From March 9th to 22th in 2014, I took part in a field study at Toronto in Canada and Washington D.C. in the United States. The field study aims at investigating about risk management learning from international organizations. In Toronto, I attended the 58th Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) from March 10th to 15th held at Sheraton Center Toronto Hotel. In Washington D.C., I visited the World Bank Headquarters, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), George Washington University (GWU), and FHI360. For me, the purposes of this field study were; to develop my research and investigate the trend of the latest studies in the field of educational development and clarify my career vision. Based on these purposes, I report the activities of this field study below.
First, I developed my research and investigated the trend of the latest studies in the field of educational development. During CIES, I attended workshops and sessions focusing on the themes of international learning assessment and early grade learning. At a workshop of pre-conference, I learned about utility method of data bases such as PISA International Data Explorer, XTXS, and AM Statistical Software which is useful to deal with statistical data of international learning assessment. Since my interest lies in quantitative analysis of learning assessment at international level, it was a great opportunity for me to get to be familiar with these data bases. In the session of “Early grade reading literacy: Practices, assessments, success and challenges” on March 13th, the researchers reported the case studies of educational support activities in Yemen, Uganda and so on. Through the attendance of this session, I developed new perspectives and problem consciousness of my research. In Washington D.C., I conducted interviews to researchers and experts who play an active role in the field of international development. Through these interviews, they reported the latest result of their research. In addition, they shared their precious opinions about the trend of educational development support from various perspectives. Moreover, I visited Dr. James Williams at GWU after the field study and received precious comments about my study.
Next, I conducted the following activities in order to clarify my career vision. First, in Washington D.C., the researchers and experts gave me precious guidance about skills required to play an active role in international organizations and about career development strategies. Through this experience, I could fill a gap between my career vision and theirs. In addition, I had the opportunities to see Dr. Shinsaku Nomura who is an Ogawa seminar alumnus, currently playing an active role as an education economist at World Bank. Based on my research interests and career vision, I was benefited to receive treasurable guidance to develop my career plan.
Finally, I attained my goals through the meetings and experiences of the field study. Moreover, such wonderful opportunities of attending international conference and networking were translated into driving power to work out my future. I must express my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Keiichi Ogawa, Dr. Shinsaku Nomura, Dr. Miho Nomura, Dr. Mari Shojo, Dr. Nobuyuki Tanaka, all of the outstanding experts in each organization, and everyone who kindly supported me by providing me with such a great opportunity to discover my potential.
By Ryosuke Matsuura