Koichi Sasagawa

Koichi Sasagawa

Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Koichi Sasagawa is a professor of the Faculty of Lifelong Learning and Career Studies at Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan. He is a distinguished scholar on adult and lifelong education in Japan and East Asia, promoting the Japanese and Asian democratic tradition of educational science to reform educational systems and to promote educational practices and theories focusing on literacy and competency.

Since the 1970s, Sasagawa has been one of the primary members of the Japanese Society for the Study of Adult Education and the Japanese Society for Promoting Social and Adult Education for four decades and serving on the editorial committee of Monthly Adult and Social Education for a decade. 

Since the 1980s, Sasagawa has studied social inclusion of migrants and migrant workers, exploring the possibility of a multi-ethnic, cultural, and linguistic civil society in Japan and has been devoted to establishing Japanese Language Classes and mutual learning programs among citizens. 

In 2003, Sasagawa pioneered the Faculty of Lifelong Learning and Career Studies at Hosei University as the founding dean. This was the first school specifically designed to operate with competency oriented programs for adult learners in Japan. By combining the social standards of knowledge and their own experiences, students can enrich their competencies by including their own “opened personal or local knowledge.” Also, by incorporating Japanese tradition, Sasagawa began a “guided autobiography program,” using experienced leaders to teach the adult learners. The school has seen success in combining liberal arts and human resource development at the university level, including post-graduate studies. This program has gained immense popularity throughout Japan and East Asia.

After forty years of study on using literacy and competency to design educational programs and curriculum, he has published many articles and books. To gain a worldwide perspective, Sasagawa has studied Chinese, Korean, European, American, and Japanese classics, while visiting programs and instigating joint research projects internationally. He has been part of the Asian South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education and the International Council of Education. Sasagawa played an integral role in bringing together Korean and Japanese delegates in a conference surrounding the International Year of Literacy, which opened communication on an important topic between historically divided countries. Sasagawa has also served as founding secretary general of the East Asian Forum for Adult Education, which has promoted communication among adult educators in East Asian industrialized countries and areas.

Due to his achievements, Sasagawa has been invited to be a member of the Asian-European Lifelong Learning Sub-group 5, focusing on core competence. He has been invited to share his expertise on the process of “guided autobiography,” or “Jibun-shi.”