GKA’s Pioneer Vision in Promoting English Immersion with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
Speaker: Gale Zimmerman & Shizue Yoshida
On Oct 20, 2011 Gunma Kokusai Academy (GKA) became the fifth official International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Japan, authorized to offer the IB Diploma Programme (DP) starting in April, 2012. This provided GKA students the opportunity to receive both the Japanese High School and IB Diploma simultaneously. The Diploma Programme is an intensive 2-year course with a strong emphasis on the development of intercultural understanding and critical thinking which pushes students to be actively engaged and participate in the world around them in a truly unique way. The DP has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities and is fully recognized as an entrance qualification to universities in over 110 countries worldwide.
The presentation will outline GKA’s role as the first school in Japan to be awarded Special Education Zone Status. In addition to giving an outline of GKA’s path in immersion education, the presenters will highlight the challenges and successes of this unique school. The second part of this presentation will deal with the IB Program: its history; the reasons why IB is important; reasons why a student should join the IB program and what distinguishes it from normal subject classes. It will also address some of the concerns Japanese students and teachers have in implementing the IB program.
Gale Zimmerman has been the IB Coordinator at Gunma Kokusai Academy since July 2010. She has been a teacher of math, grade 10 Biology/Chemistry/Physics, and Advanced Placement/IB Physics at Beaverton High School in Oregon, USA for over 20 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Master’s in Mathematics.
Shizue Yoshida has been Principal at GKA Secondary School since April, 2013. For the previous two years she had been Deputy-Superintendent of the Gunma Prefectural Board of Education. After graduation from Tsuda College, she worked at a private company, taught English at senior high schools, worked as an English teachers’ consultant for three years, was Vice-Principal for five years and Principal for six years for the Prefectural Board of Education.
Gunma Kokusai Academy Secondary School
Ota, Gunma 373-0813
Located behind the Aeon Mall in Ota, across from the MacDonald’s
Map to Location: http://www.gka.ed.jp/map_jhiE.html
Members, first-timers, students: Free!
One-day attendees: ¥1,000