WASEDA ONLINE

RSS

The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Campus Now > A WASEDA Miscellany : Autumn Issue (Nov.)

Campus Now

Autumn Issue (Nov.)

A WASEDA Miscellany

Ken Kawan Soetanto

This theme: For a "Realization of Other People"

Ken Kawan Soetanto
Professor, Faculty of International Liberal Studies
Director, Clinical Education and Science Research Institute

The Faculty of International Liberal Studies, SILS where I teach puts priority on liberal arts to enable students to positively work globally rather than on a specialization. Students can experience the joy of learning and develop themselves in an enjoyable manner. In my education methods, students who have lost their way or sense of purpose can make the move to stimulate theirown minds, draw out their unexploited and potential ability, and thus change them driven by motivation. Placing emphasis on developing "human power" in addition to teaching knowledge is now widely recognized as the "Soetanto Method."

Excellent students can gain a sense of "intellectual joy" and a "fulfillment of the heart." A female student who had doubts about the reason for her entrance to university and who had nearly become a recluse took a course of "education for drawing out motivation" using the Soetanto Method, found her reason for being, and successfully overcame her suffering. There are many students who have been able to exploit their own potential and develop confidence with my lectures.

The students, who undergo such education as human power, are well received by companies and have advantages while job hunting. Results show that once they are employed, they neither easily leave companies after one to three years nor become"freeters" (free-lance part-timer workers) or NEETs. The number of teachers putting the Soetanto Method into practice has been increasing in other universities, too. I am not claiming to be the originator of it. All that matters is that teachers practicing the Soetanto Method develop it into their own methods.

In my class, I impose strict rules on the students: 70% or more attendance at class is required; being late and whispering in class are strictly forbidden. I was self-taught in Indonesia, and after leaving my country, I have fully devoted myself to studies,so I cannot bear to overlook "unmotivated students." As a result, students successfully meet my expectations. It is important to develop student's sensitivity to address challenges in their surrounding environments by providing them with commitment such as, "I believe in you. I will do my best and I hope you will too." If teachers change, the students will change and so will the university.

Ever since coming to Waseda, I have firstly practiced and spread the Soetanto Method in Japan and abroad and secondly linked brain science with science and technology to give a clear picture of the mechanism of motivation with a scientific approach,further developing the method. I have held lectures and awareness-raising activities in Indonesia, China, Thai, Europe, America and Japan.

Photograph: Katsuo Sugano
Provided By: Nikkei Business Online

It makes me happy now to see my students in the process of development and growth because I want to develop myself by doing my best to make people happy. What I think is missing in present Japanese society is a sense of a "realization of other people." People often talk about "self-realization," but I do not think this is enough.I believe that "to make people happy" by sympathizing with others and making efforts for the"realization of others" from the bottom of one's heart will enhance human power and create human bonds, and this bond will lead society to maturity.

I am determined to continuously make an effort so that Waseda University will be a place where students can exploit their own possibilities and identify what they really want to do.

*Books and articles written by Professor Kawan Soetanto are introduced at the websites listed below:
http://duan.exblog.jp/2580918/ (Book Review)
http://business.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/pba/20090713/199952/(Nikkei BP Online)
http://www.waseda.jp/rps/en/webzine/no13/no13.html (Pedagogy & Soetanto Effect)
http://edu.u258.com/hg/hggs/25237.html (Quadrivium Doctor (Ph.D.) in Chinese)