Global health for global classrooms

Sabrina Ishimatsu and Tsuyoshi Kudo in the Quad, Stanford University Sabrina Ishimatsu and Tsuyoshi Kudo in the Quad, Stanford University

“Super Science High School” (SSH) and “Super Global High School” (SGH) are designations awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to upper secondary schools that prioritize science, technology, and mathematics (SSH) and global studies (SGH). Since 2015, SPICE has offered the “SPICE/Stanford e-Course on Global Health” to students of Takatsuki Jr. and Sr. High School, one of the few schools in Japan with both designations. This distance-learning course provides students with a broad overview of the importance of global health with a special focus on pioneering examples of international work conducted by researchers at Stanford University.

On July 30, Tsuyoshi Kudo, Principal of Takatsuki Jr. and Sr. High School, visited Stanford University and met with Sabrina Ishimatsu, instructor of the course, and SPICE Director Gary Mukai. The course underscores the importance that Principal Kudo has placed upon both science and global studies at Takatsuki High School. Many Stanford scholars—including Scott Rozelle, PhD, and Karen Eggleston, PhD (Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies); Phillip Yang, MD, and Paul Wise, MD (School of Medicine); and Fumiaki Ikeno, MD (Stanford Biodesign)—introduce their research to the students and engage them in discussions. “As Takatsuki High School makes its primary aim to nurture future global leaders who have a profound awareness of the significance of global health,” commented Kudo, “a series of online lectures by top-notch global health researchers in a world-class institution is an invaluable boon to the students.”

Takatsuki students (with Ishimatsu and Mukai projected on screen) Takatsuki students (with Ishimatsu and Mukai projected on screen)
Ishimatsu and Kudo are currently conceptualizing the 2018–19 course curriculum, and both SSH and SGH guidelines will once again help to shape the framework for the course. For example, a requirement of SGH schools is for students to conduct fieldwork both domestically and internationally on research topics as part of their learning, in order to broaden their views and pursue their goals.

In the first three years of the course, Stanford scholars have opened the eyes of students at Takatsuki High School to a broad range of research topics. Ishimatsu commented, “I am honored to work with Principal Kudo on the cultivation of a new generation of global leaders in the area of health.”

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