Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)Waseda University


Newsletter Winter 2015 (Vol.10)


30 techniques to make lectures for a large number of people more appealing

Associate Professor Hiroaki Sato, the Deputy Director of the Osaka University Teaching and Learning Support Center, was invited to give an FD seminar. The seminar was intended for those with experience of taking charge of classes at the university or who are scheduled to take charge of classes. The seminar was widely publicized on the Waseda-net Portal and noticeboards in instructors’ rooms. Subsequently, on the day of the seminar, in addition to members of this research facility, participants included professors, associate professors and part-time lecturers from various departments in Waseda Campus.

The theme of the seminar was “30 techniques to make lectures for a large number of people more appealing.” Many instructors have stated that delivering lectures to a large number of people is one of the most difficult of all educational techniques. First, after deepening the participants’ understanding of the unique features of lecturers for a large number of people based on various data, Associate Professor Sato introduced 30 practical teaching techniques that can be utilized by any instructor. The participants practiced and confirmed these techniques and then exchanged opinions in groups, which was followed by a lively question-and-answer session.

[From the questionnaire]
– I felt it was meaningful, as throughout the seminar, specific examples based on evidence were given. A number of the techniques were familiar to me in my experience as instructor. There were suggestions for other techniques that were entirely new to me.
– I learned extremely useful information that will be of great reference for me. The two hours went by in a flash.
– I think that everyone worries about handling classes intended for a large number of students, but I heard plenty of useful information in this seminar. As the seminar was delivered by a specialist in FD, I think we heard about techniques that have actually been used. There were various techniques that I want to try out when I give such lectures in future.
– I thought the seminar was extremely meaningful as we were able to learn important points about giving lectures to a large number of people. Nonetheless, I would have liked to hear about research that dug even deeper into the question of what are the different variations of an “appealing class.”
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Disparities in Compulsory Education

Ryoji Matsuoka, Assistant Professor

The purpose of my research, as explained in the abstract for the WIAS monthly workshop, is to empirically demonstrate how disparities of individuals’ socioeconomic status lead to those in educational achievement: identifying mechanisms of educational inequalities. In general, my studies focus on children (students), guardians, and educational systems. However, in a recent study, I also analyzed teachers. The data-which are a nationally-representative sample of junior high school teachers in Japan-were based on the responses of 192 school principals and 3,484 teachers, extracted from the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) conducted by the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

I attempted to reveal factors associated with teacher job satisfaction-which is known to relate to teachers leaving their jobs-using a multi-level mediation model that took the two levels (i.e., teachers nested in schools) into consideration. This analysis clarified the following points. (1) There are between-school differences in teacher job satisfaction, in addition to differences among individual teachers. (2) The socioeconomic levels of the students at the schools where the teachers worked are related to students’ behavioral problems at each school, and the frequency of the problematic behavior appeared to differentiate the teachers’ levels of job satisfaction. (3) Teachers have higher levels of job satisfaction with the same level of self-efficacy when in higher socioeconomic schools. In short, teachers’ levels of job satisfaction are partly dependent on schools’ socioeconomic contexts.

Within the Japanese compulsory education system-which is known to be egalitarian-providing similar learning opportunities for students at schools nationwide through national curriculum guidelines, there tend to be differences in teacher job satisfaction among schools. Further, when the incidence of problematic behavior by students at a particular school is low partly due to higher school’s socioeconomic status, the teacher satisfaction level is high (and conversely, the satisfaction rating is low when the incidence of problematic behavior is high). The teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching connects more strongly to their levels of satisfaction when their school’s socioeconomic position is high; conversely, when their school’s socioeconomic status is low, teachers’ self-efficacy has a weaker connection to their levels of satisfaction.

In conclusion, this research empirically showed some differences in levels of teacher job satisfaction among schools and factors associated with these disparities. As in this study, I will continue to contribute to the body of empirical findings on educational inequality by conducting analyses of large-scale data.


Top Runners’ Lecture Collection of Science

The WIAS members in natural science field are planning a series of seminars by invited researchers at the forefront of their respective fields. This section introduces a collaborated seminar of researchers in natural science and humanities under the keyword of neuroscience, as well as a symposium on space that will be held in January. Other seminars will be covered in the Information section.

November 14, 2014 Allergies and Circadian Rhythm

Organizer: Kanami Orihara, Assistant Professor

Professor Atsuhito Nakao, University of Yamanashi was invited to give a talk on life sciences at a general level. In addition to members of the Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, the participants included representatives from Tokyo Women’s Medical University, the National Center of Child Health and Development, and other advanced research facilities. Throughout the event, lectures proceeded with welcoming atmosphere. In addition to up-to-date data on circadian rhythm in mast cells and basophilic leukocytes, Professor Nakao introduced some unpublished epigenetic data. All the participants from various genre, including specialists on circadian rhythm, nephrology, and allergies; medical doctors, researchers, and students, enjoyed the lecture and received Professor Nakao’s messages at their own respective levels.
more information

November 28, 2014 Physics in the Background to Cosmic Inflation

Organizer: Shuntaro Mizuno, Assistant Professor

Cosmic inflation is an appealing solution to the problem of the initial conditions of the big bang theory. However, the physics in the background to it remains unclear. In the Third Symposium on the Universe, to shed light on the status of research on cosmic inflation and to determine a feasible direction for future research, Eiichiro Komatsu (Director of the Department of Physical Cosmology, Max-Planck-Institut fur Astrophysik) and Masahide Yamaguchi (Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology) were invited to deliver lectures on this topic from their respective perspectives of observation and theory.
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Visiting Fellows

WIAS invites distinguished, internationally active researchers from overseas. Through scholarly exchanges, seminars, and other activities jointly undertaken with Waseda researchers, WIAS contributes to the invigoration of the university’s research activities.
more information

November 15, 2014-
December 15, 2014
LIND, Jennifer: Department of Government, Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA)
March 16, 2015-
April 14, 2015
FIELD, Jeremy: Professor, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex (UK)
April 1, 2015-
April 30, 2015
ZHU, Ning: Professor of Finance (with tenure), Deputy Director, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
June 1, 2015-
June 30, 2015
GORDON, Andrew: Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Harvard University (USA)

Please feel free to contact us.

Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)

1-6-1 Nishi Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, JAPAN
E-mail:[email protected]

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