Thoughts on Education and the Process of Opening the School
The Possibilities of Education and Global Society
In this rapidly changing world of globalization, I feel that education is becoming more and more important.
Education at CGK is not simply "language education," but encompasses the much wider scope of "global education".
It includes helping students develop a compassionate heart that accepts "differences" and has a "tolerance for diversity". It includes creativity and the ability to take action to handle a situation on their own, even in the face of change. It includes the ability to express themselves, communicate and cooperate with others.
These things are not only important in the business world, but in leading happy and prosperous lives.
In today's world of AI, it is very risky to focus solely on acquiring a specific set of knowledge and skills. Even those of us who realize the importance of learning another language feel that the advantages of a second language are getting fewer every year (although the disadvantages of not learning English remain as many as ever).
Therefore, CGK has introduced an international curriculum that emphasizes active learning to nurture children's self-expression, acute cognitive abilities, and spirit of inquiry.
Our goal is to nurture in children lifelong, global skills that are not just for their school years, but for their future.
"Maximize your opportunities for happiness in an increasingly global world."
We believe that education has great power to bring peace and happiness.At CGK, we do not limit possibilities for the children, but challenge them in every way possible, striving to be a gateway to the larger world beyond the school.
Meeting "The World"
I have been able to experience living and backpacking in Australia, Canada, and the United States. All of these countries are multi-ethnic, giving me the opportunity to meet people of dozens of different nationalities.
The most valuable part of living abroad was not seeing the sights, but meeting this wide variety of people and having the chance to both listen and speak in English.
I realized that the world I had lived in (both physically and mentally) was too small, and this motivated me to think about how interesting the world really is, and how much I wish to explore more of the unknown, leading to an intellectual curiosity, not just for the world but for everything. The things a person is interested in and thinks about shape their opinions, which in turn leads to a desire to share this with others.
Beginning with International Exchange
This company was started, not as an "education business" but as an "international exchange business.”
Urban areas in what are called "immigrant countries" are filled with people of diverse nationalities and backgrounds. In an effort to provide a similar environment here in Japan, we have held various international exchange events to introduce cultures from around the world to Japan, and vice versa.
Some of these activities have paid off, we see some people deciding to study abroad and others entering international marriages.
As a person who strives to be a "bridge to the world," this makes me truly happy.
Interest in foreign countries is a motivation for learning English, so our "English Education” business got started as another "bridge" to facilitate going abroad.
In the English conversation school business for adults, I saw many people expanding their interest not only in English but also in going overseas, and I was glad to be a part of that. However, I sometimes felt there were problems / dilemmas for adults starting to learn English in terms of "time," "the pace of improving language skills," "inflexible values," and "keeping a positive attitude toward new things".
Opening an International Preschool
So, the idea of a school that could provide "language education," "global education," and "the desire to communicate" started to take shape.
And from this CGK International School came to be.
(At the time of opening it was called "Bilingual Preschool Cosmo Global Kids.)
To have a conversation, even before language skills you need "acute cognitive abilities" or the ability to think for yourself. Language is the tool to finally communicate the opinions created this way, but without the interest and motivation of a "spirit of inquiry", deep thinking will not happen.
Young children, without fixed ideas yet, find everything they experience on a daily basis to be fresh and stimulating. At CGK, they experience as many unknown worlds as possible, and their interest in these new worlds leads to a lively curiosity.
Then, in our non-passive, active learning we nurture in them the ability to think, move, and create on their own. The children become so absorbed in these activities that they even forget to laugh, they learn to express themselves freely using various tools, especially English, while taking positive action to try new things.
This method of learning a language, which is a tool for conversation, is completely different from past methods where students studied only to pass exams. Language expression, which is acquired from the children's desire to express themselves, is not learned from classroom lectures, but from daily life, and learned this way, improves quickly.
At CGK, we focus on "global education," and how to "grow as a person" resulting in an environment that nurtures "real global kids" who happily enjoy learning every day. In order to establish such an environment, CGK was created as a place that provides quality childcare and education from infancy.
To be the best place for children to grow, we are constantly introducing new things such as global education, food education programs, extracurricular class programs, and a variety of events.
Continuum Education from Preschool to High School
When the Preschool first opened, we did not offer less than full-time, five-day-a-week courses, because we wanted to provide a high quality, all-round education that included non-cognitive skills.
When making decisions about CGK, including services and system policies, I always keep in mind that I want CGK to be a place where everyone can feel confident and proud to be involved. And because we have continued to work hard in this regard, CGK is always moving forward.
For example, it’s a heavy responsibility to take care of an infant, and childcare cannot be sacrificed for saying to parents that the child's English will be improved. For this reason, all of our Japanese caregivers are bilingual, but we have placed great importance on quality childcare by requiring them to be certified childcare professionals. Naturally, we have been working diligently without compromising on important matters.
The next step is to open an elementary school, which will be more directly related to the children's future career paths. We decided to open an elementary school because in a confident and responsibly way we have already established a system that provides quality education while taking into account the hopes and fears of parents.
The educational activities that can be offered vary depending on the children's age, and the older they become, the less restrictive these activities are. Many of the ideal educational plans we have cannot be provided in Preschool. However, in the future, as we progress to elementary, middle, and high school, I think that both children and educators will be able to work more freely and actively.
When encountering unknown and difficult situations, children do not always receive sufficient information and adequate support. There are many situations where they must think and act on their own accountability. If they simply blame others or the environment, and wait around for assistance, then in the future, both as individuals and as a country, they will be left behind in the world. In the future, as they take the initiative and responsibly learn from their mistakes, I feel that it is important for them to grow as likable people with acute cognitive abilities and a spirit of inquiry in order to make themselves and those around them happy.
Using a foundation build on interest and a spirit of inquiry, at CGK we will nurture the drive to overcome anxiety about the unknown. We don't want them to be lethargic or indifferent people with no will or purpose. We want them to always take the initiative to face challenges. The spirit of inquiry and interest into unknown worlds that we cultivate at CGK is an irreplaceable asset.
At CGK, we will always strive to be a school where children can truly enjoy school life, daily being excited and delighted about learning.
For a happy and prosperous future through education.
Minoru Kai, School President
- Born in 1984, father to two children
- Advertising agency: Combined business of overseas exhibition and domestic advertising. In overseas exhibitions, managed and supervised foreign staff at overseas sites and handled client relations.
- CosmoBridge Co., Ltd. (Current Company): Based on experience living abroad, founded an English language school. Actively managed the operations of an international exchange event business which included handling overseas visitors. Currently the President of CGK International School.
History of Overseas Residence
- Australia: Sydney, Adelaide, etc.
- Canada: Toronto
- USA: Backpacked through 8 cities
- "7年で生徒数50倍!? 急成長の「CGKインターナショナルスクール」に話を聞いてみた～イマドキのインターナショナルスクール"」 Mashup Reporter (Published Dec 2023)
- "日本人はもっと海外を視野に入れて生きるべき！" JOES Magazine (Published Nov 2023)
- "Expanding Children's Horizons" THE YOKOHAMA SEASIDER MAGAZINE AUGUST 2019 (Published Aug 2019)