Our lifestyles continue to change along with recent global-level innovations in social and industrial structures. And so do the natures of our values and the abilities we are expected to have. What is required of us is not merely the accumulation of knowledge and skill, but the ability to develop new means to respond to events with no precedent, and new values that allow us to accurately respond. Many young people have lost indicators to respond to these significant social changes. The issue of education including elementary and secondary education is becoming a serious social problem. Lifelong education—meant for adults to respond to a changing society and live meaningful lives—is also a social issue. Waseda University has a long track record of sending highly-skilled graduates out into society. Focusing on its accumulated knowledge and working to solve these new issues based on its founding policy and social mission can be thought of as Waseda’s social responsibility as a research and education institution.
Until now, the Laboratory for Advanced Studies in Education in the School of Education has scientifically investigated and analyzed many educational issues while maintaining close ties with sites engaged in educational practices. It has played a role as a node connecting Waseda University with educational sites through feeding its findings back into educational institutions. However, with the crucial aspects above in the background, the Laboratory for Advanced Studies in Education crossed department lines, was reorganized as the Institute for Advanced Studies in Education, and took on a wider scope encompassing the entire university. Focusing Waseda University’s related scientific research capabilities on foundational and scientific research related to educational issues is becoming an urgent issue.
In addition to contributing to the development of education at Waseda, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Education will take part in investigating how education should be conducted, through organic connections with society. We also hope to play a central role in the educational sciences research of researchers and educational practitioners all over Japan.