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News 2 > Global Teacher Prize - Finalists > 2023 Finalists Global Teacher Prize > Yuji Matsuda

Yuji Matsuda 

Japan - Tottori Nishi High School 

Yuji Matsuda, an English teacher at Tottori Nishi High School in Japan, has developed an innovative teaching method called "Deep Active English" over his 18-year career. He is deeply committed to providing high-quality education in Tottori Prefecture, despite its challenges in terms of economy, culture, and education. Matsuda's teaching philosophy centres around "deep learning," emphasizing understanding foreign language and its cultural context, as well as the ability to organize and reconstruct ideas for effective communication. 

His teaching approach, inspired by "Deep Active Learning" as proposed by Professor Kayo Matsushita, promotes deep engagement, understanding, and learning among his students. Matsuda is the first English teacher in Japan to systematically introduce "Deep Active Learning" into English education, making a significant impact on students' values and worldviews. 

Matsuda goes beyond traditional teaching by involving students in real-world issues and encouraging them to connect with the outside world. He has facilitated interactions with venture businesses, artists, and researchers, allowing students to engage with the broader community and apply their English language skills to real-life scenarios. He introduced their works to academics, venture businesses and artists who are active abroad, which led to them producing a commercial for a synthetic silk product “The Moon Parka”, correspond and share essays with installation artist Tatzu Nishi, share their essays on happiness with Associate Professor of Psychological Science Paul Piff at University of California, Irvine in the US, and share one of their classes with Lena Okajima, CEO of ALE, a space startup company with a mission to create the world's first man-made shooting star, deepening student awareness of the value and significance of space exploration.  

Under his guidance, students at Tottori Nishi High School have achieved remarkable results, with improved English skills and impressive scores on the GTEC test. A significant number of his students have been admitted to prestigious national public universities, reflecting his effective teaching methods. 

Matsuda's impact extends beyond the classroom. He contributes essays on education, literature, music, and movies to a monthly booklet, exposing his educational practices to a wider audience and inspiring interest in education. He has also collaborated on a high school English textbook and provided expertise to other teachers, promoting continuous improvement in education. 

His dedication to climate change education is evident in his efforts to integrate environmental topics into English lessons. Through discussions on virtual water, biomimicry, space development, and the SDG 17 Goals, Matsuda encourages students to critically analyse environmental issues and explore solutions. 

His commitment to professional development and collaboration with fellow teachers is evident in his involvement in a study of teaching methods for slow learners in English. He has also earned recognition and awards, including the Grand Prix in the "Foreign Language and Intercultural Understanding" category of the 69th Yomiuri Education Awards. 

Yuji Matsuda's innovative teaching method, "Deep Active English," his dedication to providing high-quality education, and his commitment to engaging students in real-world issues have made him a transformative figure in Japanese education with influence far beyond the classroom, impacting the community and inspiring fellow educators to improve teaching practices. 

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