World Studies (WS) is a course for studying media, poverty, human rights, peace, diplomacy and self-development through group activities, presentations, discussions and watching documentaries. This course is only offered to 12th graders (fourth grade high school students) and is held during third and fourth periods on Tuesdays and Fridays.
On this day the theme of the class was human rights and the landmines problem. World Studies is offered in both Japanese and English, and is part of the history, geography and civics department.
In the Japanese WS class the students formed groups, and discussed related themes about human rights from different points of view: for, against or hard to judge. Each group summarized and delivered their ideas, which was then followed by a full class discussion.
“Isn’t this discrimination?” “One can choose if do or not, so, it’s a right, isn’t it? ” Everyone shared their frank opinions, and actively talked on them, agreeing at times and finding the difference of each view at other times.
In the English class the students watched a documentary video reporting a girl’s life in a developing country. All were concentrating on it in order not to miss the points.
After watching the video, they divided into groups of three, wrote their opinions, and shared them with the class.
During fourth period, both the Japanese and English WS classes combined to assess their prior knowledge about landmines, which would be the subject of the following class.
After watching a documentary video reporting the damages caused by landmines, Seth, the WS English teacher, gave a power point presentation about de-mining or landmine removal procedures. Students learned about the technical aspects of landmine use, types of landmines used, and the dangers they pose in post-conflict countries.