Laboratory Schools~
Major projects in the 2015 academic year
  • Examination of mechanisms for improving internationality: Development of the “Intercultural Experience Inventory” and examination of correlations between this inventory and internationality
  • Providing information based on the activity model designed for developing children’s internationality: Written reports on the effects of students’ direct experience abroad (overseas training trips) were presented at academic conferences.
  • Facilitating collaboration among various experts: Guests specializing in international business were invited to workshops; discussions were held with associated researchers.
⑤Olympic education

~International peace education~
Under its “Olympic Education Platform”, University of Tsukuba has established the Special Committee for Promoting Olympic Education in the Laboratory Schools” which is promoting “Olympic education” as international peace education.
• Practical education for Olympic education

  • Survey on practical education for Olympic education and participation conducted at all affiliated schools
  • Opening of the Olympic Education Forum
  • Issuance of Volume 4 of “Olympic Education”
  • “Hospitality” courses conducted at affiliated schools
  • Cooperation and review on the “Project for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Research in 2015,” which was proposed by the Japan Sports Agency
  • Teachers participated in educational seminars, civic forums, and workshops held in Miyagi, Kyoto, and Fukuoka prefectures and discussed the direction of Olympic and Paralympic education that would be given at affiliated schools.