Lectures, Symposiums & Others

Reitaku University 50th Anniversary Open Seminar on “Character Education in the United States”

Organized by the Center for Moral Science and Education

Dr Bohlin at the podium

Dr Bohlin and Professor Mizuno serving as an interpreter

Enthusiastic audience

On January 14, 2009, Reitaku University hosted the open seminar “Character Education in the United States”, organized by the Center for Moral Science and Education, as one of the preliminary events toward the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The seminar, held at Plaza Hall on the first floor of Reitaku University’s Lifelong Education Plaza, attracted an enthusiastic audience of 20.
The lecturer was Dr. Karen Bohlin, Director of Boston University’s Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character. She is also the head of Montrose School, and a leader of Character Education in the United States.
Dr. Bohlin covered the history of character development education, defining it as the education of virtue, vision, and the development of a human character capable of making noble and dignified choices. She explained that, in order to establish good customs, one must satisfy basic desires, uplift the spirit, educate the sense of reason and establish a life of virtue. She added that human character regulates basic desires, develops noble hopes and builds desirable human relationships, concluding that morality is the only means of bringing beauty and dignity to life.
Dr. Bohlin’s colleague, Dr. Bernice Lerner, was also visiting the university. She conducted a presentation about her use of biographies in moral education. She explained how reading biographies on highly dignified persons uplifted the spirit and motivated people into acting similarly.
In the forum, Professor Nobumichi Iwasa described the actual state of Reitaku University’s moral science education, which was followed by an exchange of opinions. Professor Iwasa’s presentation covered Reitaku classes on understanding “reciprocality/co-dependency” and “overcoming selfishness.” Dr. Bohlin and her colleague said that the fact that Reitaku teaches co-dependency was refreshing, as they came from the more individualistic society of the United States.
The dinner party organized by President Nakayama strengthened the ties between the Boston University Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character and the Reitaku University Center for Moral Science and Education. The occasion also allowed the two educational institutions to share their missions about researching and implementing moral education.



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