Innovation Program

Reacting to the Past: New Approaches to Critical Thinking and Japanese History

We are delighted to receive funding for our project beginning with the academic year 2012-13, which is extended for 2013-14.


(for report, click here)

Participants: James McKinley (FLA), Mathew Thompson (FLA), Gramlich-Oka


  •  To contribute to educational innovation by introducing the “Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) program to Sophia University and to Liberal Arts Education in Japan as a whole.  RTTP is an innovative approach to Liberal Arts Education consisting of interactive classroom activities that promote student engagement in big ideas and improve critical thinking skills.
  •  To test the use of RTTP materials that are currently available in a classroom environment at Sophia, with the goal of making RTTP an integral part of the core program in the FLA.
  •  To develop and test a set of RTTP-style materials that explore important moments in Japanese history (e.g. the arrival of Commodore Perry and the Akō incident) for use in the FLA core, history, and literature programs.
  • To publish a series of RTTP textbooks and manuals that will make the RTTP method widely available for use in classes relating to Japanese history or critical thinking not only at Sophia but other Japanese and Western universities as well.